Gareth Montanarello

I Got A Gamba

Well, I got one to borrow for a while.

I've been wanting to learn how to play viola da gamba for several years now and the opportunity to learn finally came up about three weeks ago. I am borrowing one from my school for the next few weeks/months so I will be doing a multi-part series on my experiences learning the instrument and what it is like to play as a bassist.

The Instrument and First Impressions

The gamba I am borrowing is pretty decent for a school instrument. It was heinously out of tune and the bridge was crooked when I got it but those were both easy fixes. I'll give more details (and better photos) on it in a later blog post.

I spent a little time improvising earlier tonight to familiarize myself with the sound and tuning of the gamba. Having the third in the middle of the six strings took a while to get used to since I am so used to guitar where the third is between the second (B) and third (G) strings. The six strings were also something I found strange at first, too. The narrow string spacing felt more foreign to my bow hand than my left but I am sure I will get used to it in time.

Trying, kinda succeeding.

I'm excited to see where this gamba journey goes, even if it's only a short one. Learning new performance skills is one of my favorite parts of being a musician and I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with everyone.

And if you haven't already, please take a look at some of my other blog posts and don't forget to share and subscribe! I have a lot of exciting content planned for the future so I hope to see you there!


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