Monday, July 10, 2006

Special sounds on the double bass

It has been a tiring day at work. Anyway, I am glad that I have found time to practise on the double bass after work. Practising can be a source of stress-relief.

Alan Ridout's Concerto for Double Bass and Strings has made use of several interesting performance directives to produce special sounding effects on the double bass.

One of these is:

Sul ponticello: A glassy, metallic sound is produced when one plays very near the bridge.

And if you were to think that there were two players playing the double bass but you only saw one player, you might have been fooled by the double stops. Double stops can be found in this particular concerto. Wikipedia states that a double-stop "is the act of playing two notes simultaneously on a stringed instrument".

Another sound effect that you can hear in this concerto is when the double bassist produces harmonics by merely touching the strings lightly at the appropriate points on the strings. I used to have no clue on how to play the high-pitched harmonics, but thanks to MJ, I have learnt to do so. If you don't mind physics and would like to understand how harmonics are produced on stringed instruments, check this out:

This concerto is getting more and more interesting to play. I just hope my interpretation of it is considered musical enough.


Simple American said...

Glad it is becoming interesting. When I was in band, the pieces I liked were always played better. I think this will work out for you.

pinkie said...

jia you! :)