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Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Rabiah-Kae, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. I know there is a thread below me that asks for solos, but I feel I will confuse the threads if I post there.

    I am not a very skilled bassist, I’ve been playing for 1 year now, but I like the bass and I would like to go far with it. I’m very good with the bow, but not so great with shifting, I would like to find a solo piece that I could work on that would help me to strengthen shifting. The last solo I worked on was George Vance's version of The Elephant, it took me a few months to learn, but I memorized it and played it for a judge about 2 weeks ago, the judge gave me the highest grade possible and told me that my only mistake was that I did not curl my fingers enough. I am looking for a solo that would help me to strengthen my shifting as the reason it took me so long to learn The Elephant was I didn’t understand the shifts.

    Thank you,

    Rabiah-Kae :)
  2. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Try the Eccles Sonata by Henry Eccles. The first moovement is fairly slow and uses mainly the G string all the way up into thumb position up to the D. It has plenty of slow shifts, you could practice your vibrato and finger tip problem and it's a pretty sounding piece besides. Give this a try. It will open your eyes and ears as well.
  3. GirlBass


    Jul 31, 2005
    New York
    hey, congrats on your solo competition!
    At this point in your playing, you really should be working on scales, arpeggios, and etudes as opposed to building your technique through solo literature. The idea is to have the technique to play a specific piece, not learn the technique by learning the piece. It can be very frustrating and not at all beneficial in the long run.
    Do you have a bass teacher to help you?
  4. I agree, but I also know of no point at which you should stop working on those fundamentals, it is an ongoing thing. But, just like working out at the gym, don't concentrate on only one thing the whole time, or you will get bored and frustrated as well.
    I usually divide up my practicing into 1/3 Scales & arps & etudes, 1/3 Literature( including sight reading), and 1/3 solo and jazz practice.
  5. Might i suggest the Progressive Repertoire by George Vance. Very nice set of books... from the sound of it you could probably just skip to book two, but it is very nice and eventually gets into some nice solos.
  6. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    ditto on the congratulations Rabiah-Kae

    I agree with GirlBass wholeheartedly it's definitely worth it to study scales and arpeggios!
  7. Thank you all for the replies (and congratulations too :D) Unfortunately, I do not have the money for both a viola teacher and bass teacher, and my mum does not want me to stop lessons on viola as I have come so far (I’ve played since I was extremely young). I do work on scales, etudes and arppegios all the time, but my shifting has become very robotic, even when I change when I shift. I do not seem to be able to glide when I shift, I usually end up looking like the string heated up and I moved away from it. My vibrato is awesome, if I do say so myself, I suppose that is an advantage of coming from viola.

    I will look into the Eccles Sonata, unfortunate, I cannot get my hands on any other George Vance books, I only got Repertoire for Double Bass book 5 from my ever traveling viola teacher who took pity on me. She doubles up as a bass teacher, but won’t teach me more then a few little bits here and there because "my mother plays her salary, so she has to do as my mother says :(". I'm fine with that, she is doing her job, and she is a very good teacher :)

    Thank you again.
  8. Machina


    Aug 1, 2005
    I strongly recommened Marcello Sonata in A minor (esp. the 2nd and 4th movements) for shifting. The solo is basically a great shifting exercise, that will allow you not to be bored and work on a nice Baroque bow stroke at the same time.

    BTW, the shifts in the piece are pretty straight foward, one built after another, so it shouldn't be to confusing.