What are you working on?

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by CT DB, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. CT DB

    CT DB

    Apr 27, 2007
    Fairfield Cty, CT
    Does anyone else think it would be helpful to discuss some of the technique points we are all working on presently? It may help to remind some of us of things we should remember, and others can learn new things they hadn't thought of.

    I am working on keeping the bow perpendicular to the string while playing, I noticed it was lagging while looking in the mirror. It has done wonders for my tone.

    Looking forward to some good tips.
  2. ADissen


    Oct 5, 2008
    Baltimore MD
    right now i'm working on using my weight to play the bass, not muscular pressure/tension; keeping everything comfortable and loose; being observant of everything i am doing. the only way to do this for me is to go through an hour or so of Hal Robinson's Strokin', playing simple (but not easy) bowing exercises over 3 octave scales. its something to work on for the rest of your playing career. oh yeah, and making sure my breathing is natural and free-flowing.
  3. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    I'm working on my legato and bel canto styles.

    Also I've taken to practicing without my right hand to really isolate everything.. I play with my left hand making sure I can have every note audible and in time.. When I nail a passage like that I add my right hand which allows me to work on each individually
  4. neilG


    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    I'm trying to find half position.
  5. sirpug


    May 8, 2008
    Everett Wa
    A buzz.:D
  6. ADissen


    Oct 5, 2008
    Baltimore MD
    the AP of an orchestra? hmmm :meh:
  7. neilG


    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
  8. dchan


    Nov 19, 2005
    Bethlehem, PA
    ^ Assistant Principal?
  9. thedbassist


    Sep 10, 2006
    He was talking about you being Associate Principal(at least I think). Lately I've been working on having a good posture and a free neck in all registers-this involves not looking at my fingerboard and just trusting my left hand- and being able to play with a straight(or parallel to the bridge) bow on the g string. Also, I've been focusing especially on playing without any tension in my body(especially my shoulders and face).
  10. neilG


    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    Oh, duh, I get it. :) I was joking, I think I know where half position is.
    The whole posture/tension thing is an ongoing issue for sure. Even for those of us who've been playing for some years, some quality time in front of the mirror is really helpful.
  11. I've been thinking a lot about tension throughout my whole body from last semester to now. I took an Alexander technique class last semester. It helped me become aware of how I am using my entire self. I recommend that everyone that has access to a good Alexander technique class/teacher take advantage of it.
  12. ADissen


    Oct 5, 2008
    Baltimore MD
    haha, i figured you were. just yanking your chain :)
    practicing in front of a mirror does wonders.
    especially for pointing out stupid faces that you make while you play :bag:
  13. Thumb position agility and transitions at the moment. Getting a bow that isn't badly damaged did wonders for my bow technique, so I think I can leave that alone for a bit :)
  14. MDEbass


    Dec 15, 2008
    keeping my fingers round in thumb position, lots of scales and arpeggios, and getting ready for Texas All State Philharmonic which I have in a week and a half. Oh man I can't wait.
  15. Vibrato. I used to be satisfied with it, when one day I realized it had turned into a useless, uncontrolled ce**o-ish spastic movement. Dang. Had to bring out the metronome and start practice it real slowly again; always easier to speed up than to slow down it seems. Yesterday my metronome broke for good after all the times I've dropped it from the stand. Sigh.

    Ugly faces when you play, yes, been there. Got over it by realizing that more important than playing perfect was looking cool while doing it. :cool:
  16. mattgray


    Nov 16, 2007
    Cincinnati, OH
    Since going to college, my posture has gone to the s**ter, so I'm working on that, as well as maintaining the bow in one single place to make things simpler. Also, working on my left hand to be more on my fingertips rather than flat against the fingerboard...

    So many things...
  17. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti

    Jun 7, 2005
    pretty much exactly what matt said. I've been using streicher books 4 and 5 to help with hand position/structure etc..

    That and butchering a lot of bach.
  18. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    I am working on getting the right arm relaxed. Last semester I made progress in relaxing my right hand and letting the bow more kind of play itself. I am getting better at relaxing my wrist, at least in practice and rehearsals, but will still go back and forth on this. Need to be consistent. I need to get a good balance between bow speed and pressure. My teacher states that getting this will solve a lot of problems. Also want to improve my vibrato.
  19. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    I'm working on really nailing the transitions to and from TP. I've got my claw technique down on the rest of the fingerboard, but I used to get really funky down by the heel. I made quite a bit of progress on it today though. Nice relaxed posture, mirror, and zero pressure to get things moving by a certain time made all the difference.
  20. I'm working on Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony. What a great (and nasty) bass part! I've played it many times but the ol' fingers need constant work, especially since I'm not 21 any more. I'm playing it with the Boston Civic Symphony at Jordan Hall; it doesn't get any better than that. (www.csob.org)

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