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bass audition book

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

  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on the page into real music, but all of a sudden it has to remember to ignore certain markings and fingerings which are no longer valid to you, the player!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. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I'm getting this strange feeling of Deja Vu!! ;)
  3. I know someone else published such an audition superbook that used to be sold by George Vance at www.slavapub.net. It was called something like, "The Get a Job Bass Book" and sold for something like $65 or more. How much would you sell your interesting masterwork for?
  4. You're reffering to the "Real Get a Job Book". It's a cool book.

    To the starter of this thread: Does your book contain only excerpts or complete parts?
  5. doublebassist


    Dec 31, 2002
    Hi again!

    Sorry for the delay in replying...it's tax time here!

    Anyway, don't confuse my book with "The Real Get A Job Book". I have that book and it's because I'm disappointed in it that I went ahead to create my book. The "real book" has 295 pages and is in one volume. My book has 1065 pages and is in 3 volumes with 250 excerpts - all alphabetical. Also, I have tried to contain as many complete parts to important works as I can - ie all 9 Beethoven Symphonies are complete, all Brahms, the 4 big Dvorak, Mendelssohn 3,4,5, Mozart 34,35,36,38,39,40,41, PerQuesta, Serenade 7,...etc. these are complete. The opera excerpts are excerpted for obvious reasons and include all the big operas on audition lists for opera pits - ie Wagner's Ring Cycle plus Lohengrin, Meistersinger, Rhiengold, Rienzi, etc, some of the Verdi include Macbeth, Don Carlo, Otello, Falstaff, etc.
    I've got 17 Haydn symphonies excerpted, all 10 Bruckner, all Reger, 4 Sibelius, 15 Shostakovich, 14 Strauss tone poems...just to name a few (there are 250 excerpts in total).

    I wanted not only to have a reference source for auditions, but an educational tool as well. This is the kind of book that even seasoned professionals can open up and find new material to practise sightreading. I know this from several teachers who have my book and went crazy for it. The students are loving it because they don't have to buy all the Zimmerman books and liquid paper out all the unwanted bowings and fingerings. Also, I used a fairly heavy gage 28lb paper which will stand the test of time - even with multiple rebowings and erasures!

    If you have any more questions or wish to obtain a copy then email me anytime at db69man69@hotmail.com.

  6. dubblebubble

    Is this still available?
  7. hello there
    rather than paying inordinate amounts of money for good clean parts (cos i agree completely- the concert/audition/exam is guaranteed to e the one time you look at all the extra fingering etc. and say "hang on a sec"!), why not transcribe the parts in a notation program (sibelius, finale...um, can't think of any others). that way you can keep it on a disc and just print off the ones you need each time.
    i realise there are issues of copyright there, but i doubt you'll be getting a knock on the door unless you try and sell it commercially...

    it's just a thought- i have no doubt this was considered and discounted for some thouroughly practical reason i've missed!
    cheers m'dears

  8. well, the issue is time. I am in orchestral management and have a 50 mile communte which leaves little time for the wife and the bass. i'd rather pay and have it...i think i'll just snag last-stand copies from the library once it gets moved on-site this month.

    still like to find out more about that book, though.
  9. T Sony

    T Sony

    Mar 5, 2004
    I'm interested in purchasing this book from you...

    I'll take 2 copies depending on price... let me know

  10. the person who posted this thread seems to have disappeared, i've been trying to find him/her for months.
  11. cgmo


    Jul 19, 2005
    I have looked for this book with no luck and figure it might be just as easy to make my own. Would anyone be willing to post the contents? I have a good idea about what should be in there, but I would like to know what is in that book in case I leave anything out. Thanks for the help!!!

  12. Buy the Zimmerman books with the COMPLETE DOUBLE BASS PARTS.
    These are usually Kalmus copies, but they do quite fine, and they are pretty much the "standard". for bass auditions. Any deviation from the Zimmerman parts is definintely carefully noted in professional audition lists; all the bass players "out there" know what everyone's working from!

    You should start applyling to auditions, or if totally not ready, collect old lists from other players, and make small bound "books" of the complete bass parts for all the music from each list.

    You can also go to the "auditions" forum of this very website, and peruse the full list of "standards".
  13. cgmo


    Jul 19, 2005
    Thanks for the input! I actually have all of the Zim. parts, etc. I was mainly wanting to know what the contents of the Get a Job book were to make sure I am not missing anything as I assemble my own "superauditionbook". I thought it would be nice to have one big binder with everything as opposed to a bunch of books and misc. photocopies. Anyone have a list of "everything"? Thanks
  14. Go to the Orchestra Auditions forum, under "how to prepare"

    Here's my favorite from that thread:
    Here is a quote from a discussion of auditions on "double bass list" a few years ago. An assistant principal wrote in:

    "Auditions are a cruel fact of life. The more you do the better you get {and the more you know what and how to prepare}.
    "I listen to heaps of auditions each year. What I hear are "the common mistakes" done over and over by most of the candidates. If you are given a list of excerpts, take the time to listen to and learn the entire movements that are excerpted. Lack of style or making it obvious that you don't know the piece is an easy way to leave an audition quickly.
    "Rhythm is the next trouble spot. By rhythm, it is important to stress that there are two aspects: _1_ playing the correct sequence of long and short notes, then playing the correct pulse. _2_ being able to demonstrate aurally where the beat pulse is and how it modulates if there are any tempo fluctuations. If there is a pickup note, everyone on the other side of the screen should be able to *hear* that it is a pickup even if they don't know that section of the piece. Tecnically speaking, that means that you might use half the amount of bow on the pickup that you use on the following downbeat, even though they may both be eighth notes.
    "Nervous Rhythm is extremely common in auditions. This is the tendency to shorten any long note value (or rest) and rush on to the next note. EVERYONE does it sometime. If you know that going in, you can take precautions against it. DON'T THINK THAT YOU DON'T HAVE THAT PROBLEM.
    "When working up an audition you must use a tape recorder. You must sing phrasing and gradual crescendos over and over until they're convincing with your voice, then make it so with the instrument." Taping these attempts will let you listen to your self and see how close you're coming to what you *think* you're doing. If you don't use a tape recorder and someone else at the audition does, who do you suppose is going to hear themselves better and be more prepared?

    Always use a metronome in your preparations. Use a tuner, and have it playing the tonic of the excerpt you're practicing. Having a tuner with a needle moving on each note doesn't teach you or your ear anything and is not necessarily "in tune" either, whereas a tonic "drone" lets your ear help you actually be in tune with the something, the key of the piece, and yourself.

    The more auditions you take, the more you get used to nervousness. Go out of your way to perform often and get used to being "on the spot." You need to practice *performing* to get better at performing.

    As far as repertoire, an auditioning bassist can expect to practice the *complete* bass parts to the following (among others):

    Bach: Orchestral Suite #2
    Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra
    Beethoven: All Symphonies, but most notably #s 3, 5, 7, 9
    Berlioz: Symphonie Phantastique, Roman Festival Overture
    Brahms: Symphonies 1 & 2 most often, occasionally #3 or 4
    Bruckner: Sym: 5, 8, 9
    Haydn: Sym: #88
    Mahler: Sym: 2, 5
    Mendelssohn: Sym: #3(Scottish) & 4(Italian)
    Mozart: Sym: 35 (Haffner), 39, 40, 41 (Jupiter)
    Shostakovich: Sym: 5
    Schubert: Sym: 9 in C major ("The Great")
    Smetana: Overture "The Bartered Bride"
    Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Don Juan, Also Sprach Zarathustra
    Tchaikowsky: Sym: #4

    Bach: Violin Concerto #2
    Britten:Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
    Ginastera: Variationes Concertantes, Concerto per Corde
    Haydn Symphonies #6, 7, 8, 31, 45
    Mahler: Symphony #1
    Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
    Prokofiev: Lt. Kije, Romeo and Juliet suites
    Saint-Saens: Le Carnaval des Animaux
    Stravinsky: Pulcinella
    Verdi: Othello, Rigoletto
  15. cgmo


    Jul 19, 2005
    THANKS!!! That's exactly what I was looking for.