A Double Bass Journey to Dusseldorf
It was a total surprise to me when my mother told me that I was going to a masterclass in Germany. She told me that my YouTube audition was successful and that the organisers were excited to hear me play.
I was concerned about how I was going to bring my bass as it was very large and bulky. Further good news was, they had sourced a rare ¼ German bass for me.
My classes started the very next day we got to there. I was very jet-lagged, I could barely open my eyes after 3 pm. It was already past midnight in Sydney.
Mr Vlado Zatko was such a wonderful teacher. During the Masterclasses he taught me how to control my bow speed to make the song a little more interesting and how to create different moods in the piece to tell a story. We went through my Koussvisky concerto in detail. He showed me different phrasing and dynamics I could try. However, Mr Zatko said that ultimately, it was up to me as an artist to express how I wanted to tell my story.
He also taught me some other things like trying to play standing up. Apparently when I sat down to play, my leg would act as a mute and the sound of my bass wouldn't 100% project to the audience. I also had a little try at using the German bow hold as it was more common for people to use that in that area.
During the classes, we also learnt about how to keep our muscles relaxed and avoid injuries from playing. I'm glad to know my current physical activities, like stretching my arms and legs, are all very beneficial.
I thought it was a great experience trying new techniques and different styles of playing a scale in a more interesting way. I really enjoyed the masterclasses and hope to do another one. I has helped me to become a better player and pursue my musical career.