Contrabass Digest

To subscribe or unsubscribe, email



Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 18:21:05 -0800
From: Grant Green
Subject: Re: [CB] Contrabass Clarinet -- Altissimo Fingerings

> >Now the low notes on my BBb paperclip are superb, but I do wish I had an
>altissimo register - I can't get above D (register key only, plus the odd key
>here or there, perhaps). Should I be able to get higher? any tips?<

Yes, you can use the regular bass clarinet fingerings, more or less, up to the F# above.  For notes above altissimo Eb, try closing RH3.

>The Leblanc contra and mouthpiece are designed to favor the low register.
>Altissimo notes are simply a stunt.  You bring a contra to the dance to play
>contra, not piccolo.

If you have no interest in pushing the boundaries of your instrument, sure.  But why not?

>This chart assumes an instrument with all four trill keys for the right index
>finger (e.g., the Selmer Eb contra).  The Leblanc contras have only the
>lowest key, so some of these fingerings aren't possible.  However, contra
>altissimo fingerings are peculiar to each instrument, and you have to figure
>them out anyway.  The chart should be a good starter, though.

Actually, it appears that the Leblanc "paperclip" contralto (model 350) has all four jump keys.  Of course, the Selmer, Buffet, and Leblanc contraltos all have different register key arrangements, so you'll probably need to experiment with the several alternate fingerings Terje provides to see which one works best for your instrument.

>When Steve Fox <> restored my Selmer Eb contra,
>we had an extensive discussion about installing an English-horn-style
>split-key altissimo vent.  I also suggested a simple key opened by a palm
>touch (as on a saxophone).  Eventually we decided not to do it, though I may
>get around to it.  On your Leblanc, there would also be the problem of doing
>the work in metal.  I'd work with the Lerstad fingerings first, before doing
>metal surgery.

I've considered having something similar done, but I was thinking of drilling through the LH1 pad and providing a covering pad to close the pinhole.  The existing touch would be split across the middle, with the upper half closing both keys and the lower half closing only the perforated pad.  Haven't gotten around to it yet...


Grant Green
Sarrusophones, contrabass reeds, &
other brobdignagian acoustic exotica   

Date: Tue, 05 Mar 2002 08:16:58 -0800
From: David Richoux
Subject: [CB] "Rubber-Band" Bass

Hi all,

I was  writing to a string/electric bass player on the Dixieland list about my Guild Ashbory bass and found this interesting historical site

The instrument is now manufactured by Fender and is really quite nice to play, IMO. The list price is $500 but I have seen it on the web for $300...

Dave Richoux

Date: Tue, 05 Mar 2002 09:05:43 -0800
From: David Richoux
Subject: Re: [CB] "Rubber-Band" Bass

and further surfing leads to:
for that esoteric new and improved washtub string bass !!!

Dave Richoux


Next Digest ->
Previous Digest <-