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"Correct" Seating Posture

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by moopants, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. moopants


    Oct 21, 2006
    Lake Charles, LA
    Is there any certain way to hold the bass when you are seated on a stool? I found that if I lean the bass on my left leg (I am right-handed) and play it like that, it's easier to play, especially to bow. Is there really a wrong way to sit?
  2. anonymous12251111

    anonymous12251111 Inactive

    Apr 6, 2007
    Hi there, the way I was taught to sit stemmed from Petracchi's school of standing. Petracchi felt that when you sit you should emulate the ergonomically friendly posture of standing but just have something to sit on. This means sitting on a stool 3-4 inches shorter than your pants inseam, your abs supporting your straight back, your left leg on a low rung of a stool (the higher the rung the more it will throw off the quilter of your spine) and your right foot flat on the floor.

    There are many different school of sittings - don't worry about looking good, find a way of tilting the double bass inwards so you can bow accurately on all strings.

    I know I'm in the correct position when I can bow comfortably on the g-string at the very tip of my bow, for me (a french bow player) this means turning the bass inwards while having my left knee hit the back of the instrument.

    By having your knee/leg in contact with the back of the bass it should dampen it, to counter this I use a very large viola shoulder rest "play on air" which is really just an inflatable cushion. The genius of this is that it gently clamps onto the ribs of your instrument and has no contact with the back of the bass. You can now rest your left knee/leg on the device without any dampening of the back. This method was taught to me by Oslo bassist and pedagogue Gnut Guettler.

    Just remember there is no wrong way to sit, you have to modify everything to fit your body, don't try too much to emulate others. :)

    Best of luck.
  3. I used to let the body of the bass rest inbetween my legs and support the back with my left leg. But then my teacher said I should try a more cello approach to sitting where he had my fixture the bass inbetween my knees and having it pretty vertical as apposed to slightly angled. This seemed to do the trick. sitting like this makes you feel more like your are behind the bass and is a different feeling but it makes going between thumb and regular positions a sinch since you have so much arm room to do so.

    I'm not sure if this was standard for sitting I just thought I'd put in my two cents.
  4. mcnaire2004


    Jan 17, 2006
    I don't think it matters as long as you are ready to play and you don't make noise. I have seen many different methods of holding the bass and sitting with it at the same time.
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