Bach Minuet (Zimmerman p.16)

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Garagiste, Jun 24, 2020.


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  1. Garagiste

    Garagiste

    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    I’ve been trying to record myself more to measure progress. I’ve been working out of this book for months now (“Bach For The Young Bass Player”). It’s handy to have a bunch of things to just flip through and see where you land. Feedback appreciated!

     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2020
    Anne Millington and jallenbass like this.
  2. Well done! It's not easy to record oneself, much less post it on the internet soliciting feedback from strangers.

    A few things I'll comment on:
    1. Vibrato -- At this stage leave it out. It'll be one less thing to worry about and it will force you to nail the pitch which brings me to...
    2. Intonation -- I'd say slow it down and break the piece into smaller parts to work on. Use other notes on the bass like open strings or harmonics to check your intonation on each note, or even a piano if you can stand next to one and manage it.
    3. Lead with the left hand -- at times it sounds like the bow is getting ahead of your left hand. The left hand needs to secure the note an instant before the bow hits it.
    4. Secure those notes! Lots of good posts here about using arm weight, etc.
    5. Keep the bow weight into the string, it sounds like it's coming out at times. When you're ready to apply a Baroque phrasing then you have something to shape. But for now I would say focus on a good, clean, consistent sound. That in itself is a whole other subject...

    Hope that helps!
     
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  3. Garagiste

    Garagiste

    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    Very helpful, thank you. You are right, I have not ever had an official lesson or investigated vibrato. I’m just a dumb jazzer wading into this world of arco bass. It’s tough but very rewarding!
     
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  4. Dogfightgiggle

    Dogfightgiggle

    Mar 4, 2020
    Nice job!

    Maybe consider changing some of those fingerings. 4-4 ascending is usually something to avoid.

    Do you ever play seated?
     
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  5. Garagiste

    Garagiste

    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    *never had an official lesson on vibrato. I’m in NYC and have had lots of lessons with amazing players.
     
  6. Garagiste

    Garagiste

    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    Seated had never felt natural to me. But it is probably worth pursuing because I’m not young and I expend a fair amount of energy while playing just due to standing. I’ll have to go back and find those sections where I do 4-4 ascending. Thanks!
     
  7. Anne Millington

    Anne Millington

    Dec 16, 2017
    I swear some are born with a good vibrato, and the rest of us have to learn it. As you probably can hear, vibrato width and intensity are purveyors of meaning in a note, and as such vary with what you want to communicate. So my trick is to practice the whole range of vibrato width by using a metronome and whole bows: very wide, with almost a 180 rotation of the left wrist, to a very narrow fluctuation, increasing the frequency by matching the metronome. Even though that is not very musical sounding, it gives you the motor coordination to control your vibration at all frequencies, without having it be a jerky, inconsistent reflex (not that yours is :) ). That way, you can use a very wide, sonorous vibrato on slower, lower notes, and a quicker stronger frequency in the higher registers, and in fast passages when appropriate.

    Many cellists and bassists use a very quick, nervous sounding vibrato; basically one frequency for all uses. That does not serve the music well. You need to have control throughout to support your intent. You can also practice whole bow scales this way, and concentrate on keeping your vibrato intact from one note to the next. Just some more boring practice ideas, but man, they do pay off.

    I have also heard bassists say that less is more w/ DB vibrato particularly when playing with others. After all bass is the foundation, and it needs to be solid.
     
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  8. Papageno

    Papageno

    Nov 16, 2015
    France
    That is something I should do too.

    One suggestion: you might try to select a view angle that enables to see clearly both hands. Here one cannot see well your left hand which is hidden by the music stander (also portrait orientation does not work well on YouTube videos).
     
    Garagiste likes this.
  9. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    My teacher is pushing me into [correct] vibrato; rotating the wrist is difficult for me to control, especially when bowing. It's like rubbing my belly while patting my head. She tells me to practice it pizzicato, with a metronome.
     
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  10. Anne Millington

    Anne Millington

    Dec 16, 2017
    And I can tell you what is even harder! Violin/viola vibrato. I briefly played viola, and only got within shouting distance of a good vibrato. It is a whole different animal than cello/bass vibrato.
     
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  11. Dogfightgiggle

    Dogfightgiggle

    Mar 4, 2020
    Sitting may help you focus.

    You may already work like this, but just in case:

    I would consider a careful consideration of your shifting concept before worrying much about vibrato.

    Start out with an unbroken/gliss shift, then experiment with hiding the shift by changing LH pressure. How legato can it be?

    Then look at bow speed and pressure during the shift.

    Break out the microscope. Take just one 3 or 4 note pattern from the piece and practice it in different keys, prioritize keys that give you a harmonic or other sympathetic vibration to reference.

    Write the exercise out away from the bass, include two different fingerings.
     
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  12. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2010
    A small suggestion:
    3 and 4 note progressive scales helped me clean up my shifting (along with vomiting).
    Check out the Bradetich book.

    3 Note Progressive.jpeg

    4 Note Progressive.jpeg
     
  13. Garagiste

    Garagiste

    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    Agreed. This was quick and dirty.
     
  14. Garagiste

    Garagiste

    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    Sounds like solid advice, thanks!
     
  15. Garagiste

    Garagiste

    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    Fantastic, thanks Carl!
     
  16. Garagiste

    Garagiste

    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks!
     
  17. Garagiste

    Garagiste

    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    The microscope idea is actually very helpful. I realized I was just “trying to get through this without mistakes” but it really makes sense to analyze this stuff measure by measure. I’ve marked up the chart way more now with fingerings and bow indications. Helps a lot.
     
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  18. Primary

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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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