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C Extension Technique

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by jbenner913, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. jbenner913


    Mar 3, 2007
    Dayton, OH
    Is there a certain technique to use when playing on an extension without closers? The reason I ask is because my teacher used a mechanical extension back in the day, and when I play on the extension, my wrist really hurts after a while. I can't seem to figure out what to do to make it more comfortable.

  2. Make sure you keep your wrist straight. I play scales using my extension about everyday so that I can keep the movements in my muscles.
  3. Hi jbenner913;

    by without closers you mean a fingered extension?
    Try lowering the end pin, a teacher had me do that.
    It seems obvious but i didn't think of it and
    had the same trouble as you.
    he had me go as low as I could and watch the left hand with a mirror.
    it helped my left hand.

  4. Dave Whitla

    Dave Whitla

    Apr 25, 2006
    If you're going to lower the endpin, be careful that you don't end up bowing over the fingerboard as a result. If you can't still reach down with the bow comfortably you're just substituting one problem for another.
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    One thing to be aware of is that you no longer have your hand holding the Neck. It is easiest then to play the Ext. Orchestrally while sitting on a stool.

    Look at the Ext. parts on Beethoven's 3rd, 5th and most importantly the 6th storm individual 16ths. I spent several months on the 6th and when it was 'showtime' I was the only one of 5 in the section that could play it, Ext. or not. Not because I am better but because I worked on it. The Ext. work on the 5th is the easiest of the three mentioned and the 3rd jumps a lot so you have to keep resetting the Ext. Stops 1/2 step as you go. I think that was harder for me than the 6th. overall.

    Also, the Brandenburg's are hard as they are intended for a 5-string I think. Hunt for as much Ext. parts as you can and practice them but get on a Stool so your hand is free to move.
  6. mcnaire2004


    Jan 17, 2006
    Well, the bass should have little to know support by your left hand when you are holding it. Sometimes, you have to, but generaly you don't want your left hand to be a crutch. You just have to get used to reaching up there.

    Now on my fingered extension I almost never grab the "grab spot" behind the extension. Unless, I am olding a D or a Eb out for a long period of time. Sometimes for the Eb I'll actually have my thumb behind the base of the scroll so I can do it first finger. Fingering wise, I can usually grab 1D with 2 on the Eb. Or 1Eb with 2 on the E. It is a bit of a stretch but I can get 1C# with 2D. Just get used to holding it there, and shifting around. Sometimes for fast passages I will 1 it the whole way.

    To get used to it without changing your endpin height, or sitting to standing or standing to sitting. I'd just do vomits from the low D to E and G and A. Just things like this and practice quality notes and control of the bass.

    POOPSMITH Banned

    Mar 26, 2007
    Scranton PA
    yea plz!:bassist:
  8. ARTSchitect

    ARTSchitect Banned

    Feb 19, 2008
    Right on!:hyper:
  9. JayR


    Nov 9, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    I just did Eroica in concert for the first time in my life tonight and I spent a good deal of time working on that passage to make the shifts and get all my gates closed in time. Totally nailed it. It felt freaking awesome. I'm the only guy in the section with a gated extension too, and I finally felt like I had justified my mechanism choice.
  10. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    We had only 3 Basses for that concert with a smaller Orchestra that I play in and I had little time to work on it as I had a masterworks concert with another larger regional Orchestra and had to put my practice time to the main Orchestra. There was one note I had trouble hitting in time while closing latches so I made sure the other 2 players covered me on that note, possibly an octave, can't recall. I am sure if I had the time I could have done better but as a section of 3 and using I believe my Martini (or was it the Gilkes?, Bisiach?, can't remember which Bass) we pulled it off as a section.

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