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Classical Music on the electric bass

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Ivan R, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. Ivan R

    Ivan R

    Jun 8, 2012
    Hi there,

    I'm interested in learning a couple of classical pieces on my fretless electric.

    Any suggestions?

  2. ProgRocker


    Mar 25, 2011
    Hall of the mountain king?
    Quantized Harmonic and arkocal like this.
  3. pocketgroove


    Jun 28, 2010
    I don't know how pertinent this is, but I've been looking at Bach's inventions lately. They're an excellent study in harmony and counter-melody. Of course, the lines are derived directly from the piano, and I realize you may actually be looking for classical bass parts. Either way, good luck!
  4. The Bach cello suites are good on bass. I even have a book of tabs kicking around, so they must be popular.
  5. ubnomnar

    ubnomnar Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    So Cal
    Mel Bay's "J.S. Bach for Bass" by Josquin des Pres is a lot of fun.

    You can find it at Amazon.
  6. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005

    They have the bass parts for all standard orchestral rep. I don't play DB, but you can do all the parts on EB along with the recording. Its a real trip to play Schubert, Mahler, Beethoven. Great for learning classical music, really great for reading chops.
  7. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    While we're at it, http://www.imslp.org/ has a pile of public domain classical charts. Playing along, or even merely reading along, to the great symphonies is a great exercise.
  8. My favorite is Toccata and Fugue in Dm. The middle organ at least.
  9. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
  10. 73maverick


    Apr 30, 2012
    I'm a newbie electric bassist with a background in classical piano and organ, and this is one of my favorites: "Sleepers Awake," JS Bach

    I love this piece so much, it was the processional at my wedding. Haven't actually tried it yet, but I've got the sheet music and it's on my short list for 2013...
  11. I don't know much about classical music but there is a pretty
    easy classical tune that I like to play. It is Gounod's Petit Scherzo.
    You can find it here in MIDI form:
    Huckerts MIDI files for double bass
  12. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Bach. Simple. Beautiful. I learned to tap out some Bach on fretted bass years ago. EQed well it actually sounded really nice. But I would start with just about anything Baroque. You just can't beat the simplicity and beauty of the harmonies of Baroque music to me. It's what I listen to when I don't care if the bass player plays a P with flats.
  13. Woodstockz


    Sep 23, 2011
    San Diego, Ca
    +1 Bach. As Two Fingers said, Simple, Beautiful. I practice Cello suite 1 prelude before going to work in the morning, on a P-bass with flats. My playing ability, knowledge of the fretboard, and theory all improved since I have been working on the Suite.

    Ode to Joy [Beethoven] is also a good study and not too hard. They both sound great.
  14. Meremortal

    Meremortal Banned

    Dec 30, 2012
    Go on youtube and write in things like bach invention bass guitar , beethoven electric bass, concerto electric bass and stuff like that and you'll get fifty thousand vids. Some suck. Some are good. Some are great.
  15. Ivan R

    Ivan R

    Jun 8, 2012
    Thanks all for the suggestions. I already play the first movement of the 1st Cello suite, so I'm now on to the second (Allemande).
  16. Will Kelly

    Will Kelly

    Mar 3, 2010
    Try some of the Dotzauer Cello Etudes.

    They are great as as reading/technical exercises and a little more technically involved than the Bach cello suites. IMO, the Bach cello suites are more musically challenging. Have fun... and remember don't post clip of yourself playing these on the double bass side of Talkbass without a flame retardant suit on! :p

    A couple of years old... fatter, hairier and lamer...
  17. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Digital Brand Development and Product Development at GHS Strings
    That's a NICE resource; I usually resorted to having friends in the symphony let me borrow their music and then walk over to Kinkos.

    To the OP, the Bach Cello Suites are a nice one to start on, as there are a LOT of pieces and a number of really good recordings to use as reference. Just remember, with Bach's stuff (and all solo classical material, really), while the technical aspects are important, the phrasing and feel of the music will take the front seat.

    Other DB lit that I use that may be of interest are the etudes from Stroch-Hrabe, and anything from Bottesini, Dragonetti or Koussevitsky.
    Oldschool94 likes this.
  18. Bisounourse


    Jun 21, 2012
    Gent, Belgium
    *shrug* I had to play those when I was still learning cello. I know that they were quite frustrating as a 14 year old...
  19. (Following up on a recent thread by OP on Jazz....)

    For a twist - Carmen by Bizet. Habanera is fun, and once you've learned it there's a few jazzed-up versions on YouTube too.
  20. 73maverick


    Apr 30, 2012
    My background is in classical piano, and my favorite J.S. Bach piece is "Sleepers Awake." I play the melody on electric bass. Here it is on strings at a slow tempo:

    I have a bass clef score in C I put together with my teacher's help, I'd be glad to share if you're interested!