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Standing/Angle of the bass/Rabbath

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Bass Rider, Jul 10, 2005.


  1. Bass Rider

    Bass Rider

    Jul 10, 2005
    Hello folks,

    Very cool forum. I am new to posting here so it may take me a while to get the gist of navigating around, where I should post, etc. Anyway, I have purchased the Rabbath DVD which I would recommend to anyone wishing to improve their bow technique but I was particulaly interested in the way he suggests holding the bass. In my 9 years of playing the DB and 4 teachers, (I play standing 100% of the time) the Rabbath DVD was the first time I've ever heard anyone suggest standing directly BEHIND the bass (in fact, in the photos in his method books, he angles the edge of the bass near his hip which is the way I've always held it) but he makes a compelling argument for standing behind, as bow weight and pressure is more evenly distributed across all the strings (It's been a long time since I practiced sitting and I realize this is less of an issue in this case but I do prefer to stand). I use the EGGpin which helps a little, but I am finding it very difficult when shifting to the lower registers. The position works well for mid to upper registers but I always end up reverting back to the "normal" way of holding it. Does anyone else stand directly behind when playing? Thoughts, comments, would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Nivaca

    Nivaca

    Jan 8, 2005
    I know Rabbath's books but haven't got a grip on the CD (BTW, I didn't know there was also a DVD). In the books, as you say, the bass is placed on the right part of the body (belly or what you prefer).
    I also use an angled endpin and, trying what you suggest about standing behind the bass, I get the same result as you: I have much trouble playing in the low positions.
    Does Rabbath play directly behind the bass? Can you post a pic?
     
  3. Bass Rider

    Bass Rider

    Jul 10, 2005
    The DVD is called Art of the Bow. You can go to artofthebow.com and there are some photos there. There is a brief discussion of the DVD on this forum under the "Orchestral Technique" heading (click on art of the bow) OK, perhaps I shouldn't have said "directly behind" but it's darn close and much more extreme than I am used to. Needless to say, Rabbath makes it look easy!
     
  4. Nivaca

    Nivaca

    Jan 8, 2005
    I sneaked at the artofthebow.com site and there I was directed to filmbaby.com where they sell the DVD (really expensive, as all of Rabbath stuff!). There's a small cut of the video (http://www.filmbaby.com/playwmv.php?m=video/0001/DVD_00000266_bb.wmv) where Rabbath talks a bit and is then shown holding the bass.
    What impressed me is that the bass's back is completely parallel to the player's body. I tried to stand like that but was too difficult for me to play.
    I hope someone can explain us how is it done.
     
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I have to play standing from time to time, and I learned a few good tricks from the Rabbath DVD (and from spending a lot of time watching Lynn Seaton, a Rabbath disciple):

    1) Standing behind the bass is great for balance and evenness, and also helps to keep the spine straight in an "almost cello" kind of way.

    2) Upper position playing is great in this position, as you can basically just rest the neck of the bass on your shoulder.

    3) For the lower positions, the bass shifts forward a bit, and it also seems to help to have a bit of a gut to help hold it up. :)

    HTH!
     
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Walk into the bass half a step or so and the lower register should be accessible.
     
  7. Savino

    Savino

    Jun 2, 2004
    nyc
    When I first began the Rabbath method a few years ago, I was trying to stand behind the bass as well. But this is a little misleading. Hold the bass directly in front of you as shown in the DVD but pull it back so the upper right bout rests on your left pelvic bone. The bass should be facing forward easing your access to the E string. To reach the lower register, push your pelvis forward and vice versa for the upper register. Mastering this hip movement is essential to grasping Rabbath's concepts.
     
  8. Bass Rider

    Bass Rider

    Jul 10, 2005
    Thanks for the responses. Reading these comments has made me re-analyze the way I hold the bass. Savino, the way you describe it is exactly the way I hold it. Do you always play (arco) standing? It just seems I'm much further to the side than Rabbath appears to be. I think you're right by saying the key lies in mastering the pelvic movement...
     
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Wait for it...
     
  10. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    ...and his handle is Bass RIDER! This is TOO good.
     
  11. Bass Rider

    Bass Rider

    Jul 10, 2005
    Aw, c'mon now...my handle is Bass Rider because I love to ride mountain bikes off-road, and the pelvic movement refers to holding that dang bass...now gitchyer' minds outta the gutter and go practice...sheesh.
     
  12. Nivaca

    Nivaca

    Jan 8, 2005
    He, he, he! :D
     
  13. Nivaca

    Nivaca

    Jan 8, 2005
    No, seriously (seriously), can someone explain to me this pelvic thing?