1. Welcome to TalkBass, the Premier Bass Player Community and Information Source. We've been uniting the Low End Since 1998!

    We're glad you've found us. Register a 100% Free Account to post and unlock tons of features.

In there a technique

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Andy Mopley, Mar 28, 2014.


  1. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    associated with playing pizzicato, I see it is quite different from playing like a jazz player (typically) would?

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. hsu912174

    hsu912174

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    I'm not sure what your question was, but for starter I'd say I have developed the technique that I'd pluck with the lateral side of my middle finger while keeping the bow grip with the rest of the hand. (I play french bow)
     
  3. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    I saw some video which was posted here of a french bow guy with a special technique where he flips from arco to pizz in a split second. Was that you? Not sure if I can find that video anymore. Do most of you rest your right thumb on the neck while playing pizz while holding the bow?

    I find it hard to re balance the bow and bow grip very quickly after playing pizz. Any tips?
     
  4. David Potts

    David Potts

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Andy, I would approach pizzicato as needing a range of techniques to give you some control over speed, tone and projection. Others may disagree with the following.

    Very broadly speaking, if you pull across the string and down onto the fingerboard with the side of your index finger about 6 inches from the end (jazz?) you will get a different result than if you release across and up with your fingertips closer to the middle of the string (harp/classical?).

    The jazz one is perhaps at its best with your hand pointing down diagonally and your thumb on the side of the board to pull towards (but avoid the rosin). A classical pizz here gives you a stiff thump and not much tone, sustain or projection. Come a little higher towards the middle of the vibrating string and it becomes less stiff. You can turn your hand so that two fingers can pull across and down, using more weight of your arm to pump out a bigger, heavier sound. Or you can develop rapid pizz with two or three fingers, useful for jazz and classical.

    "Classical" pizz IMO is best somewhere in the middle 1/3rd of the vibrating string length. You need to experiment with where to pluck, looking for the places that give the elasticity, sound and projection you want. This can change from note to note sometimes. Not only where but how you pluck is important. You can range from snapping your fingers off the string to rolling the tips off with no snap, just release. Whether you play German or French bow will make a difference. As a Frenchie I personally feel most comfortable with my hand higher than 1/2 the vibrating string, closer to my LH and thumb near the base of the neck (with or without the bow in my hand). I hunt for a sweet spot around there.

    Someone, perhaps Knut Guettler, once said that if you pluck the string where there is a harmonic that note will not sound. Can anyone confirm this? It would account for staying away from plucking at the middle of the vibrating string.

    DP
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. David Potts

    David Potts

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Les Fret, try this over your bed or with a pillow on the floor under your bridge as you practice arco to pizz and back.

    Use your ring finger and pinkie to snap/roll the frog up into your hand as you lift your thumb and first two fingers out of the way. Your first two fingers are clear for pizzicato use and your thumb is clear to place on the side of the fingerboard. The frog is now upside down, held by your curled fingers. Reaching from arco to pizz positions should be one fluid quick movement.

    The reverse has to be just as quick and fluid. As you throw the bow back towards the string the frog has to rotate as your fingers uncurl and your thumb and other fingers go back into position. This is why you need the bed or pillow under you until you are confident.

    Sometimes the changes are so quick that you are forced to pluck near the end of the fingerboard in the rosin. Also a quick arco to pizz might mean deliberately bowing up and near the frog so that the motion leads towards the pizz . You can keep your bow hold and drop your second finger down past the frog to pluck with.

    Lots of practice and experiments!

    Cheers, DP
     
  7. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Thanks David!

    found the video. He flips his finger and thumb over to the other side of the bow. Tried this but I still find the old school way easier. His is very quick with it though:
     
  8. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=afTruloiJx4
     
  9. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    The thumb parallel in that video indicates he is using a rabbath hold to start with.
     
  10. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Let me expand further, for clarity - and the question is irrespective of whether you may or may not holding the bow - for example, as below, would be considered OK? or there are no hard and fast rules?




    Thank you!
     
  11. David Potts

    David Potts

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Andy, the above clips should help demonstrate that there are no hard and fast rules, 0nly different ways to produce different sounds. To me Patrick Neher is tending to always pull his pizz the same way (thumb excepted) in the same place on the strings, in what I would call "jazz" sounds that strike down off the string onto the fingerboard.

    By contrast the German bow player in the Dvorak clip is gently hooking the tip of his finger under the string and pulling upwards. And look where on the string he is plucking in relation to his LH.

    Broadly speaking the closer you pluck to each end of the string the brighter the sound (more brighter overtones?) and the more you move to the middle of the string the warmer and darker the sound (less overtones and more fundamental).

    Would you agree that either as a classical or jazz player who interprets someone else's music you need a palette of pizzicato sounds that is as important as arco? To me this is just good basic musicianship.

    DP
     
  12. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Agree, David - I guess ultimately it is about interpretation rather than technique per se.
     
  13. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Can you explain this a little more?
     
  14. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    Watch chapter two of the art of the bow, the first 3-5 minutes, and pay attention to what he is doing. Again. And Again. In another thread you said you didn't get anything out of the video until chapter five. You completely skipped how he holds the bow.
     
  15. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Just not sure how this relates to this topic. But I will watch it again.
    Didn't say I wasn't getting anything out of the video. Only found Chapter V the most interesting part.
     

Share This Page