All about the Double Bass
Gary Karr headlines the 2014 TCU International Double Bass Festival,
March 8-9 at the TCU School of Music. All recitals and masterclasses in the PepsiCo Recital Hall will be webcast live, including Gary Karr’s recital on Saturday, March 8th at 7:30 pm.
Tickets for any recital at the bass fest can be purchased for $10 at the registration desk. Day of auditor tickets are only $20 ($15 in advance) for the festival.
Jeff Bradetich (University of North Texas)
William Clay (Fort Worth Symphony)
Paul Ellison (Rice University)
Blaise Ferrandino (TCU composer and bassist)
Jessica Gilliam-Valls (Southwestern University)
Kyp Green (TCU professor of jazz bass)
Michael Klinghoffer (Israel, Jerusalem)
Eugene Levinson (The Juilliard School)
Jiwu Li (Shanghai Conservatory)
Yuan Xiong Lu (TCU)
Szymon Marciniak (Polish virtuoso)
Mark Morton (Texas Tech University)
David Neubert (Austin Symphony)
Brian Perry (Fort Worth Symphony)
Frank Proto (bassist & composer)
Nicholas Scales (West Texas A&M University)
John Schimek (Oklahoma City University)
Lynn Seaton (University of North Texas professor of jazz bass)
Tian Rui Zhao (Shenyang Conservatory)
TianYang Liu (First Prize Winner of the 2013 ISB Solo Competition)
Brazil’s UFMG Double Bass Group.
The 16th annual spring seminar for violinmakers will take place on May 3rd at Notts, UK.
It is attended by about 180 people from all over the UK comprising students, professional and amateur makers. Its a great day to meet up with people in the ‘trade’ and make new contacts, as well as being a lot of fun. You can listen to interesting lectures, have a wonderful lunch and shop at the many trade stands selling everything for the violinmaker.
Fingerboard extensions are very common in the USA, but become more and more popular in Europe, too. They have a couple of advantages over a 5-string bass, can get fitted to any 4-string bass and if they are well made, it’s reversible.
My friend Giorgio Pianzola, bass maker from Bern/Switzerland, has published a comprehensive guide how to calculate the length of an extension very exactly.
Visit www.kontrabassblog.ch for further reading (it starts in German – scroll down for English translation).
If you need a new Soundpost for a double bass, you usually take the already existing Soundpost for reference, and make the new one slightly longer or shorter, whatever you need in particular. While the proper length is not that difficult to measure inside the bass, the correct angle of the Soundpost’s bottom and top flat sides are always hard to guess, and a matter of time consuming trial and error. Of course, you can get the angle from the outside of the top and the back, but it’s difficult to find the exact position and the plates themselves aren’t always parallel, so the outsides only give you a rough idea of the angles.
I had some time during the Christmas holidays, so I’ve built my own measuring tool which will hopefully save me some time in future. The shaft is a aluminum tube of 10 mm diameter. On one end, I glued on a steel ball with epoxy. On the other side, I inserted a brass thread and a screw (M8) for length adjustment, again with a steel ball glued on.
Then, I put magnet rings on both steel balls. The power of magnetism holds them firmly on the balls, but will allow the to follow the curvature and angle of back and top smoothly – that’s the key idea of this device. With some sandpaper, I’ve dulled the balls’ surface, in order to prevent the magnets from moving too easily. I now set the device to the guessed length of the upcoming soundpost, set it into position inside the bass and re-adjust the length if needed. The magnets are much slippier than soundpost wood is, so I glued on fine sandpaper. Once the device has the proper length at the correct position, I remove the device carefully (so that the magnets stay in their position). For inserting and extracting the device, I use a fixed bent wire instead of the S-shaped soundpost setter tool – but this still needs some improvement. Besides this, it’s pretty cool. Transfering the angles to the soundpost is still a little tricky, but much better than guesswork.
The International bouble bass masterclasses “Giovanni Bottesini” will take place between January, 8. and May, 24. 2014 at the Music Conservatory of Lugano (Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana).
Thanks to our guests Professors: Klaus Stoll, Timothy Cobb, Hans Roelofsen, Gabriele Ragghianti, Michael Klinghoffer, Diego Zecharies. The Lessons are reserved for the students of the Conservatory, auditors are welcome and participation is completely free.
Not really double bass related, but if you ever come to Germany’s capitol city Berlin, check out what’s up at Piano Salon Christophori, if you (like me) love old instruments.
Founded by Christoph Schreiber, it’s a piano workshop specialized in old concert grand pianos, and a location where unique concerts and recordings take place. Christoph Schreiber (who is also a doctor by profession) and his team are specialists for restoring these old treasures, and take care of the original design of the pianos. The workshop is located in an old factory hall at Berlin-Wedding, and crowded with tools and old pianos waiting for rastauration … and the audience sits within, which is really a unique atmosphere. Their concerts range from classical to Jazz, and despite the fact that the musicians are top-notch, the entrance is free (you tip what you want).