cello-like sound?

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by paganinibassist, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. paganinibassist


    Jul 30, 2005
    A few months ago i was asked to perform the Cello solo of the Vivaldi Concerto in D minor (Opus 3. NO.11) on bass with orchestra because no capable cellist was available. After the performance i was asked to perform it again in October. Since its a cello solo, i am playing everything an octave higher. The hard part is not all the "runs" or how high the notes are, The hard part is making the bass sound like a cello. I understand that the bass is not a cello and therefore cannot exactly sound like one, but i still have that desire to acchieve a similar sound. Any Advice with strings setup or teqnique...

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Corelli strings generally get a more singing "cello like" tone in the upper register. They may be worth a shot. Gary Karr uses these on his "Amati" bass.
  3. G-force


    Jul 1, 2004
    oslo Norway
    Try using ONLY cello/violin rosin and not so much pressure on the strings. Of course I would not reccomend trying to sound like a cello but as you asked I'll say DON*T DO IT.
    You can sound BETTER than a cello on the bass.
    I am curious as to what you mean by "like a cello" .
    Happy hunting
  4. I would suggest the different rosin to. A rosin that is really smooth that works well is the Jade Violin/Cello rosin. That might work out.
  5. paganinibassist


    Jul 30, 2005
    When i said "like a cello" as in the cello sound i basically meant that i want to somewhat play it as a cello Solo, the way in which it was written. I have also noticed when i reherse with the orchestra,the music is somewhat screaming for a tighter sound and also way more bright, Which im not sure that the bass can produce or Should
  6. If you want a brighter sound, you might consider transposing your part for solo tuning.

    Then again, it doesn't make any sense to me as to why you want to sound like a cello. If you really want a celloistic sound, learn how to play cello. The bass should sound like a bass.
  7. Justin K-ski

    Justin K-ski

    May 13, 2005

    Never knew you where here. It's justin, the little asian bass player. I need o go with you to rehersal tomorrow, I dont know how to get to the high school.
  8. Hey Justin. If I don't see you, take the #3 Castle/Maroon bus that comes around 8:27 or 8:47. Rehearsal starts at 9:15.

    Sorry for hijacking the thread.
  9. classicalband


    Feb 18, 2005

    clip the wings off your bridge. this will give you a more focused, articulate and smooth sound.

  10. Abjimajik


    Sep 26, 2004
    Luton, England
    Does that really work?
  11. You *can* get a Tight, strong sound acceptable for solos, GARY KARR - style.

    Here's an example; watch the Very Slow Bow, very close to the bridge, even during the Really Fast stuff.

    (This bassist, Evan, was a Sophomore at U. Mich at the time of this Kennedy Center concert!)

    The bass solo is about 30 minutes into this little video:
  12. springbogen

    springbogen Guest

    Sep 24, 2005
    Kpo is absoutely right. The only way to get a cello like sound is to play as close to the bridge as possible, and make sure the is bow hair is completely flat on the string. Less rosin helps, and you need to have great vibrato in the upper register.
  13. AndreasH


    Apr 8, 2005
    Do you have solo strings on your bass?
    Cause that provides a more Cello-like tone IMO.
  14. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Might it be healthier to want a 'brighter sound' or 'clearer sound' or perhaps a more 'vocal' sound instead of trying to use the wrong tool? Why not record a rehearsal and critique your sound with no thought of the cello, rather playing the beans out of the passage with the instrument that you're playing?

    Edgar Meyer talks about this a bit in the liner notes for the Cello Suites CD. Mentions that the thicker and slower sound of the bass bringing out a different perspective on the suites rather than bemoaning that he wasn't on a cello.

    Just a thought.