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Music to help with playing constancy

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by CherylTheSinger, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. I need help with my constancy. I feel like I practice so much, but I can go back in a few days, and it's like climbing Mt. Everest. Four steps forward, three steps back. Sometimes I nail it, sometimes it feels like I have never picked up my bass.

    I have studied double bass for about 10 months now with a teacher.
    He started me out with Simandl and some extra bow work exercises that he writes out for me.

    I teach music in a public school, and during my lunch break, high school band meets. The band director and the kids thought it was pretty neat of me to sit in with their rehearsals. I played two pieces in the concert that my teacher loved me doing, as they did a lot of shifting between half, first and second position. That was a blast! I added a little rock-a-billy and country to my rep by playing along with my sixth grade general music classes when they had the guitars out. I also played some with my high school chorus. I take my rental bass to random parties too lol.

    This summer I decided to get in over my head and join a non-audition two month orchestra, made up of mostly adults and teachers. I explained to the conductor that I was just starting 2nd and 3rd position, but he has some decent ringers in the orchestra on bass. He told me just have fun, play what I can. (I studied violin as a child for about 10 years and miss orchestra from when I was a kid! I also have been singing opera professionally for about 25 years, so the rhythms, etc. aren't the challenge,, just the fact that I have a double bass in my hands now.) My teacher likes the music selections and thinks I will do fine.

    In a panic of not knowing what I was doing I went on line and purchased Suzuki method books 2 and 3 with the Gary Karr recordings that go along with them. It's helping my intonation tremendously! The Simandl forces me to go to my piano, play what the heck is going on and sing it over and over and over and over in my soprano voice until I memorize, as although I can read, etc. I get lost over the pitches sometimes when they don't seem to be all that are expected.

    Are there any more pieces, or literature out there that will help me hear what I am supposed to be doing, help me with my intonation (ack, it's just such a guess right now most of the time!), and help me figure out when to shift where, etc. that are musical?

    Any suggestions to help me be more a consistent player? Bowing and hand placement (and I didn't even mention vibrato! that's not coming well yet haha) just feel like I am playing the lottery every day. Hearing what I am supposed to sound like in my head seems to help the most right now.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  2. DHoss


    Nov 23, 2005
    Music Minus One's "Franz Simandl 30 Etudes for String Bass with Piano Accompaniment" may be worth considering.

    It presents a progressively difficult progression of material. What's neat is that it includes CD's of recorded bass & piano to help get the sound in one's ear, and more CD's of piano accompaniment with which to play along: great for intonation, stamina & technique.

    I recently randomly opened to a couple pages and discovered some etudes that piqued my interest because they were melodically interesting.

    You're fortunate that a summer orchestra exists in your area!

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