cello as bass for small girl?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by zdirector, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. zdirector

    zdirector Guest

    Jan 14, 2009
    I have a small, fourth grade daughter who has low-vision.

    She started on double-bass 1/8. The school is concerned about safety and her carrying it around.

    The teacher suggested getting a cello and stringing it as a bass. How is this done?

  2. Paul Warburton

    Paul Warburton In Memoriam

    Aug 17, 2003
    Denver, Co.
    Just tune it, like a bass, in fourths.
    Many great jazz bassists have done this in the past as a solo vehicle. Most notable, for me, Oscar Pettiford and Red Mitchell. I did this myownself, back in the 60's....great fun!
    Oscar, because of a broken leg, spent some time in a hospital in traction and just wanted to play and keep his chops up.....this evolved into a series of great recordings using the cello as a pizzicato solo instrument....tuned in fourths. Of course, an octave up from the bass.
    In terms of arco, (bowing) she will have to use the Fench style bow, as opposed to the German. And please remember it WILL be an octave up, but will keep her afloat for a certain amount of time.
    Best of luck!
  3. Bass Barrister

    Bass Barrister Guest

    Nov 4, 2004
    This should be the school's problem, not your daughter's.

    Assuming you are in the USA (or in an EU country), educational institutions have a legal obligation to accomodate students with disabilities. Your school, you, and your daughter should work together to find a solution that works for all. Often, some creative thinking is all that's needed. For example, if the school can provide a safe storage space for the instrument, your daugher would not have to carry it around.

    All that aside, I don't see that much of a size difference between a cello and a 1/8 sized bass. If she's a bass player, she should play a bass.

    Your daughter, and you, should be commended for taking up the challenge of playing an instrument while partially sighted. It's not easy.
  4. I'd go with what Bass Barrister says. After all, he has "barrister" in his name.