Wednesday, December 19, 2007


As for Rachel, she is developing into quite the musician. Last year she graduated from the cello to the bass. This year, she progressed from playing bass in Intermediate Orchestra to testing into Advanced Orchestra. The existing bassist in Advanced has trouble counting – an important skill for all musicians – and he was throwing off the entire orchestra. By the first week, Rachel learned that if she tunes him out, she can stay on track with the conductor, and she basically keeps the entire orchestra glued together.
Over the summer, Frank and Pam scrimped and saved and managed to put a Fender electric bass (guitar) on layaway at a local music store. After waiting forever, the new bass was paid off and it arrived home. We had trouble getting the amp out of the box, as the instructions were a little confusing.

When the bass was pulled out of the box, nobody was surprised to discover that no matter what’s in the box, it is the box that is ultimately more interesting. Pam helped pull the bass out of the box, then went into the kitchen to make supper. While she was in there, she heard a muffled, “Wa-wa-wa giggle giggle, wa-wa-wa-wa-wa- uh-huh, yeah, giggle giggle…”

What on earth…?

Pam looked around the corner and saw the box laying on the living room floor, but no Rachel. Where was the sound coming from? Then she heard it again. She followed the muffled giggling and discovered it was coming from inside the box.

Rachel was just talking on the phone, that’s all.

Yes, it is very confusing by the way, having her play the bass as well as the bass. Mom can’t keep them straight and Dad just points.

Rachel has had no formal lessons on the Fender (that’s the electric bass), but her training on the stand-up (that’s the huge wooden orchestra string bass) translated fairly well for her and made it possible to pick up the Fender and be able to play it.

Anyway, one of the teachers recommended she play the Fender in the combo that accompanies the middle school’s jazz choir. Rachel agreed and was in. She has since switched over to the stand-up because of the softer sound behind the choir. Pam’s glad of the change. It was a real pain in the patootie for Rachel to haul the Fender back and forth to school, no matter how cool it looked to be carrying a Fender (ok, and the heavy amp, and a tote bag with the power cords) through crowds of kids.

Rachel’s current project is to listen to the bass line in a song and try to copy that on the Fender. Sounds of Green Day and The Arctic Monkeys periodically vibrate out of her bedroom. Last night we put the headphones on Frank and turned the volume up as loud as we dared, then she played a few things for him. He didn’t turn ashen or implode or anything, so he must have liked it. He took off the headphones and tried to put them on the dog, who ran away.
What do dogs know?


  1. Wow, now that____is impressive. I love the blue color. The big proud smile is even better.

  2. It is fantastic that Rachel loves music. Sounds like she is very talented. I'm envious that she can listen to music and turn around and play it. I love the pic of her feet sticking out of the box! That is so funny!