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Is it OK to practice facing a glass door?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by BassGuyNL, Aug 20, 2001.


  1. BassGuyNL

    BassGuyNL

    Jul 20, 2000
    The Netherlands
    Please let me explain this weird question.

    As everyone knows, the person playing a double bass is not the one hearing the best sound. I find that, when I practice facing a glass door, or in a very small room, I get a very full, bassy sound returned to me. This gives me much more satisfaction than when most of the sound gets kind of lost in space. However, most experienced players warn against practicing with amplification, noting that you should be able to get a good sound just with your fingers. Is playing acoustically but with sound reflection from a hard surface the same thing? I must admit I have gotten kind of hooked to it...
     
  2. You should get unhooked.
    You are going to play in a variety of acoustical environments. The way to prepare for the shock is to practice in a variety of environments.
    Every few days, I move my music stand to a different part of the room. My personal opinion is that if you always hear the same sound when you practice, you'll get used to it and then stop paying attention to it.
    How many gigs do you expect to get playing to a glass door? Move.
     
  3. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I can't even count how many times this has happened to me. I get to the club, then:

    "Where should I set up?"

    "Um, better face that glass door over there, m'kay?"

    :D
     
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Sometimes, when I want to enjoy the sound of the bass, I practice facing into a corner of the room. While I don't delude myself that I am recreating actual performance conditions while doing this, the pure enjoyment of the sound does give added incentive to practice.
     
  5. Practicing facing anything that reflects the sound back at you is a terrible idea. You'll wind up with a little, puny sound and know idea of how to fill a large room. You'll later be shocked when you discover nobody can hear you beyond a few feet in front of your bass. Here are some ideas: practice in a big room and learn how to fill-it-till-the-walls-shake with your sound; practice in a terrible acoustical environment and learn how to get a good, big, rich sound in there; practice with the windows open and learn how to project well enough for someone across the street to hear you.
     
  6. When I was in High School we had these small practice rooms. They were pretty cool, they had wheels so you could roll them around and get away from the other people practicing. I really got used to the sound of playing in the little room but it became detrimental to my learning.

    You think carrying an amp is hard try getting one of those small rooms on stage.

    :D
     
  7. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    I agree with these guys, but I will occassionally go into my wood floor narrow hallway to get an idea of a sound coming out of the front. I used this for finding if a note I thought had a wolf on it was as bad as I thought, A/B'ing different strings, etc. That being said, it isn't a good idea to practice there and my practice room is a carpeted square room of no particular acoustical features. Another good thing to do is to play in a big room with another bassist to get an idea of what you sound like from 100 feet away. This is also a very good idea with amplification. Far too many bassists have a really bad sound to the audience. However the sound coming at them from an amp right behind them might sound really good, but it gets lost. I often wish more bassists would take more responsibility for their sound. I hate paying money to see a concert and you either can't hear the bassist or his notes are muddy and indistinguishable in pitch. I demanded my money back after driving 3 hours to Wichita to see Charlie Haden & Quartet West and Charlie was behind baffles but you couldn't hear him unless he soloed, in which case you kind of heard a rumble. The soundmen were just incompetent so it wasn't his fault but you could tell it was upsetting him and he wasn't really playing much that night

    Monte
     
  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Agreed.

    CAVEAT: my "normal" practice setup is to sit in the middle of my music room (15' x 16') and practice unamplified. The other thing is for enjoyment purposes only.
     
  9. Well, gruffpuppy, it didn't take us long to find out who would play "good cop", did it?
     
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Yeah, but don't forget, the expression is "PLAY" good cop. That doesn't mean that the worm can't turn in a heartbeat - and when it does........MWUHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

    Heck, I've got an itchy "edit/delete somebody else's post" finger already, and it's only been a couple of days.....By the time something untoward actually happens, I'll be ready for some serious CARNAGE. :cool:

    DURRL
     
  11. As you noticed I have not answered to question yet. I have the patience of a saint and I shall wait before I cast my judgment.

    Truly though I am guessing it will slowly become a game between the both of you to see who can rack up more points as bad cop. Or to see who gets to the threads first as the bad cop. The fun days will come when you both play bad cop.
    ;)
     
  12. BassGuyNL

    BassGuyNL

    Jul 20, 2000
    The Netherlands
    That's exactly what I meant with my initial question. I kind of knew it probably was'nt a good idea in the long run, so it's been good to read all your responses. It's also good to know that other players do sometimes play in spots where they can, if only for a short while, hear their hard work come back to them as great sound. I agree with Chris that it is an added incentive to practice.