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electric to upright trasitions

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by spacecanoe, Jul 13, 2005.


  1. spacecanoe

    spacecanoe

    Aug 6, 2002
    canaduh
    hey guys bought my first uprihgt today and itll be in my hands tomorrow after the luthier does his thing with it. anyways. as a long time electric bassist and new comer to the upright i was wondering if you had any technique advice or tips. any books you can suggest on playing techniques or anything would be greatly appreciated!

    thanks alot

    jer :bassist:
     
  2. Your main task is to get a good teacher. Where in Canada do you live? I might be able to suggest somebody for you depending on the city. I know a lot of different orchestral players across the country.

    As far as books are concerned, when used in conjunction with a good teacher, I recommend the Bille studies. They are highly musical and very comprehensive. A good balance of bowing technique and left hand (although I do suggest replacing all the '3rd' finger markings with 2nd finger - using the third finger is an antiquated technique that has largely fallen out of use).

    A lot of people will probably steer you toward the Simandl method book(s), but I discourage their use in favour of Bille. IMO Simandl leaves some extremely important bowing techniques until VERY late in the student's development. Not to mention the fact that Bille is infinitely more musical to the ear which is much more of a motivation when it comes time to practice.

    The main advice though is - get a good teacher and sooner rather than later.
     
  3. spacecanoe

    spacecanoe

    Aug 6, 2002
    canaduh
    vancouver bc my friend... yea i do want to track down a good teach when the money permits... alas this beasty set me back a bit.
     
  4. Well, try the VSO guys like Ken Friedman or Dave Brown. Just phone up the orchestra and I'm sure they'll put you in touch with somebody. Dave's a heck of a nice guy.
     
  5. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Definitely go for a good teacher ASAP.

    That said, depending on if you're going classical or jazz, Rufus Reid - The Evolving Bassist might be a GREAT resource for you. The book and DVD are heavily centred on jazz without a LOT on bowing (he does give the basics, though.) Half the DVD is spent on being a jazz bassist, and half is spent on playing upright bass. The second half is a HUGE help, and will provide a lot of really great instruction that will get you started until you can get a teacher. If we're talking newbies without teachers, this DVD and a full-length mirror (so you can check your technique, not your biceps!) would solve a lot of problems...it's by no means a solution to the "I have no teacher" problem -- kind of like how a band-aid isn't a solution to a gunshot wound -- but it will help.

    EDIT: By the by, I'm an electric bassist of 3 and a half years and a DB'er of 6 months. Probably the biggest problem you'll find with the instrument initially will be fatigue, unless you're doing regular 4 hour gigs on slab. If it hurts, stop. "No pain, no gain" should NOT BE IN A MUSICIAN'S VOCABULARY. That said, it seems pretty normal to get fatigued easily on DB initially. It won't take long before those forearms buff up though! I couldn't play for more than a couple minutes when I first started, and tonight I did a 2 hour gig (my first jazz gig :D) after a 3.5 hour rehearsal on a bass with action much higher and much higher tension strings. The muscles will develop, just takes a bit o' time.
     
  6. spacecanoe

    spacecanoe

    Aug 6, 2002
    canaduh
    yea im not afraid of fatigue at all ill probably dedicate at least 2 months of just upright ... no electric im looking forward to the challange!
     
  7. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    And quite a challenge it is! Also, another note on forearms and muscle development -- you might find this a bit funny/odd.

    Hold your left arm with your elbow at 90° angle, make a fist so that your knuckles are facing up and flex your forearm, and follow along the top. Along there are where the muscles are going to get pretty decent after playing upright for a while.

    Now, hold your right arm at the same angle. The part just past the inside of the crook of your elbow is going to get big and muscley there.

    It feels pretty weird to me, and overall terribly unbalanced. Oh well. "You know you're a bass player when..."
     
  8. for a few lessons, you might try to track down chris light, he teaches at kwantlen university and i believe teaches privately too.