Bach on 7-string bass (google video)

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by elros, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    Does this deserve its own TB recordings thread or what?
  2. Suckbird

    Suckbird Inactive

    May 4, 2004
    well, pretty sloppy in my opinion...

    there's alot of fretbuzz going on when you're changing handpositions, and some fretbuzz in general...

    by the way, there's no need for a 7 string on that song...
  3. reitedasc


    Jun 23, 2005
    I've allready seen it at gitarnorge and I liked it alot allthough I would'nt have posted it before I could play it just a little better. Good work anyway, it's a very long piece.

    There is somthing wery rewarding about playing classical music on bass!
  4. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman

    Feb 26, 2003
    I think you are doing a good job.Just keep playing and recording
  5. That's a hard piece. I've been working on it on and off for nearly 10 years and I'm not ready to record it yet. You need at least a 6-string to play that one at all but a 7-string does make it much easier to play certain parts fluently. The same goes for all of the Sonatas and Partitas.

    I think that's a pretty good recording of a very difficult piece. I've spotted some places where he could probably do better in a different position. These are the things that it takes a long time to get down. For every phrase, there's an optimal position and method of playing it. Finding these positions takes a lot of time and experimentation. I've been refining my arrangement for 10 years and I still find things to change.

    I respect Hallgeir for beating to me on the punch with that one. I have had some other recordings on the web for a while at though. :)

    Keep your eyes open for more info about:


    - Dave
  6. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
  7. 1 + Bay Area bassists kick ass ! :bassist:
  8. Decently done ... but it didn't flow very smoothly, and to be honest I found it quite boring.
  9. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2002
    Putnam, CT
    Excellent work, elros!! The Listerud sounds wonderful, too.
  10. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Your playing was good, and it was definitely a challenging performance, but... I found it to be really boring. Not really a slag on you, but that type of music, it's great to think about, great to learn about, and sometimes great to perform it, though, it sounded more like an exercise routine than an actual performance. Again, not trying to knock, I think it's the nature of the music more than the nature of the playing.
  11. I think that the Preludio is meant to be played a bit faster. That's part of what makes it so challenging. I think you would find it not so boring at the normal tempo.

    That work was transcribed for orchestra as the Sinfonia to Cantata 29. The whole Partita also exists for Lute/Keyboard.

    - Dave
  12. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    Thanks for feedback, people.

    I spent quite a while trying to figure out how to translate that piece to the seven string bass guitar, and when I was done I found that I needed to record it lest I should forget how I did it.
    Now, I am quite aware of most of the shortcomings of this particular performance: firstly it's quite slow (because I couldn't play it faster and retain any decent accuracy) - it is supposed to be more like 80 bpm or thereabout. Also my techique is failing at times - some fingerings are perhaps not the optimal solution (I'd like to know what you have arrived at, Dave!) and I need to practice, really. But the third thing, which to me is most difficult to understand, is the phrasing: I'm not classicaly trained, and I have a hard time grasping the concepts of classical phrasing. All I know is that it sounds wonderful when done properly, and that I'm not doing it properly.
    (and, for some reason, when I set the camera up and started recording, it became much more difficult to achieve one decent take....)

    The motivation behind this exercise was to learn, not to be able to perform in public. (I don't concider TB public - I posted here to get constructive criticism.) I've learnt a whole lot in the process of translating the piece to the bass. I wanted to learn to navigate that big 7-string neck, and I've gotten better at that (but I still have a long way to go before I'm as comfortable as I were on my 4); this includes moving rather quickly across many strings, I had to re-learn some hand positions to achieve proper muting, among other things. But it felt as though I learnt more about music, especially about composition. Bach was a genius. I can't properly explain what's going on, because I don't understand it very well; but there are themes that are repeated, getting new meanings because of different contexts.... or something. I find it deeply facinating.

    I keep playing this piece over and over, almost every day, and find that it's still quite darn difficult, especially some passages.
    Some day, perhaps, I'll be able to play it in its proper tempo, with the proper classical phrasing (if I ever figure that out) and with clean technique.

    Oh, BTW: I chose this particular piece (perludio from partita #3 in E major, by Johann Sebastian Bach) because I've been watching Béla Fleck play it on the five string banjo, on the "Live at the Quick" DVD. And yes, it could probably be played on a 24 fret 4-string bass - it doesn't need the range of a 7-string.

  13. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    Another BTW: Dave Grossman, Garry Goodman and John Patitucci have been great inspirations when it comes to playing classical music on the bass.
  14. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    This seems to be a great technical exercise and a great stepping stone to better things, but I agree with everybody else in that it's quite boring to listen to. Yes, there were flubs which are entirely forgivable, but in order to keep it interesting and stylistically correct (you got the second part), it should go faster. But great start, it's inspired me to start back up again with my classical fingerstyle and refresh my fingerings on Bach's Prelude from the 1st Cello Suite in G major.
  15. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    This is only my opinion, so I hope it doesn't anger anyone: I hate the way classical music sounds on an electric bass. Sure the notes are all there, but the tonality totally clashes. Hearing Stu Hamm do Moonlight Sonata makes me wanna barf. Classical music arranged and played on a bass is impressive, yes, but I don't like how it sounds.
  16. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
  17. middlebit


    Sep 10, 2005
    I haven't heard Stu's version but Marcus Miller's recording has the same effect on me - violently so! I love the sound of Marcus' bass (I even have his signature Fender), but I just consider his arrangements to be decidedly bad taste.Smooth jazz or Nu-soul, call it what you want - it doesn't go with classical :meh:
  18. What other recordings of classical music on the bass have you heard? Are you really disparaging all classical music on bass because you didn't like Stu Hamm's recording?

    - Dave
  19. i love your clasical stuff on bass, i didn't know that you posted here.

  20. HaVIC5, do you have some recordings available? The 1st Prelude was my first Bach piece. I have an old recording at

    I'd like to hear your version.

    - Dave