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quiet bass

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by K-townbasso, Sep 7, 2004.


  1. Hey everone, with the onset of school (tomorrow!! where did the summer go?) ive been practicing a bunch, now i play in the jazz band and the orchestra, as well as the concert band (albeit on the tuba) but i am going to be the only bass in the orchestra this year, at least untill the new kid who is coming up learns to bow, and the kay i have from the school seems.. well quiet. i dont know if this is just me, probably is, but the guy who graduated last year and taught me when i started was really good, and therefore could generate lots of volume.
    i just want to know if theres anything i can do to play louder with my bow, or if its the bass perhaps. if it helps, its an old kay c-1 i believe, and i use a decent brazilwood bow with black hair, and pops rosin, and it was rehaired about a month ago, just to rule out that as a problem. thanks alot
     
  2. T Sony

    T Sony

    Mar 5, 2004
    Canada
    Arco would better suit a carved double bass opposed to a plywood bass. I would think that the bass isn't set-up properly. My recommendation would be taking it to a shop and having it set up correctly.

    Have them look at the bridge, string height, sound post and inspect the entire bass to see it's healthy.

    Did the person who taught you use the same type of bow as you? Also remember when you hear him play, you're in a different position then playing the bass so it won't sound the same.
     
  3. yea i thought set up too, but its a school bass so im cautious about sinking alot of money into it. and the bow i have, i actually bought it from that guy, when he got his new nicer bow for college.that one needless to say was louder still.
     
  4. K-town
    (Before we go any further, you should know that to some of us old army guys, K-town means Kaiserslautern, Germany. Once a wild place.)
    Before you get too plexed up about a condition you might not be able to significantly improve, know that the arco player is in the worst location for hearing the sound he's making. Have someone play the bass with you 30' out in front.
    Also, know that in ensemble playing, the more precise you are in pitch and rhythm, the louder you'll sound. Exhibit A would be the Horace Silver quintets.
     
  5. olivier

    olivier

    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    You already got lots of territory convered, and Don's statement about listener placement is appropriate.

    What remaind to be reminded is bow placement on the string with respect to the bridge. Each note has a "sweet spot" on the string, that tends to get closer to the bridge as the pitch gets higher. It's actually a bit more complex than that but the idea is the closer to the bridge you bow, the more projecting is your sound.
     
  6. Yeh Barry Green once told me it was like you go for the resistance ... think of sucking a milkshake thru a straw ... you honk on it 2 hard and it locks up but if you do it just right the thing just flows...!

    Often it's about playing only an inch or 2 closer to the bridge than you normaly do ... It''s not much but it can make a huge change in the volume of your sound.(although as you get closer to the bridge you have to tighten up your articulation etc .. But that's a positive thing!)

    Good Luck!
     
  7. Hey, just fyi, the "k-town" here referrs to kingston
     
  8. bassbaterie

    bassbaterie

    Dec 14, 2003
    Houston Texas
    Director, Quantum Bass Center
    In addition to locking into the "sweet spot" for bowing, You will get louder as the precise muscles in your hands, wrists and arms get stronger. The school should pay to have the bass vetted.