Technique: Sound and phrase

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The importance of developing a refined, balanced technique to communicate a nuanced musical line on the double bass

To play the double bass today is very different from what it was a few decades ago. While once we hid away in orchestras, now we also need to perform as soloists, using the same spectrum of tone colour, intensity and articulation as violinists, violists and cellists. To be able to coax our mile-long strings into vibrating in the truly focused way that is needed to produce a musical phrase, we need an incredibly sophisticated technique. To many double bassists, players who produce a beautiful sound while projecting in a soloistic way seem like magicians.

To create a nuanced phrase with a full, articulate sound that is rich in colour requires us to find a balance between body and instrument, combining power with a supple and refined technique by working on our bowing, vibrato, sound imagination and sense of musical direction…

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