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Anyone care to critique my technique? (And More Rhyming funness!)

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by BASSnSAX, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. Hello all!

    I'm not sure as to if this is the right forum of the DB half to be posting this in, but if I am wrong, I will accept any chastisement. As long as you are gentle.

    Anyways, I am finally going to start playing in orchestra this year, and I'm slightly ashamed...I'm going to be a sophomore in college, and well, I figured I'd best borrow a DB for the summer. The time-frame of "summer" soon became the last 2 weeks before school starts. So I was able to borrow a DB from my local 2-year university. I had tried a bit of the DB back in high-school, but I got tendonitis and that put a quick stop to that.

    Now that I'm trying it again, I am keeping some things in mind that the orchestra director at my old high school told me. I know that I have to support the bass a certain way so that it would not fall over when not being held. I also know that I have to keep my left thumb behind the neck, even with my middle finger. I also remember her telling me that you only use your index, middle and pinky fingers when playing. To ensure that I do not do anything wrong, I decided to take it slow, and first get a good feel of the fingerboard. I have been playing fretless (dedicatedly) for about a year, so I've almost got the intonation factor to a bearable level. I will be starting out with a German bow, as they (seem) to be easier to play with.

    Anyways, I had my dad snap some pics of me, so I could maybe bounce some of my probably horrible technique off of you guys. Thanks much for the help!
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    From what a picture can say, which ain't a whole lot for your question, everything looks fine. Take the thumb and middle figner thing with a grain of salt.


  3. Don´t let your left elbow hang down too low, it will stress your left hand.
    Might be that worm perspective the picture´s taken at which overinfluences the angle, but it seems that your elbow is a bit too low.

  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    His wrist looks pretty straight and relaxed, so I think it might be the angle of the photo that's bugging you.
  5. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    He looks pretty big in relation to the bass -- big guy or little bass?

    Anyhow, a picture at a better angle with the stick would be helpful for comment on arco considerations...
  7. Yeah, you could say I'm big...I'm 6'3"...and I believe that the bass is a 3/4.

    Thank you all very much for the help! I will be getting a teacher at school, which will be a week from this Friday.

    I'm pretty glad though that I wasn't able to borrow a bow right away, because I'll be able to get a better feel for the neck of an upright, instead of having to worry about both the left hand and trying to get a good sound with the bow...
  8. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    For your info, there are lots of bow practice exercises that are done on open strings, so you don't have to worry no more.

    Good luck, be patient, don't hurt yourself, you'll love it.
  9. I already do love it! Of course I still like electric a little bit more, but that's because its easier for me to play (and a LOT easier to play fast) and easier to record/patch in for live stuff. But the dog-house just has so much warmth and oompth to it. Plus, I downloaded a Duke Ellington and Ray Brown chart, and...well.. I have a lot of work to do for my tone. Mr. Brown had such warmth and presence to his sound...wow.

    As for the bowing on open strings, that is a great idea. I was thinking the other day that most likely the reason why so many amateur string players (mostly violins/violas/cellos) are out of tune a considerable amount of time is that they have both the "fretless"ness and the bowing thrown at them at the same time, so its harder to perfect two alien actions that occur simultaneously. Or I'm crazy.

    I also had the opportunity to plunk out on a Rob Allen with tapewounds, but still, it didn't have the feel of an upright.

    Oh, and everything for electric bass is cheaper. :smug:
  10. Scot


    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    I think most respectable methods start string instrument students off with bowing open strings. Simandl starts off bowing open strings with tied footballs then goes up to open strings with shorter-valued notes. Then they start introducing the notes in half postition with half note values, etc. So unless by "amateur" you mean someone who hasn't studied a method, I don't think bowing long notes on open strings is any news.

    Playing in tune is just a lot of hard work no matter how you slice it and I think the work is as much ear training as techniqe, if not more.

  11. What the hell is a figner Ray? Sorry... your posts are always so immaculate in terms of spelling, punctuation and such that it's refreshing to see ya ****- up! :eek:
  12. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I have plenty of these scattered about, but thank you for the cmpoliment as I d otry:)
  13. Well, my University was kind enough to borrow out to me a Meisel carved top bass! :crying: <--those would be tears of joy!

    This bass is positively beautiful! Honestly, if not for making dings in the bass, I would hump it! Ok, maybe I wouldn't because it would be unethical to do in public, plus I run the risk of slivers...ouch.

    The only problem is that I was borrowed a French bow, and I think I would be much more comfortable with a German bow. The best part was that the orchestra director was making fun of me and my bowing, even though I've been playing DB for 3 or 4 weeks and was handed a French bow half an hour before Orchestra started last week. Hehe, fun times!
  14. This board discourages the humping of basses!
  15. Right, right. From now on, I shall restrain myself.
  16. Here's whatcha gotta do......get yourself some copies of ISB's and Double Bassist magazines or any publications featuring nice pictures of great basses......lock yourself in the bathroom for a bit and............ ;)
  17. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    ... here you go AGAIN !?! Open that door, or you gonna get petrified like THIS ! :eek:
  18. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    At least he dried with a smile on his face.
  19. I'm not sure that would be the same...then the URB would get jealous and well...big mess. I don't particularly want to have to deal with such a fiasco...some stones are better left unturned.