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Solo of the Month Club - Bloch's Prayer

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by George F. Schmidtt, Sep 5, 2002.

  1. George F. Schmidtt

    George F. Schmidtt

    Dec 21, 1999
    As I mentioned in the post on Drag and Eddie's question I'd like to propose that we set up a "Solo of the Month Club" where those who are interested can work on a set traditional bass solo and we can post ad discuss stylistic choices in fingerings, phrasing, etc. For September I'm suggesting that we chose Bloch's Prayer.

    Question number 1 - How many of you close the second note (G) on the D string and work out the fingerings to avoid EVER playing this note open? Phrased another way - how many of you have the guts (and skill or bass?) to play the G open. In playing it closed do you attempt stay "down low on the G string" wherever possible or do you go with playing the first few measures pretty much up on the D string?

    Question 2 - On the full measure 21 do you go for the gusto and open up you extension (or use your low string if you're fortunate to play a "fiver") and hit the low CC as the piece was originally written or do you play it like the traditional bass editions have it written by playing the C on the A string?

    Question 3 - What fingering s do you find work best in measure 9/10? Do you try to lock something in or do you use the "2-fingered technique" and shift on each tie?

  2. Dorminator


    Oct 22, 2002
    well... it just doesn't look like there has been very much response here... If I still had the music I'd let ya know how I did it - but I gave it to a jazz picker... no telling if he will ever learn it...

    gorgeous piece....
  3. sean p

    sean p

    Mar 7, 2002
    eugene, oregon
    i have performed this piece but in a different key. in my edition the piece starts on a d at the neck break of the g string. i think it's a cello edition. never gets below open a. it's beautiful up there. climaxes in an f above octave g, which i feel is powerful in all its wailing glory. nice piece, and not tough to play for an intermediate student.

    sean p
  4. Baron von Basso

    Baron von Basso

    Nov 3, 2002
    I like the solo of the month idea. perhaps an excerpt of the month (or week) may be a good idea too?

    For the Prayer, I personally play it up the D string. I like the D sound. I've seen Karr play the beginning up the D, but switches to the G more often.

    As soon as I get an extension on this bass, I will most certainly do my best to move the furniture on that low C. Now I play the C up on the E string and portamento down and land on the F down an octave.

    mm9/10..I shouldn't admit this, but I don't use a very "lyrical" fingering. I use the thumb a bit and keep stuff sort of in position. It isn't too horrible, but I don't know if I'd recommend it. It is one of those odd fingerings that work really well for one person, but not the next.

    and unlike cellists that I've heard, I LOVE to hang on to the quarter tone note at the end for a little bit before resolving it. It is such a great note.
  5. Dorminator


    Oct 22, 2002
    I had a session with Karr years and years ago on the drag and eddi... changed my entire life...

    does he play in public any more...
    I know he moved to nova scotia.. beyond that havn't heard a thing about him ...

    I also use an unorthodox fingering ... in general...
    but I was basically self taught... ignorant and simply like the sound... love the sound...
    certain fingerings were easy for me to motate with that just produced more tone...

    later... D
  6. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"

    On a tangentially-related subject, has anybody tried the $150 cast-bronze practice mutes Gary's showing?
  7. Baron von Basso

    Baron von Basso

    Nov 3, 2002
    Karr has retired from public performance. He plays during his Karr Kamp summer program, but his efforts are now focused on recording in his home studio and preparing works for publishing.

    He hasn't been in Nova Scotia for quite some time. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia in a beautiful house overlooking ocean and snow capped mountains. He even said that he bought the house as soon as he saw the corner room that would become his bass studio and the view that it gave. His playing seems to only get better, but I dearly miss the sound of the Amati on recordings. He only plays it for personal satisfaction now.

    I've only heard a little about the mute. It seems to work very well, but I don't think that it is going to be a huge difference from the big rubber practice mutes for 10x less $$.
  8. George F. Schmidtt

    George F. Schmidtt

    Dec 21, 1999
    I go up the D string myself - just as I do on "Danny Boy". Those of you who may have missed seeing "The Great Karr" in person can still get the opportunity to study his unique fingering by watching him on video. Bloch's Prayer is included on his "KarrTunes" video.

    Thanks to those of you who support the "Solo of the Month" concept. I thought that some of the junior high school students who participate on the list might learn something that would enhance their bass education. Unfortunately when I posed the idea I was under the impression that this list included some serious "classical" bass players and did not realise it was composed soley of "jazzers" and "Derek Smalls Wannabes" who were only interested in bragging about the size of their string lengths. Sorry.
  9. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Nasty comments there.

    Anyway, Gary's mute works really well, and dampens the bass much more than the big rubber mutes. Great for practicing in apartments etc.

    Haven't played Bloch prayer myself, but saw Gary play it a few months before he retired. He does sound better and better all the time. I actually like the sound of the Ham bass quite a lot.
  10. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Should I be on 'attitude alert', or am I missing the humor in this?
  11. Link


    Jul 6, 2002
    Latrobe, PA
    :confused: bit late of a response... but, i'm all for the "solo of the month" thread. I'm starting to get opportunities to play solo tunes, but i don't have too many places to turn to. I'd rather see discussions on pieces and then check them out and go from there... see what other's think and what they do with a piece prior to tackling it myself. I"m sure i'm not the only high school student on this board.
  12. dragonetti11


    Jun 20, 2002
    I think it's time to talk about another solo. How about Bach prelude to the first cello suite, or Koussevitzky Concerto.
  13. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    I like the idea but with the way I play perhaps it should be solo of the 6 months. I am playing in two orchestras right now and there is not too much time to work on solos.

    About playing open strings. My bass g string howls like a tom cat so I always try to play closed g some where on the bass rather than open g.

  14. Shlomobaruch


    Dec 31, 2002
    Boise, ID
    Well, I'm pecking at Bottesini's "Gavotte" right now, and will put more time into it as soon as I do this audition (Feb 11th!)... I don't know, how about if those interested post what they're working on and we'll see if we can find common ground?
  15. Baron von Basso

    Baron von Basso

    Nov 3, 2002
    I started to look at that piece this spring (the Gavotte) but got away from it. I listened to my CDs that had it on them and noticed that the versions were different than the music I had. I asked Tom Martin about this and he said something to the effect of there being 3 versions of the piece. The Slatford edition (that I had) was the short one and then there is the "Introduction and Gavotte" which was on most of the recordings. There was another which I may be mistaken but I thought that he said was for piano!

    I'd be interested in discussing this piece. It is on a bit more approachable scale than a huge concerto or showpiece.
  16. Shlomobaruch


    Dec 31, 2002
    Boise, ID
    Yes, the Slatford is the one I'm currently stuck with. It's missing the intro, but until I can afford music again (not for at least another month) I figure I can learn the gavotte itself and tack the intro when I get it.

    Which actually segues nicely into a rant that I've been stewing for several months now that has recently come to a pitch, but that's another thread topic. Coming very soon folks...
  17. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    question 1

    I play it on the d string

    question 2

    no extention I grab the low c on the e string I don't have to jump as far

    question 3

    I have not figured it out yet but will most likely use some sort of 1 2 fingering or some sort of open hand fingering if I can get it in tune

    Are you playing in with solo tuning or are you playing it with a cello part?
  18. Pete G

    Pete G

    Dec 31, 2001
    Northern Virginia
    Who publishes such a thing? I have the solo tuning, but would prefer orchestra tuning. Too lazy to transpose...
  19. Baron von Basso

    Baron von Basso

    Nov 3, 2002
    I believe that for orchestral tuning you can just use the original cello piano part.

    For the accompaniment, get an organist to play. I've only heard Karr's version like that, but that's how I'd want to perform it. Gorgeous.

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