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Le elephant-Bass

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Basscat125, Aug 15, 2012.


  1. Basscat125

    Basscat125

    Aug 3, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland.
    none yet
    Hey I'm looking for some opinion on my playing?
    Also the tone (not to be arrogant) sounds far better in the room then in on camera :/ you know those cheap camera mics... lol

    well heres the link:


    Aside from some of the obvious intonation errors what else do you hear? and see?

    Cheers,
    Basscat125
     
  2. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Good work in progress! Continue to refine it!

    If I were your teacher I would ask you to work on NOT looking at your left hand while you play. If you MUST look at it, play in front of a mirror and look at it there. You NEED your eyes forward, either for sight reading or to follow the conductor...or in the case of pop music, so you can make eye contact with your audience.

    Have you begun any solfege study? I would suggest it as a way to help solidify your intonation. It seems pretty good for the most part, except for when you seem to be "fishing" for the notes in some of the position shifts. What method are you studying?

    Keep up the good work! :)

    Joe
     
  3. Basscat125

    Basscat125

    Aug 3, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland.
    none yet
    Hey joe,
    Thanks joe I usually practice without looking at my lefty but I didn't want to get to much wrong infront of the camera!!

    Forgive me but what is solfege study?
    My teacher did the essential elements with me when i was beginning a few years ago and now we're working through the keith hartley double bass solo book 1.
    This summer I have worked through some of the Simandl manuscripts and also picked up a copy of the oscer zimmerman solos for double bass.

    Cheers and thanks for the kind words!
    Conor
     
  4. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Solfege is singing notes using syllables- the "Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol" stuff. It's really helpful in getting the sound of the music INSIDE you.

    Piano players don't HAVE to know what the note they are going to play is going to sound like BEFORE they play it- if they want a "C" they press the "C" key and a "C" comes out. If it's out of tune they blame the piano tuner! lol!

    Brass players don't have it that easy, for each valve or slide position they have a crap load of notes that can come out of their instrument, depending on how tight or loose their lip is. The notes are dependant on the harmonic series- just like the harmonics on our strings. So part of it is muscle memory- knowing how tight to make their lip, but most of it is knowing what the note will sound like BEFORE they sound it.

    String players have it easier than brass players, but we still need to work hard to listen and tune our notes. Our position practice helps us to use muscle memory to get 99% of the way there- but we have to listen to tune the note the last 1%.

    Solfege will help you get your inner musician in tune! Imagine your musicianship is a knife- solfege is what you use to sharpen it and keep it sharp! IMHO, there are very few things as powerful! Talk to your teacher about it!

    Joe
     
  5. Basscat125

    Basscat125

    Aug 3, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland.
    none yet
    Thanks joe!
    This has really giving me great insight. I woldn't have thought about the solfege method at all.
    Right hand wise what would you say could be looked at(I intend to go through everything slowly but i'd just like to have an aspect of the bigger picture)
     
  6. NicholasF

    NicholasF Guest

    Jan 17, 2012
    Id agree with the solfedge.

    What i found helpful with fishing, is drones. Some say yay others say nay, but when i have my E drone on it helps me play my E major scale in tune. It also gets the sound of each pitch in your ear, and it helps you find the shifts, and the intonation spots you need work. Your scales inside and out 2 and some 3 octaves are a given with a metronome. Also your bow should move when your left hand goes closer to the bridge, this will help some of the winey tone you get in some places, the left hand position is there and the bow hold is there. Great job, just dont stop practicing!
     
  7. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    You need to raise your elbow. It will rotate your hand so the thumb can sit more naturally closer behind your middle finger. THis will help with arching the fingers.
     
  8. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Good catch Violen! He's spot on with this Conor, but I would refine the advice a little. Try to get the arm so the humerus is at about a ninety degree angle to your body- parallel to the floor, and keep it there as much as you can. To move from position to position you rotate your shoulder, keeping the humerus at the same elevation- I hope that makes sense! This only applies to the lower positions though, when you move further up the neck you will have to change, but don't worry about that now.

    Presently you are moving your shoulder "up and down", and you should be rotating it, almost like as if you were trying to wave.

    Also, your finger arching looks pretty good- but you should contact the string with your finger tip, not the fleshy pad. Violen is right about the middle finger/thumb relationship too!

    NicholasF also offers some sage advice with drone practice! Great stuff!

    More to come, but as we've said, you are doing well! Keep up the great work!

    Joe
     
  9. crowsmengegus

    crowsmengegus Supporting Member

    Awesome playing!
     
  10. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    OP-

    This is a waltz. Never rush the third beat in a waltz. The first beat is heavier, the second a tad early, and the third a tad relaxed. Listen to some Viennese music, esp Kreissler for the subtleties of this beautiful dance. It's never too soon to think about the big picture in this music, and the waltz shows up so much of the classical rep.

    The visual here should be an elephant in a ball gown dancing a dainty little step, or so I was taught.

    There are different approaches to this piece with different fingerings, but the stylistic interpretation re: the dance is fairly universal. Do your homework, record yourself singing it, and see if you're hearing it correctly.
     
  11. Basscat125

    Basscat125

    Aug 3, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland.
    none yet
    Thanks everyone this help is greatly appreciated! I will definitely take those excercises into account. When using wolf edge would you play the root of the scale tonic on a metrenome say. And hum and play the scale along to the root?


    D.c. Bass could you explain the rotionthing abut more? Or do you have any videos examples? Was that post specifically to the left arm?
     
  12. Basscat125

    Basscat125

    Aug 3, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland.
    none yet
    Also in terms of listening who would be good to listen to? Off topic I'm working on Franco petrachhis method of thumb position? Should I approach it as page 1 to the end of the book?
    Thanks!
     
  13. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    This is GOLD! :)



    At about 1:55 and 2:15 his arm makes the kind of rotating motion I'm talking about.

    I'll try to find more examples and get back to you.

    Joe
     
  14. Basscat125

    Basscat125

    Aug 3, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland.
    none yet
    thanks very much joe!!
    i understand it now. I think i'll go back to standing as it was the sitting that probably brought on those left arm problems!
     
  15. Basscat125

    Basscat125

    Aug 3, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland.
    none yet
    my intonation has improved as well with the rotation? is this a usual thing?
     
  16. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Help one thing and you often help several.

    Regarding listening-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqQ2_2qd-5Y


    Listen to the character or "groove" of the Viennese style. We play waltzes all over the place. Learn the history, the dance, and the flavor, and experiment with beat placement!
     
  17. NicholasF

    NicholasF Guest

    Jan 17, 2012
    For solfedge you want to take out the piano, for in tune references. Solfedge is partly with the instrunent, but really you need to put the bass down( which is hard i know) take out the sight singing book and do it, the piano will help you just to hear what it will sound like in tune. Then the next level is playing just the root, once and sing along, then when you finish the phrase you play the note again. I made it a point in my development that whatever you play you should be able to sing, you can internalize the music, and this leads to playing with expression. Now were on a new playing field. Put in the work now, though tedious it will pay off sooner than you think. Plus your lucky enough to have Joe practically mentoring you now, and you have the support of everyone here, keep coming with specific questions, we dont care we'll answer them all! Keep practicing and let us know how its going.
     
  18. NicholasF

    NicholasF Guest

    Jan 17, 2012
    You really need to go over thumb position with a private instructor so you dont hurt yourself, just my $0.02
     
  19. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Conor,

    I've been tied up between work and gigging- I'll get back to offer some more detailed info soon, but I wanted to point out that the video that I linked to was meant to show the arm rotation- Not that the rest of the info wasn't/isn't pertinent or good- it is- the whole series of videos that cat did are AWESOME!

    You should be able to achieve that rotation whether seated or standing. You can see that the humerus basically doesn't move, not much anyway- almost all of the motion comes from rotating the shoulder. By all means, if standing is more comfortable for you, go for it- BUT check with your teacher too. FWIW- I play seated just about all of the time- which isn't to say that you should.

    Please keep in mind that while eveyone here on TB is very proud of you, your playing, and most importantly your desire to improve- the best advice will almost always come from your teacher. I'm not saying this because I disagree with anything anyone has said here- quite the contrary actually- but remember that your teacher knows your playing better than any of us, and is your best asset and ally, aside from your parents of course!

    That's all for now, more forthcoming.

    Keep up the great work!

    Joe
     
  20. Well done!! That was great. How long have you been playing?

    I could suggest a few things to help you get even better.

    1. Loosen up your right arm a bit and use more of the middle of the bow.

    2. Arch your left hand fingers a little more and try to keep them 'in place' while playing.

    3. Even though you seem to feel the music very well you should be aware that the long Cflat doesn't get its full value. Practice with a metronme (I assume you do) but when you play without it don't forget it. Imagine the metronome ticking away in you head while you play that long note.

    4. Don't be afraid of moving the bow faster. Your instrument and bow can handle it. It's you that needs to develope the power and freedom in your arms and fingers.

    That performance by the way would get you a 90%+ in tha ABRSM grade 5 exam.

    Again Bravo and we'll see you in a pro orchestra in 10 years time!

    Respect,
    FC
     

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