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The C note in treble clef..

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Andy Mopley, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    in this scale exercise, is it to be played on the G string? If so, the ensuing scale seems to take me past the neck??
    Of course, I could be doing something wrong, when in doubt that's where you guys (or girls) come in..

    Regards to all

    Attached Files:

  2. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    I think I read that middle c is the 17th fret on the g string. If that's accurate, then the c in your music starts higher than your bass is capable. Wait for another opinion, but. Think you'll just have to play the octave
  3. jasonrp


    Feb 19, 2015
    I always thought the middle C was 5th "fret" on the G string and signified by the dot on the very bottom of the treble clef symbol or the first line extension upward on the bass clef. The C note you have to the right of the treble clef on that sheet is one octave higher so 17th "fret" on the G string. If you are talking about the C at the very end that's even higher, you'll need 5 strings or 24 frets.

    The thing with sheet music is that you decide where you want to play the note on the board. For example- unless it is going way out of my way in a particular song, I always play my octave A (2nd fret G string) on the D string because I think it sounds better
  4. jasonrp


    Feb 19, 2015
    Just realized this was in Orchestral.... you probably read better than I do but I'll leave my post for anyone who might not know.
  5. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    The section on tenor clef shows the G played on thumb position exactly in the middle of the string lenght. Then you'd play A(1st finger), B(2nd finger) and C(third finger) without changing position (Streicher calls this Position of the Fourth becouse that's what you have between the G and C).
    If you think electric bass it would be the 17th fret on the G string. I can play the that passage on my DB but on the electric bass I would have to jump to a lower octave after playing the D on the 19th fret (20 fret neck).
    geoffbassist, MonetBass and SteveCS like this.
  6. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    IME, in the absence of explicit direction in the score, everything is written an octave above actual pitch, so the middle 'C' on the tenor clef is actually C below middle. The symbol above the first G looks like an approximation of the thumb position symbol, from which the exercise goes to high C, which should be in range on most DB but will be out of range on most BG.
    mtto likes this.
  7. I'm not sure I understand your question, but do you mean the highest note is past the end of your fingerboard? That could be possible, as that's about where most bass fingerboards cut off. A lot of student-level basses, and basses with older fingerboards, tend to stop around B-flat in 6th position. Most new professional-quality boards will extend to at least a D.
    geoffbassist, gnypp45 and the_Ryan like this.
  8. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    Thanks Paul, yes, that that is exactly what I meant, I can't play the C note at the end of the scale.
  9. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    It takes quite a bit of practice, but you can play notes past the end of your fingerboard. Try it. It's easier to get a good tone arco but with good technique it's possible pizz as well.
  10. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    It's possible (with enough practice) to play notes beyond the fingerboard.

    Lauren demonstrates here:
    Silevesq likes this.
  11. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Thanks for that video. I can play those notes beyond the neck. Basically every chromatic note can be played that way. But what is the benefit of pulling that string sideways? I have tried it but I don't hear much difference.
  12. neilG


    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    There's a special place in hell for composers who write those notes for DB.
    gnypp45 likes this.
  13. That's a bit over the top. But on the other hand...

    neilG and gnypp45 like this.
  14. You need an oxygen mask and arm extension for that really high stuff!! Why?? Anyway, my arm is definitely too short.

    My concert program tonight is Bach"s Magnificat, Schubert's 5th Symphony, Handel's two Coronation Anthems and a bunch of Christmas carols. Much more relevant to playing the bass and satisfying IMO.
    Neil Pye likes this.
  15. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    No ideas about the reason for pulling the string sideways?
  16. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    In my experience, pulling the string sideways is not necessary, but I expect that it depends on how low your action is. If it's very low, then you'll be able to get a better "stop" by pulling the string sideways than straight towards the board because the board will limit how far you can go. The best answer is always to experiment a bit yourself and see what works best for you.
    I suppose, depending on your arm length and the size of your bass, that you may have a very difficult time applying enough force to get a good stop, but my board goes to Eb and I'm 5'10" and I can get to at least a G three octaves above the open string - Major 3rd beyond the length of the board. Eventually, the string length becomes so short that it's really tough to coach a tone other than fingernails on a chalkboard, IME. But, it's kinda cool, in my own mind, when I do it. I'm sure the audience and my bandmates are chatting to their neighbors - bass solo ;)
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
  17. the_Ryan


    Jul 10, 2015
    Bronx, NY
    I generally do it if I'm trying to wail on a high note (like high As off the fingerboard in Bottesini).
  18. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    By wail do you mean vibrato?
  19. the_Ryan


    Jul 10, 2015
    Bronx, NY
    Les Fret likes this.
  20. Andy, if you don't mind changing strings you can also grab that C on the D string, just above the A harmonic above the second D octave.

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