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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by MacMcBass, Nov 6, 2002.

  1. MacMcBass


    Dec 16, 2000
    Need some input and advice. I am in my high school jazz band and orchestra. I play both the electric guitar and upright bass. When I go to college I intend to study the double bass.
    My problem is that my current high school jazz band teacher will not allow the use of the double bass. Every piece we play she insists upon on only using the bass guitar. I have asked if I could use the double bass on just one or two pieces. She will not allow it. I have offered to purchase a pick up for the bass. No go. I have explained to her that I am not feeling challenged and that I do not feel that she is help preparing me for college. Every college and university that I am interested has a double bass lab not an electric guitar lab. My parents currently pay for private instruction with a double bass instructor with the focus being on orchestra and chamber music. They have offered to pay for a double bass instructor that could help me the jazz but I told them not to waste the money. How do I persuade my high school jazz band teacher to allow the use of the double bass on just a few pieces?


  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I'm not sure how this fits into your school schedule/plan, etc. Meaning, is the lab band extra-curricular?

    In the case that it is, exercise your presence as a bass player and tell the director that you're no longer interested in playing with the band. If she wants you back bad enough, she'll come and get you. Get an amp-carrier out of the deal.

    If dropping out of it will screw things up for you grade-wise, then put up and shut up and get through it.

    No money on a teacher could be wasted, unless you just physically don't have the time to work on the lessons.
  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    What Ray said.

    My high-school teacher said similar things to me (in 1978). He was worried that I would play out-of-tune -- imagine that, me?

    I said **** him. I left the plank behind, brought the double-bass, played the show and grinned. Sometimes it just comes down to ignorance. After all, the director is never a bass-player, eh?
  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Bass players are too busy working, unless it's an over-achieving bass player like Mingus.
  5. Bassists can be hard to find. Is there anyone to fill your spot? If not, their screwed if you walk, (not pun intended) so just bring up that possibility.

    I think that in some jazz songs, and electric bass is more appropriate, but there are definitely ones where the upright tone is better.
  6. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    My jazz band director is a baritone horn player. I play both instruments in my jazz band, both the big band and the combo (after school). He understands the importance of both tones. We are also in the top 3 bands in the state. Coincedence? I think not :D
  7. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Hey -- Velveeta is still on the market. Need there be more said?
  8. Seppie


    Aug 14, 2002
    Austria, Vienna
    yeah thats really sad to see that a double bass player is not wanted!!! :eek:

  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    She must have had a lot of students with really bad intonation problems!! ;)
  10. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Aha - the circle is complete! This sounds like a reversal of long seated jazz prejudices ;)

    Hey, Mac - how about seeing if any of the other players in the jazz band would be interested in a small side project featuring a double bass in the line up. That way you get some experience and, as long as the new combo doesn't adversely affect the jazz band, there's every chance you can demonstrate what you can do to the band leader. There's nothing like a demonstration to change minds - far more persuasive than most arguments.

  11. Im fortunate enough to be allowed to play both in my schools jazz band. Im mainly an electric player but i love using the double bass on the standards and upbeat quarter feel songs. We play some salsa that sounds better with the electric, bu i think the sound of the double bass complaments most of our pieces better than the electric. If you feel your not getting where you want to go then leave, dont waste your time in a situation where you are bored and unchallenged. Good Luck

  12. Being a school music teacher and former jazz band director I've been on both sides of these types of issues. Some directors are reasonable and some are very unreasonable. You know her better than any of us. Has she listened to you play your upright? Have you ever used it with the band? What is her opinion based upon? If she has never heard you use the upright then I would say she is being unfair and needs to lighten up. If on the other hand she has heard you play your upright and doesn't like what she is hearing and feels that it would hurt the overall sound of the jazz band. Well, time to shut up and play your electric. This talk of threatening to walk if you don't get this or that is not good advice when dealing with a school situation.
  13. Hows he supposed to get better if he cant play upright with the jazz band. Sure, you can take private lessons, and work with a combo, but big band playing is different and you get better from experience. If you want to play the upright bass, and dont get to, then by all means, dont go to band, and go practice upright. Maybe check out some of the community college bands...

    No one should ever be told to shut up and do something they dont want to do... Thats honestly the worst advice that Ive heard in a while. Right up there with high school counselors telling kids that Theyre not 'College Material'.

    What I say is do what you want, and what you honestly feel is best.
  14. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    Bring both basses to rehearsal. In the middle of a bass-heavy piece, do a Pete Townsend on the BG. When the dust settles, unwrap the doghouse and play pretty. Make sure the BG you trash belongs to you.
  15. bassy18


    Oct 30, 2001
    I know the feeling. My sophomore year in hs I tried out for the bass. I played upright and had no pickup. he said no cause he couldn't hear me. Well the guitar player graduated and so he had to have me. I don't know whether this woman will let you do it, but leave your bass guitar at home one time. I just got my first bass guitar. I play upright. It is my major (music education). All that I can say is that you truly love the upright...and i play jazz so I know...you will love playing jazz on it. I would just keep pushing it. And let your parents get you those lessons. If you want to study it in college then it will help you a lot. Jazz has helped me a lot in theory and improvisiation and just making me comfortable with that big huge lunk of sound. Keep at it. And one day we won't let closed minded people be jazz band directors because my definition of jazz is everything....including the upright.

    Keep thumpin

  16. I've recently started playing upright in my high school wind ensemble, actually because of the band director's influence. He was the one who told me to do it.

    On the other hand, I seriously doubt he'd let me use it in jazz band on most occasions. While they do have a pickup, I just don't know. The rest of the rythm section is fairly-not that solid. If I start playing the upright, the whole band will just fall apart. While the tone might suit some songs better, it's not a good idea because we need a loud, strong, driving bass that the whole band can easily hear.

    (as a note, in wind ensemble, students have told me to switch back to EB because they can't hear me at all, and I sounded good as opposed to non-existent, even if more out of place than usualy)
  17. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Just hang in there. You'll learn how to get volume out of the thing -- out of self-defense!
  18. guess so:)
  19. bassy18


    Oct 30, 2001
    You will learn to get noise out of it. And an upright can be appropriate for ANY song. Just thump harder.

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