In January 10, I was unable to attend our congregational business meeting, but I had an exciting reason to not be there: I was driving to the airport to pick up a bass shipped here from a bass shop in Phoenix. Having never seen it before, I was about to begin a week trial to decide whether this would become my instrument! I think it’s fair to say that I was at least a little bit excited. The following weekend I would return to the airport to either ship the bass back to Phoenix or to return the flight case (I was already praying for the latter scenario).
And what a week it was! I spent time each day getting to know this new instrument, and I made plans to spend time playing it for and with a few of my close musical friends. I played my current bass (an Eastman) and the trial bass (a Rogeri; let’s refer to them as such from here on out) side by side in various familiar spaces and was immediately aware I had found an instrument far beyond the quality of my Eastman. It was exciting to play the Rogeri for one friend at a time, receiving from each a response that matched my own enthusiasm.
Soon after hearing me play the Rogeri for the first time, multiple friends articulated their impressions that were both encouraging and very helpful in affirming the decision I had already almost made. These trusted ears heard not only a different bass (offering descriptors like warm, full, resonant, deep, rich), but they also heard and felt a different bass player behind the instrument. They heard someone who sounded more articulate and free. They recognized I was already able to express myself more clearly and beautifully on the Rogeri than I had on the Eastman. They heard and felt joy.
This bass has already brought me much joy, and it’s changed the way I interact with others and express myself musically. I’ve spent years developing technique that is now coming through so much more as I develop a new relationship with this beautiful instrument. This bass is not only a reminder for me to be thankful, but it has also reminded me to extend grace and be more patient with others. I’ve been challenged by a lot of pain in my technique work over the years on the old Eastman, and now all that work is promoting more relaxation and freedom through the Rogeri. I just took a big step in my journey as a bassist, and I’m going to keep growing! Reflecting on my own growth in this part of my life helps me to remember how we’re all on our own journeys, and we all have pain we’re working through. We are all growing in our individual “techniques.” As we keep journeying together with Christ, we will continue to grow more and more into who God made us to be, and the pain and struggle will eventually turn into freedom and peace and joy. Each time I approach my new bass I want to feel this peace, joy, and grace for others and myself.
I love that this new part of me is something I can share with you all, and I’m grateful to have you celebrating with me!