So, how excited were you with your first IN TUNE forays into thumb position?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Aaron Saunders, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I know I sound like a little kid (which I am compared to a lot of the old timers) and a total newbie to the upright (which I am unquestionably) but I'm really excited right now! I've been practicing scales and pattern my teacher gave me to practice intonation (the Petracchi method -- I, V, bV, V, bV, V, bii, ii, I-V double stop, iii-IV double stop, I-V double stop all the way up the neck.) I've been doing a lot of two octave scales in the easier keys -- E, F, and G. None of which go into thumb position!

    I've done C two octaves a few times, but it always takes a lot of concentration to get those top notes in tune (actually, it's been like that for all two octave scales I've been doing.) What is it that's making me so excited, you ask? I was just drilling the C two-octave scale in my room over and over, and it's gotten to the point where I can hit up to that C in thumb position, almost completely in tune (within a couple cents -- I check with a tuner occasionally after I'm SURE I'm hearing it right) at a decent clip! What's more is that I can not only hit that right, but every note, in sequence, completely in tune. There's no more hunting and pecking around, checking my stopped G against the G harmonic, it's right there under my thumb! And it's just as good going back down :D.

    Note: I don't actually even own an upright yet. I've been playing it in class all semester, but I very rarely got time to practice it alone. However, it's summer now and this morning I brought home the upright...for all summer! Also, I'm going to pick up another one tomorrow morning if all goes well -- one that I might actually be buying (depending on the scale -- it's 7/8, I play 3/4 and while I have a really good stretch on my relatively small hands, I'm not looking to injure myself by wrestling with a bass.) I even found a great guy to look at it, appraise it, and work on it. I'm friends with the current owner and I've heard it played back to back with the school's upright that I have with me now and it completely smokes the school's soundwise, but I want to get it set up with high action and low tension pizz strings that have good volume and are still bowable (but focus IS on a jazzy pizz growl/sustain and volume, bowing comes secondary to everything.)

    EDIT: I do have an excellent DB teacher, which is why I've been able to make what progress I have. I find I can play a lot better on both his old Kay he has setup for jazz and the massive carved orchestral bass he uses with the symphony -- both basic technique-wise and intonation-wise. It's a bit more of a struggle to get a good sound and to play in tune with the one I've got right now though, which is a bit of a bummer, but it's all good.
  2. Mike Goodbar

    Mike Goodbar Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Charlotte, NC
  3. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    We talkin' One Note only or the entire Dragonetti?
  4. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio

  5. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2005
    My first piece was After a Dream, by Faure. I was really excited how I put together all the aspects of playing, and combined it to make a stunning sound. I am still convinced its probbably 70% the bass, a Kolstien Fendt, and probably about 30% me, but still I was stoked. I highly reccomend that piece to int.-adv. players. It really isn't all that hard, but is a really beautiful work.
  6. JC Mags

    JC Mags

    Jan 2, 2002
    That was my first double bass piece to way back in 2003. It's really an easy and beautiful piece. specially when you get good legato sounds with the right vibrato. :D