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Bach for Bass

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by darrenmccarthy, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. darrenmccarthy


    Jun 1, 2011
    Hi Team,

    I'm looking for somewhere online that stocks this book. I took a photo of a friends copy and can't find it anywhere OR a similar book in BASS clef. Personally, life is too short to read tenor clef!
    Hope you can help and thanks . D

    Attached Files:

  2. Get the urtext edition. :)
  3. eerbrev


    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
    +1 do yourself a favour. You'll be playing this music for the rest of your life, don't cheap on it. Henle makes a great urtext, as does Barenreiter. The Barenreiter's more expensive, but it has facsimiles of the 4 generally accepted sources for the suites. I have the Henle, which uses the Anna Magdalena Bach bowings (or at least, as close as anyone seems to be able to decipher) as well as having another "performance edition" which also has good bowings that are kind of an amalgam of what seems to make the most sense out of the A. M. Bach and the other sources.

  4. darrenmccarthy


    Jun 1, 2011
    Thanks for the input everybody. I'm not familiar with urtext. I intend to play this book pizz
  5. koricancowboy

    koricancowboy Ausberto Acevedo

    Jun 10, 2003
    Three things:

    1. Use a bow. Life's too short not to.
    2. Tenor clef I as easy as bass clef it'll only take a week or two. A little trick is to look at it like treble clef an read a step down, really a ninth but you I think you can comprehend the octave transposition. Life's too short not learn all you can.
    3. Transpose the 3rd suite into G. So In addition to the urtext get a Sterling or Bernat edition. Not bowings/interpretation but for notes. Develop
    your own bowings/interpretation.

    IMHO, YMMV, My 2 cents etc
  6. I hate to be that guy, but I can't imagine playing this music without a bow, as sucky as I think my bow technique may be.

    Barenreiter is good. I have this one: http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/Six-Suites-For-Cello-Solo-BWV-1007-1012/2403788

    Don't bother getting one of the those editions with the facsimile, you'll just pay extra and you can actually get facsimile of the original Magdalena for free:

  7. darrenmccarthy


    Jun 1, 2011
  8. koricancowboy

    koricancowboy Ausberto Acevedo

    Jun 10, 2003
    Totally agree. I was that guy in the post before.
  9. eerbrev


    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
    Just as a head's up: Urtext essentially means as close to the original manuscript as possible, as opposed to another players edition. also, I'd encourage bow too, but even pizz this is worth playing.

  10. Use the bow. I had the Bernat, but lost it when Br-itish Air-ways (hyphens to keep it from linking!) lost a bag. I picked a Pierre Fournier 'cello edition right after, I always thought I'd get another bass and/or urtext edition but I really like working out of the Fournier.
  11. darrenmccarthy


    Jun 1, 2011
    Ok, ok! I'll use the bow, I can get a sound out bit after a while I tense up and I lose the sound, probably for another forum post. Aaanyway, I've just ordered the book, what would you guys recommend to begin with. Thanks again for your input.
  12. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    This is really incredibly hard music on the bass, even transposed. Where to start? Do you have a good teacher? Have you already mastered a couple major concerti and a few sonatas? Have you finished Simandl 30?

    If you really feel the ache to jump into Bach, start with the 3rd suite Bourees in G. Meanwhile, work on the other stuff. /\
  13. Actually I think the two Menuetts from the First Suite are the easiest to play. In my version (for bass), the entire part is in bass clef, and lays comfortably on the bass (no higher than the octave A on the G string) which you don't really have to use thumb position technique for.

    It is still not beginners material - but for those who can not read tenor or treble clef and who don't have a developed thumb position technique - these are a good choice.

    Also remember a great deal of value can be had from these even if you have to play them very slowly.

    Also good is the following piece, the Gigue from the same First Suite.
  14. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Hector, what key is your version in?

    Plus 1,000 for playing Bach SLOW. Edgar Meyer says he started these pieces at eighth note = 50 bpm!!!
  15. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Cello suite NOT written in bass key? I didn't even know it existed.
  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    It's your bass and your life. If you want to play them pizz, play them pizz. I do it all the time. If you can play them with a bow, play them with a bow as well, or do that first and then play them pizz. The bottom line is that playing the cello suites is better than not playing the cello suites. YMMV, YMWCB, etc.

    I like to play them on the bass as thought they were written for the bass (i.e. - they will sound down an octave from where they would sound on a cello). It's also great to play them to where they sound in the same range as the cello. Again, the bottom line is that playing the cello suites is better than not playing the cello suites. :)

    My favorite edition is the Henle Urtext edition. If you're strapped for cash, the free public-domain PDF versions can be found here. I include this link because I firmly believe that playing the cello suites is better than not playing the cello suites. However you play them, and from whatever edition, good luck!
  17. Jazz Ad,

    I said in bass clef - Depending on your edition many of the pieces in the suites enter the tenor clef.

    I have two editions: one cello and one for bass. The keys are different.

    The one I was referring to is the Peters Edition for Solo Double Bass, where the first menuetto is in C and the second is in Eb (or C Minor).
  18. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
  19. There is truth in this, but it is not responsible advice. You'll find very few professional players who will agree, and even fewer professional bass teachers.
    It should be an artistic decision (though a thoroughly uninteresting one!) to play them pizz, and not a decision based on lack of ability.
    For myself, any material I want to perform pizz is first learned arco.

    The great trumpet player Bill Dixon said, "The instrument doesn't tell you what do".
    So, of course, you can do what you want with it, you can play with mallets, sticks, metal rods, etc. ()

    However, from a pedagogical standpoint, if you want the many technical benefits of even playing Bach poorly on the double bass, use the bow.
    Otherwise it really is a waste of time.

    A big +1 to all Doubler's advice. I was just working through #2 from Simandl 30 to strengthen my low end!

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