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November 2006
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The Big Fish

Amy’s new bass arrived Wednesday. Her old one broke just as she was outgrowing it last year, then we had a rental for the rest of the time in Florida. But she has been without one (and hasn’t been taking lessons) since arriving in Washington in July.

The new bass is here now though, and she resumes professional lessons next week. It will be a good thing. She has been without a bit too long and is probably a bit rusty. but I’m sure she’ll snap back into place quickly. This also means we need to get the designated “music room” in shape to be used. Right now there are a bunch of random things in that room.

This is a big purchase, but Amy has been seriously studying the bass for years now with private lessons and all, not just school orchestra or whatnot. It is also a physically BIG purchase. I haven’t seen it in person yet, but it is HUGE. You can see the crate it came in on the picture, but it is certainly much bigger than Amy is and big enough so that it is difficult to transport. It should last a few years though. At the end of that time Amy will need the next size up… and we’ll need an SUV just to have any hope of being able to transport it back and forth to her lessons. :-)

Some have asked us why we would get a new bass rather than renting or buying a used one. I frankly don’t remember all the details, but Brandy spent MONTHS researching the tradeoffs between cost, availability, quality, etc before picking this particular bass from this particular vendor, etc. If I remember though, and Brandy can say more in the comments if she wants, but some of the reasons were…. Basses in this particular size are not all that common, as the bass isn’t a that commonly chosen an instrument anyway (compared to say, violins), and it is even less common amoung children Amy’s size. So it is hard to find used ones anyway. And unless they get mistreated (in which case there is a quality issue anyway) basses of any decent initial quality actually tend to appreciate in value over the years rather than depreciating… so good used ones actually tend to cost more than new ones. And rentals tend to only be economically optimal if you end up renting only a short time… say a school year or part there of. If you are going to keep and use the instrument for years, buying rapidly becomes the better deal… more cash up front, but less over the total life of the instrument. This one should be good for maybe four years… above that threshold. And it is fully insured in case something “bad” happens to it before that time. If in that time Amy decides to give up the instrument, we sell it used. It’ll still probably be the best option economically. (Other than having her switch to a smaller cheaper instrument. :-)

In any case, Brandy and Amy have been giddy with excitement ever since FedEx called Tuesday to say they would be delivering Wednesday. The crate was too big to come into the house (even into the garage). So Brandy had to unpack it outside. I presume by the time I get home Amy will have given the new bass a spin.

I look forward to many evenings of hearing bass (and piano and electric guitar) practice happening downstairs while I hide in my office upstairs. :-)

She’s in a chorus that gives outlet to public performances on the vocal side. One she has resumed practice on the instruments for awhile, we’ll probably start looking for some performance outlets on the instrument size. (Her school is too small for an orchestra at the moment, although they are working on expanding their musical offerings.)

Anyway… new bass. Amy (and Brandy) are happy. :-)