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Bach Cello solo Suites!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by CROZ, Dec 17, 2000.

  1. I'm learning the Bach Cello Suites right now. Just wondering who else has attempted this on thier bass. Did you use standard tuning or Cello tuning?
    I found it was too hard to play smoothly on standard tuning so I'm using a Cello tuning. The position changes slowed me down. I got a light 5 string set so I could get an even string tension on my 4 string. The strings are still a little uneven tension wise but it's still manageable.
    I love reading this classical music, though. I've been reading jazz and latin sheet recently that was heavily syncopated ,in 6/8 time and didn't have a key signature.
    It's just shockingly easy to read those suites after that.

    BTW, do you use ever use your tongue to test the charge in your 9V batteries? I think it's kind of exciting. :D
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I've learned a few movements of one (the one in G), but never attempted all of them.... I play them in standard tuning, but on a 6 string. There's lots of music in there, man. I strongly recommend getting a disc with a cellist playing them (or Edgar Meyer's new CD) so you can hear an interpretation of them.

    Good Luck!
  3. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    I've always used EADG or DADG tuning to play them. The advise to get a recording of them (if you haven't already) is good. IMO Yoyo Ma's first recording is the quintessential.
  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
  5. right now, I'm almost done learning Prelude #1 in C Major. I have about 10 more bars to learn and I have it down. Then to record it =)then I have the rest of my Mel Bay's J.S. Bach for bass to learn =) the book has the tabs but I scanned the pages and got rid of the tabs so I could learn it by sheet music for bass lessons. I'm playing it in standard EADG tuning.

  6. i love that stuff the book i have is Schirmer's Library of Musical Classics. i learned suite 1 and 2 or the one in G and the one in F. i still practice these every once in a while to keep the chops up, they can be pretty brutal as i am sure you know. i play them on a 4 string with normal tuning transposing the low D's to the A string, a bought a CD of this stuff and its called Pablo Casals J.S. Bach Suites for cello, i don't know about the CD JT has but this one kills me, the tone hurts my fillings, but at least it made me feel like i could play them better. i have seen that mel bay book that comes with a CD you could play with doesn't it? another song that i like playing is called "the sailors hornpipe" its not as hard as the cello suites but its fun to play, you all may remember it as the theme to popeye (no not the I'm Popeye the salior man song) its also the closing riff to Tubular Bells
  7. BaroqueBass


    Jul 8, 2000
    Salem, OR
    As you can tell by my name, I really like playing the Bach cello suites and violin sonatas.. as well as Handel's. Other good ones are Beethoven's cello sonatas, and Dragonetti's concerto
  8. Gruff, yea it comes with a cd. I have to check it out again to help myself with naming a few chords.. me and my teacher are stumped on one.. oh well time to go to school, later!

  9. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    yikes! sounds painful.

    rostropovich is a master - i spent a few weeks a couple of years ago where all i listened to while at work were rostropovich's recordings of these suites.
  10. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    If you're on bass guitar, I'd recommend cello tuning, which takes great advantage of open strings and avoids a lot of the barre positions and 3-3 or 4-4 movement across strings fourths seem to require.
  11. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    Did any of you happen to see "The West Wing" on Wednesday night? Yo-Yo Ma was playing the suite in G, and it was amazing. I really want to get the Edgar Meyer CD. I bought the Pablo Casals CDs used, but they skip. I like Yo-Yo Ma's playing better.
  12. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    Tried cello tuning on my jazz-I like it. Next bass i get [if i get a 3rd 4string] will probably tuned that way. CGDA-some of the stuff isn't that familar but i think it feels good. thats all
  13. I´ve only played Bach´s stuff on Classical guitar... not much on bass...

    but how is cello tuning anyway?

    btw... has anyone seen the Swinging Bach stuff from the "24 hours of Bach" that BBC aired live from Germany?

    Some pretty funky and jazzy stuff... also Bobby Mcferrin (hopefully I spelled that right...) he´s cool! :)

    anyway, long live Bach!! :D
  14. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    What strings (brand, gauges) are you using for tuning in fifths?
  15. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    Right now, [don't gag] but i just have Ernie Ball Super Slinkys [45-105] on it. The low C is alittle wobbly but i can live with it. The G string [formerlly A] has a nice tone to it not super wobbly to me but just right.D string stayed the same so nothing new there. The A string [formerlly G] is alittle tight but i still say i like it. It doesn't sound like a cello it sounds like a Bass with a different range. I think this tuning will be more versatile for me over all. Now the ideas i have from cello can be played on my Jazz. BTW my jazz is a stock MIM Standard so its nothing special in any of these departments. I think if i plan on doing this more full time i'm just gonna get another bass to do this to so i don't really mess up the truss rod. I'm thinkin a P-special might sound really good with this tuning. I'll find out what money allows.
  16. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    This is something I've thought of doing but never got around to dedicating a bass to it and finding the right set of strings. There was a thread on TBL a couple of years ago I think regarding string gauges for fifths tuning. If you go for it let us know how it works out.

  17. Ok, you all seem to know what you're talking about. Help a novice puhleeeesssee!? lol

    Anyways, i have been playing bass for nigh on three yrs and am sick of the metal/pop/rock styles. its all monotonous (spelling?). I want to try something classical. It was sparked by the idea that when my father started guitar he transcribed from sheet music Beethovens Moonlight Sonata to guitar and it sounds amazing.

    I was wondering if someone could give me a site which has some fairly simple scores (for a beginner c'mon!) with a tab notation so that i can learn both ways like recognise the chord patterns and know where they are on the bass?? that way i can move to harder scores and know where the chords lie.


  18. hey merls try to find the mel bay book that is mentioned above, it comes with a CD you can listen to and its in standard and tab notation, they can be hard but if you take it slow i am sure you will have fun with them, and once you get them up to speed it will excite you, plus they are fun to play and sound great on the bass
  19. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    It will be @ least 3-6 months before i get the money for a new bass [roughly $350] I'll post up here if it happens, just got a new bass about 2 wks ago [ashbory] so no bass funds for awhile. thats all

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