I use to play bass clarinet

I use to play the bass clarinet
It didn’t matter that I was the only chair
Because
I was first chair
And I carried the tempo for
An entire band

That bass was bigger than me’
And when I blew into it
It took all my breath from the
Very center of me’ to make it
Make a sound

But I played it
I played bass clarinet
I did it all by myself
There were cues in each song
Only I could detect
There was a pace there that
Only I could set

My teacher would look back
When he needed me to pick up the pace
Or bring the melody to a place
Where it belonged

I use to play bass clarinet
I was the only one too
It was the beginning of me’
Separating from the pack
Doing my own thing
Letting others follow if they wanted
But really not caring if they
Came along or not

I knew even then
There was something to it
Something to being a way maker
That I liked
So I played that thing
That was too big for me’
And my mother giggled
When she saw it strapped to me’
‘how you gon play that thing’
She said
But I just smiled
And I did
I played it
And I could make it loud
Or soft
I set the tempo
I brought up the melody

Little ole me’
Playing that bass
All alone

5 Comments Add yours

  1. christiana83 says:

    I love it!! I played the string bass – i wasn’t the only one, but there is something awesome and special about being the deepest, richest voice in an orchestra. And let me tell you, I got those comments all the time, too, “how do play tat?! It’s bigger than you are!”

    1. ms. olugbala says:

      I know playing bass is fantastic. If I had the gumption I’d restart my musical career.

  2. Karin Wiberg says:

    I love this! I just played the regular old clarinet. 🙂

    1. ms. olugbala says:

      I started with a regular clarinet. My band teacher wanted me to join varsity band but he knew I’d never be happy with second row or 6th chair. So he gave me a bass clarinet. I was sold the minute he brought it out of the back.

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