Posted by: Marie | February 24, 2013

(787) Round two: Me 0 – Viola 1 – Draw 1

Post #787
[Private journal entry written midday on Wednesday, February 15, 2012]

So . . . on the drive home from this morning’s intensely emotional therapy session, I had a bit of comic relief . . . not that I was in a frame of mind that would allow me to really appreciate a comedic moment . . . nevertheless, I experienced one . . .

Yesterday, I called the music store I frequent to see if the stringed-instrument technician would be available today to replace the string on the viola I’m supposed to be learning to play . . . I figured I’d get it done while in was in the “big city” today.

The music store employee who answered the phone yesterday said the technician would not be there today; however, I was told that isn’t of any concern since any of the store employees are capable of replacing the string. So, I stopped there this morning.

139) Title Unknown

Photo by Martin Chen

It only took a few minutes for the “on duty” guy to replace the string. After he finished, I asked him if he could tune the viola for me so I could see/hear with my own eyes/ears that this particular viola really can be tuned. He started with the string with the lowest pitch . . . and informed me that I had indeed tuned it an octave too high. I asked him how I had managed to tune the lowest string an octave too high without breaking it while the second lowest string had broken under the strain. He humorously responded, “Dumb luck?”

I laughed . . . I guess that answer is as good as anything I could drum up.

He then proceeded to tune the remaining three strings, including the new string. When he finished, I pointed out that the lowest string was very loose – really too loose to even be able to play it. He wondered if the situation might be helped by fully loosening the fine tuners before adjusting the larger pegs.

I called his attention to the fact that he had loosened the fine tuners first, yet the lowest-pitched string was still very loose. He kind of shrugged and said he didn’t know why that is the case – his limited technical/mechanical knowledge of violas doesn’t allow him to be able to answer that question. But, he was sure it was supposed to be that way since he had done exactly what he had been taught to do. In my head, I disagreed but kept it to myself – obviously, I wasn’t going to get any answers from him.

The three highest-pitched strings seem to be fine . . . so, maybe he is right. Maybe I’m just that ignorant about tuning a viola . . . maybe my 35-year-old memories around how to tune and play a viola are faulty . . . or, maybe I’ll figure out the mystery when I get back to the studio . . . either way, I have to laugh at myself! What an adventure this is turning out to be!

Quotes 697


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