Vol. 4, No. 38

An email list for discussion of bass and contrabass instruments of all kinds. To subscribe, send a message with "subscribe" in the subject line to contrabass-request@contrabass.com, or go to the subscription page.

To post, send your message to contrabass-list@contrabass.com.

See the Archive for back issues.

Contrabass-list Tue, 18 Nov 1997 Volume 1 : Number 38

In this issue:

Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 20:48:54 -0700 (MST)
From: Da Shouryu-man <jnohe@nmsu.edu>
Subject: Re: contrabass-list V1 #37

This is the good thing I can tel you about your new plastic Vito bass. With a good mouthpiece, the right reeds, and once you find all the quirks of the horn, you will have a nice, decent horn. While the model won't get you the professional orchestra sound and projection that the Buffets and Selmer do, you will get a beautiful, strong timbre--especially in the chalameau register.

Now for the not so good news. The throat register on it isn't well constructed, and will sound airy, and be most likely sharp. But fear not! With some embochure and tongue work, along with finger shadings, you can make the throat sound almost as good as the rest of the horn. The worse news: Rico reeds are the cheapest on the market, and there's a reason why. The cane used is very cheap and often unbalanced or unstable (Ricos are VERY susceptible to climate changes). But...Ricos are decent screw around reeds, the type you use for playing rough jazz, when you want to sound like a tenor sax (until you get to 1 and 1 E or so). So they do have use...however, you'll most likely wear them out quickly, but don't worry about it too much. Once you've used them up, I suggest switching to Marcas; a strength of 3 should be about the same equivelant as a 3 1/2 Rico. They're just as easy to play on as the Ricos, but you're sound will be more stable. You won't be able to do the tenor sax thing; you'll definitely sound more like a pure bass clarinet tone (some overtones can still be heard with the right hand clarion register). To get rid of those overtones, then go to Vandoren. They make the highest quality reeds for low clarinets, with the best cane (the cane is ALWAYS consistent, and is less responsive to sudden changes in humidity). Either a 3 or 2 1/2 strength should equal your Ricos (this is because few of the reeds are actually exactly 2.5 in strength--a box of 2 1/2s contain between 2.3 up to 2.8, since somedays you may need a softer reed, etc). It's best to experiment with Vandies, then buy them by the box.

Big congrats on your new horn! Definitely managed to make me jealous!


Coming soon! A whole new Dope-onna-rope! That's right! Shouryu is
changing EVERYTHING!!! A new signature with new and improved design! A
new web page with...>gasp<...USEFUL STUFF! Stay tuned in December when
Warm Up gets a whole new makeover!!! http://web.nmsu.edu/~jnohe
(This does not mean, however, that Shouryu has a girlfriend yet.)

Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 09:06:17 -0600
From: Meg and John Maenpaa <maenpaa@starnetinc.com>
Subject: Re: contrabass-list V1 #35

Southern Music has a couple etude/technical studies books for alto and bass clarinet. One is 35 technical studies by William Rhoads. Another is Advanced Studies by Julius Weissenborn. While they are not "tunes" they are a little more technical than some. which most dont go above the staff. I play a contra which wont play above. Since I can't play above high c on my contra, It is a most annoying problem when I am playing on my contra. Except for the last measure in the 1st and 3rd movement, and the one cadenza, the Mozart Bassooon Concerto arranged for bass clarinet (by Paul Dahm, Musicus NewYork) would probably work. There is the old Bass Clarinet Deepwood by Davit Benned for Bass Clarinet (Carl Fisher Music). If you get yourself a copy of the Weber Bassoon concerto and write it and transpose it, the third movement should all fall under the high C. I wrote out the Rondo for my bass once and looking at it it only goes up to the C. If you want to e-mail me(Maenpaa@starnetinc.com) your snail mail address, I could run you off a copy of the Rondo. I don't have my book with me, because I lent it out, but Rubank makes a collection of the unaccompanied violin and cello sonatas, and some of them are under the C I think.

Meg Maenpaa

Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 09:09:12 -0600
From: Meg and John Maenpaa <maenpaa@starnetinc.com>
Subject: Re: contrabass-list V1 #35

Another note on contra playing. The cheaper horns don't do much for the altissimo range. I can play in the altissimo range on an old metal paperclip model , however the new Vito I bought, i find impossible to do in the altissimo range.

End of contrabass-list V1 #38

Next Digest->

Back to Index