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Doubling on Cello

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by JoshR, Sep 27, 2004.


  1. JoshR

    JoshR

    May 15, 2003
    I'm an experienced bass player and am thinking of learning cello. Any tips? I'm especially interested in opinions about tuning it in fourths or fifths.
     
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    If you tune it in fourths you're not really playing cello.
     
  3. I may be wrong, but I recall Oscar Pettiford tuned the cello in fourths, too.
    And Red Mitchell sure played bass even though he tuned it in fifths. ;)
    The way instrument is tuned may change the nature of how it´s played, but it won´t turn it to another instrument. Instresting subject...


    R2
     
  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    If you want to sit in a cello section, the 4ths v. 5ths argument would be akin to the lefty v. right thang.

    How about cello in 4ths a 'piccolo bass' and call it done.
     
  5. Right, Ray, that´s what I was thinking, exclusively. Like what O.P. and Ron Carter did.
    Sometimes I´m just too damn jazz oriented. :D

    R2
     
  6. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    So...any discussion on this? Other than the validity of tuning a cello in 4ths, that is. I'm particularly interested -- the cello is such an awesome instrument, I'd love to learn to play it.
     
  7. Istar

    Istar

    Apr 5, 2005
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Well even if you tune in fourths (and I don’t see why you should do that since it makes certain passages more difficult and not easier and if you don’t tune your lowest note a c you’ll wont be able to play certain (A LOT) pieces) your left hand fingering will be completely different, more notes in one position and they have something they call a Big grip (at least that is what they call it here in the Netherlands) which gives you even more reach in 1 position, also because of the relative position of the cello to your body your left arm position will be slightly different. And even your bowing technique must change slightly since not only is their bow longer but their rosin is different, smoother and less sticky, which requires you to use more bow. Not to mention the difference if you play German now.
     
  8. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002

    ergo, RM was not really playing bass cuz he tuned in 5ths ?
     
  9. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Nope. Contracello ;).

    Istar: Very cool. Any more info? Sorry, I'm greedy for all knowledge on the subject.
     
  10. Istar

    Istar

    Apr 5, 2005
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Hey No Problem,

    I get all my info from looking at my girlfriend who plays cello. It’s interesting to see the little differences. But my guess is that the best thing you can do is actually experience it yourself. Go and ask a cellist if he/she will show you the basics, you will notice the mayor differences soon enough. And it will be a lot more enlightening than anything I can type here. Ask around maybe you even know someone who actually made the switch to cello, or someone who played cello before switching to DB. Or maybe your teacher knows someone who can yell you more (I know my teacher actually played cello for a while.)
     
  11. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    My DB teacher actually does play cello, I'll ask him after our next lesson! Thanks.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Tune the cello in fifths.

    The only functional reason the bass is tuned in fourths is so that thirds are reachable without pivots or shifts.