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Winds Vol. 20 Mastery Clinic for Contrabass

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Introduction

In an excellent tutorial for all young bassists, Yoshiaki Maeda draws from his tenure with the world renowned Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra to present additional training options for those who might also perform with a concert band.

1. Check the condition of your instrument
Having an instrument in proper condition precedes the study of sound and technique. The clinician describes the bass from tuning pegs to endpin, with careful attention given to body, string and bridge condition, string action and sound post position, with suggestions for corrective measures.

2. Basics are most important. Learning correct playing method
Mr. Maeda addresses and demonstrates all of the important fundamentals, including posture and position challenges and solutions, bowing options and technique, left hand placement, shifting, effective practice methods and instrument care. Simandl Etudes up to 7th position are demonstrated and assigned.

3. Let’s play!
More advanced techniques are shown including styles of pizzicato, vibrato, tremolo, col legno, use of harmonics in tuning and performance, glissando and other special effects.

4. String Bass as an accompanist
The support role is discussed and demonstrated, considering when and how to blend with the ensemble. Various accompaniment styles are presented by excerpt and full performance. The difference between band and orchestra participation is discussed.
Model performance : An der schönen, blauen Donau / Johann Strauß IIThe Fairest of the Fair / J.P. Sousa

5. Learn more about the double bass
Use of the five-string bass, double bass accessories, when and how to restring, and options for care, and careful transportation of the bass are shown.

6. Practicing together
Enclosed exercises and selected Simandl studies are interactively used to teach positions, bowing, scales, intervals and more. The student’s grasp of content is optimized by responding to an excellent role model.

7. Listening to great performance
Sonata F-Dur / Willem de Fesch*2Capriccio di Bravura / Giovanni Bottesini

Conclusion
Mr. Maeda addresses in detail the challenges of studying and maintaining this important large string instrument. He stresses consistency, dedication and knowledge as the surest means to satisfying performance.

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