Bassist John Floeter has been continuing his series about organizing one’s practicing, putting up a great post earlier this week on his blog about how to really get a quality sound on the bass. This is a subject that I find very interesting, and it is great to hear John offer up valuable advice. He writes:
One of the most overlooked aspects of playing is the attention to tone. Often, bass players are so physically involved in playing the instrument, that the quality or appropriateness of their own tone is the last thing they’ll think about. Here’s a news flash: it’s one of the first things that listeners pay attention to. This is particularly true if the bass is played in a solo situation, such as recitals, auditions, chamber music, juries, and those times the conductor wants to hear the basses alone.
Tone is subjective, and you have to decide for yourself what you think is good (or appropriate). But what the player hears and the listener hears are very different, so it’s a good idea to have someone you can trust to give you an idea what you sound like. Some good recording equipment can help, too.
John goes on to talk about bow placement, both in an abstract setting (scales and exercises) and in an actual musical context. Very interesting and informative, and I look forward to reading more of John’s posts about this topic in the future.
If you haven’t checked out John’s blog before, I highly recommend doing so.
- Jeff Turner discusses technique (Pittsburgh Symphony)
- Ira Gold discusses technique (National Symphony)
- Michael Hovnanian discusses technique (Chicago Symphony)
- Lawrence Hurst discusses technique (Indiana University)
- Andy Anderson discusses technique (Lyric Opera of Chicago)