32

With long open strings, the span to reach notes especially at the nut end would be too much for a lot of players if it retained the 5ths pattern of tuning. Making the tuning in fourths means that the left hand can encompass three notes in a scale and then move across to the next string in the same hand position. That said, it's not difficult to slide up a ...


15

What you seek, my friend, is "the groove". As you're discovering, there's more to it than the mechanical (or even mathematical) approach of playing certain notes with a triplet rhythm. While your approach is technically correct, I'm guessing it lacks the feeling you're looking for. That's what's known as "groove" or being "in the pocket" or (especially ...


15

Beethoven wrote those low notes even though he knew they were not playable on the instruments available. The subject of Beethoven's disregard for the range of the bass has been much discussed. Stephen Buckley has written a dissertation on the subject: " Beethoven's Double Bass Parts: The Viennese Violone and the Problem of Lower Compass". One of the possible ...


14

First I’d like to point out that all the info provided by @BenCrowell is on the money. I would just like to add a few points from the perspective of a bassist. The bass does lend itself to some limited double stops and the best by far are 5ths. They give a nice powerful growly sound. The instrument is tuned in 4ths and since you can only bow adjacent strings ...


13

Generally it is to do with speed/tempo. Poco= a little, meno = less, so, a teensy bit slower. Slower than marked, or slower than you played the bit before. Often followed by 'mosso'.


13

It's an extension that allows the low E string to drop to low C. A lot of modern orchestral music has been written for extended range basses, and so professional bassists should have this. There are little fingers that can pinch the string off at any of the half steps along the length. It's not standard simply because it's an added cost, and people who ...


12

As far as I can find, it was likely just a really big double bass! Whilst it may appear somewhat equivalent to the octobass - it is different to the maintained examples in the Musée de la Musique and Musical Instrument Museum in that: a) It has 4 strings, rather than 3; b) Octobass's appear to normally have a extension mechanism for the 'fingerings', to ...


11

Effectively, the image and video prove that a double bass is stronger than you imagine. There are angles at which you wouldn't want to step on a double bass, but at the positions shown, it will safely hold an average weight person. You wouldn't want to try this with an expensive instrument, but a rockabilly bassist is unlikely to be using a high-end bass. ...


11

Electric bass strings are much thicker, hence heavier, than electric guitar strings - this allows them to sound at a much lower frequency without needing double the length. (Guitars have scale lengths in the region 24-25 inches, electric basses around 30-34 inches depending on the style. The thickest guitar strings are usually a single steel core with a ...


11

I'm assuming we are talking about natural horse hair and not synthetics. From what I understand, the white hair is finer and preferred by violin and viola players. The black hair is the coarsest and strongest and used almost exclusively in double bass bows. It 'grabs' the string better and is said to give a grittier sound. Here is an article from Strings ...


10

It's the tenuto sign. It means that the note should be emphasized, by either playing it slightly louder than the rest or holding it to its full length. Wikipedia explains it pretty well.


10

I can think of two reasons: Bass is difficult enough the way it is. If you were to play it like a cello, you would need a) much more frequent position changes, and/or b) a strong, independent and wide-reaching (much wider than on cello with its shorter scale) pinky. I think most bassists never use the pinky on its own at all (or do they?), because a bass ...


10

If you're using a tuner, then you can safely use the octave harmonic to tune. She is wrong in saying blanketly that "the harmonics are slightly flat". Some are flat, some are sharp, some match equal temperament exactly*. This page has a figure that shows the relative sharpness and flatness of the first several harmonics. Often people use "...


9

It is much easier to balance the bass sitting on a stool than it is standing. When on a stool, you can take your left hand entirely off the bass without it sliding; but when standing, I have found that a small amount of the bass's weight will always be on the thumb of your left hand. For this reason I always prefer sitting to standing, but it's possible to ...


9

There is a difference between "on the string" staccato and "off the string" staccato with a host of subtle variations (such as spiccato, slurred-staccato, martele, and many others.) The type of staccato you use depends on the context and the sound that either your or someone else is looking for. I would consult a bass player for the correct way to perform ...


9

When one plays a walking bass, one uses all sorts of notes that are not necessarily included in the underlying chord. It is not just going up/down an arpeggio. In 4 time, generally 1st and 3rd beats will be played on notes from the chord, but not always. The dominant chord is there to take the music back to tonic (home), so the G is the 'right' bass note to ...


9

The "double" in double bass is due to its range compared to the cello which is an octave lower so it's "double the bass" compared to the cello. The names contrabass and double bass refer to the instrument's range and use in the contra octave below the cello, also called the 16' octave relative to the church organ. --Source


9

Since the standard 4 string double bass only goes down to E, and the cello down to C, this has been an issue for centuries. Many 4 string basses these days have an extension device fitted to the E string which enables Eb, D, Db and C when needed. This might be a cheaper option for you. Also, plenty of 4 string players are quite happy to tune down to a D ...


9

As far as double basses are concerned, it's not uncommon to see a body with something like this: Just a normal double bass body, with a left shoulder cutaway (if it is really called like that). They are used to help the player on the higher positions. One company (that comes to mind) that makes such basses is Framus : I understand why you ask such a ...


8

Used like this "Latin" is a rather non-specific term. Markings denoting specific styles of Latin American Music, for instance Bossa-Nova, Samba, Mambo, Rumba, Salsa etc. would suggest particular associated rhythmic patterns, particularly for bass and drums. However, this generic use of the word "Latin" leaves a lot of room for interpretation by the performer;...


8

Extended range basses have become all but standard in professional orchestras. Lots of music uses it, so you might as well have it. In the US, the preference (for whatever reason) is for the E-string extension to C on a four-string bass, whereas in Europe they prefer the 5-string instrument. Similarly, the bass clarinet extension to low C (the "normal" ...


8

The measure in question is a straightforward melodic minor scale. It is an "Etude for String Bass" so presumably there are no other instruments possibly playing (or having played) a different C. There is no similar/transposed passage in the vicinity that would require an accidental/natural. So you are correct in being irritated: this particular natural is ...


8

Double Bass does not imply a Single Bass instrument: but I was under the impression that the cello was a "tenor" instrument, rather than a "bass" one. Perhaps the cello is a tenor instrument in terms of the entire range of instruments, but until the double bass was invented, it was the bass voice relative to the rest of the violin family. During the ...


8

Look at this video, particularly from 1'35" You finger from the left (player's view). The 'clips' are on the right. They don't obstruct fingering.


8

I would strongly advise against Solution #2 (tuning the string down). Especially if this is a school/amateur orchestra (as you say), this could wreak absolute havoc. I have enough experience giving, for example, B-flat trumpet players C parts to know that this all too often leads in disaster. In the absence of C extensions, Solution #1 is really your only ...


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