Bass Audition Book

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by doublebassist, Dec 31, 2002.

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  1. doublebassist


    Dec 31, 2002

    I've been a professional player for a number of years and have done quite a few auditions in my time. One of the best things I ever did to improve my audition results was to completely re-edit my parts by removing all traces of OTHER editors' fingerings, bowings, phrasing etc. When I played from a clean part, I found that I was far less apt to make the "stupid" mistakes that seemed to only show up behind an audition screen.

    It makes sense when you think about it - we practise and train like crazy to be able to recognise and perform literally hundreds of minute details on any given page of music! Why then would we leave any marking on a page which is not of use!?! I believe that in doing so, one sends a confusing signal to the brain - it is working to translate everything on the page into real music, but all of a sudden it has to remember to ignore certain markings and fingerings which are no longer valid to you, the player! Though this "confusion" takes place on a largely subconscious level, it ultimately manifests itself in one's playing as a "stupid" mistake - and by stupid I mean that it is NOT a mistake based on lack of ability, experience, technique etc, but rather the mistake that makes one say "Why did I do that?".

    Crossing out or scribbling over an existing marking doesn't really help either! Think about it - so many markings in the music are simply dots, lines, dashes, and other symbols that we WISH to perform. Why then would we mark a prominent gouge in the music stating to our brain "Do everything else you see but ignore this!".

    There is no substitute for having a clean unmarked part to really learn or re-learn an excerpt. Unfortunately, it is either very difficult or very expensive to get clean parts. The Zimmerman books, while handy, contain so many bowings and fingerings that the amount of liquid paper one needs to create a clean part is prohibitive. Ordering individual parts from GOOD publishers is great, but extremely expensive.

    I've spent the last few years slowly making my own educational edition of a bass superbook with virtually every excerpt anyone would ever need. The parts are clean and on 28lb paper so that it can withstand multiple erasures as my technique expands and my fingerings change. So far it's 1068 pages in 3 volumes with about 250 parts! It's great for me as a reference - i.e. some of the more obscure audition requests, like the solo from Ravel's "L'Enfant et les Sortileges" - and it's great as a learning/practising tool for sightreading. When I do an audition I just copy the parts I need into a small binder and go!

    Feel free to e-mail me for any details or questions!
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

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