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New classical DB player.

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Orochifunk, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. Orochifunk


    Feb 14, 2005
    Hello everyone, I'm new here, and new to the world of double basses. I've been an electric bassplayer for about a year now, and recently saw a concert that inspired me to join the local amateur orchestra, wanting to play the DB, contrabass ..? Atleast that's what we call it here. Anyways, I can read sheet music, and I can play the el-bass with no problems, so will playing the DB be a big change for me? I won't get the bass itself until next practice, so if you could give me some online tips / lessons on general techniques with the bow etc. They're playing classical music, so yeah that's the genre. :) Thanks, in advance, for any help!

  2. Yes, it will be a large difference, but that's not to say that what you have learned so far won't help you. Reading is a biggy, as is being agile with the hands. The most noticable difference is of course that you have to worry about intonation. The second is new left and technique. Rather than using four fingers you can really only use three (index, middle, and both the ring and pinky together) until you get up into the higher registers. This means a whole new approach to positions. Anyho, prepare to be very fustrated for a while. I was in a similar possition (switching from electric after a year) but was into jazz so my right hand technique was similar but you're going to have to learn a new technique there too. I would say get one of the standard method books, I have used simandl, and, of course, a teacher. Electric you can definately learn on your own, upright is much more difficult to get the subleties of the technique without a teacher.
  3. Orochifunk


    Feb 14, 2005
    Thank you very much for your input. Which books would you recommend? If you could give me a link to an online store that would ship internationally (not required, though), that would be really splendid. I'm prepared to work with it, though. But yes, I don't expect it to be a walk in the park in any way.
  4. As he said, the Simandl book is a good one to get started with both reading and positional playing. You will find it much better working under the guidance of a teacher. The book is available from Lemur Music.
  5. Orochifunk


    Feb 14, 2005
    All right, I just got my bass now. I've played some stuff - Beethoven's 9th Symphony (the place where it is solo bass, playing the theme) - but I'd love to get some books that will help me develop technique aswell as, well, more profaincy. I don't think it'll come fast in any way, but some books on half-easy songs (it's my second day playing but I can read bass clef + I read and play el. bass with notes) and classical songs I'd love to see suggestions on which books are good, etc. Thank you for your answers, it's really helping! :)
  6. FractalUniverse

    FractalUniverse Guest

    Jan 26, 2002
    Valparaíso, Chile
  7. Orochifunk


    Feb 14, 2005
    I can't afford to get any teacher right now .. I'm taking lessons in el. guitar and bass, plus singing lessons, so I'm afraid it's not an alternative. :meh:
  8. Orochifunk

    If you can't afford lessons, you might be well served at having one lesson with a good teacher to make sure you know how to position your left arm, hand, fingers, etc and how to draw the bow. Then you can work through Simandl very slowly, starting with the open string excercises. A book I can also recomend which is good and compliments Simandl is Warren Benfields book Art of Double Bass playing. It has a lot of pictures and detailed description as well as practicing tips. Try to take a lesson every once in a while just to make sure you don't fall into bad habits. The two most important things when you are starting out are Intonation using the Simandl positions, and Tone (bow control and firm left hand stopping) If you get these down, the rest comes alot easier. Good LucK!

  9. mazaremba


    Apr 15, 2004
    I strongly advise you to drop your eletric bass lessons for double bass lessons. (And I speak from someone who was in your very same spot (that is transfering from eletric to double.))

    Any orchestra technique is going to need to be tought to you by someone who can see the errors and fix them right away. Not saying you need to study with a professor or anything like that, but trust me, you'll find eletric to be a piece of cake after you play double bass long enough.
  10. Orochifunk


    Feb 14, 2005
    That's actually very nice to hear, since I won't be taking lessons for too long. I just take private lessons to learn how to groove better, actually - small hints and tips on making bass lines. No technique, etc. I've ordered the Simandl book, and am looking foward to getting started with it. Thanks to everyone for their input! :)