Mudcat Café message #3271677 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #134838   Message #3271677
Posted By: GUEST,josepp
10-Dec-11 - 03:34 PM
Thread Name: Bought a double bass today
Subject: RE: Bought a double bass today
Recital time soon. I kept pestering my instructor for ragtime pieces. I have a book of the complete rags of Joplin in sheet music format. He showed me how to use it to construct a bass solo. So he decided why don't I appear at the next recital doing "The Entertainer." I wanted to do "Heliotrope Bouquet" but he wants me to concentrate on "The Entertainer." Right now, I'm just learning to pluck it but once I get it down, I have to learn it in arco and play it before an audience with a German bow. I try to bow it a little right now but--DAMN--that's hard! I'll get it though.

I'm also learning to write out the bass pattern for Eckstine's "Satin Doll". I said I wanted to learn it for my next jazz thing but he doesn't have the sheet music (he played with Billy in the 80s). So he said, that's another assignment: write it out myself. A good exercise in being a better sight-reader. Man, it's a chore but I'm getting down. He could do it in 5 minutes. I'm not quite that proficient.

I'm also learning out of two new books: Volume 1 of "Sturm" and a volume of Josef Hrabe etudes. I never thought I would ever learn this much about playing classical music. But you can't play this instrument well without a classical background. It's nuts.

I mentioned my bass lineage before but I'll run through it again backwards: Rich (my instructor), Robert Gladstone, Fred Zimmerman, Hermann Reinshagen, Ludwig Manoly, Franz Simandl. Simandl learned bass at the Prague Conservatory from Josef Hrabe. Hrabe took over from the conservatory's original bass pedagogue, Vaclav Hause, of whom he was also a student. It appears that Hause was also called Wenzleslas Hause and is also called Wenzel House. But I'm not clear on that.

But it would seem that in Hause's day, bass was such a hard instrument that it was necessary to play with gloves on--"fisticuffs" as it was actually called. When Hause retired, Hrabe made it mandatory to get rid of the gloves. Then this Italian dude named Dragonetti came along and started playing bass in a new way and, to keep up with him, the bass underwent some changes because guys like Beethoven wanted to write more complex bass parts after hearing what Dragonnetti could do even though he was the only guy that could do it. As a result, bass-playing was getting more innovative. Most of the innovation was going on around Vienna and that is where Simandl was teaching--the Vienna Conservatory.

So that's the tradition I'm trying to carry on. A bit more complicated than I initially thought. Time to practice.