Double Bassist Carter Callison likes to work with different tunings on the double bass. He has developed a Double Bass Retuning Pedal, which allows him to change the tuning of his bass while he plays:
Double Bass Retuning Pedals (a.k.a. “Scordatura Pedals”) have gone from being a simple DIY project in my garage to becoming a key element in my PhD research. After my original handmade prototype showed potential, I began the tedious process of developing CAD drawings with a design company in South Carolina in order to transform my basic idea into a nuanced product that can handle vigorous professional use. Now that the CAD drawings are done, I am at a critical stage where a lack of funds has put a hold on what I believe is an important project for the development of the double bass. The funds that I am requesting will allow for the manufacture of a professional quality prototype which will allow me to continue my research at the Royal Academy of Music.
Valery Amador writes at the Bass Musician Magazine about the “house bass” of Ronnie Scott’s:
Few bass players travel with a bass these days and the idea was simple; Ronnie’s wanted to be able to offer visiting musicians the very best in-house equipment possible, in order to facilitate the very best performances possible. (…) Crucially, the instrument was modelled on the original Amati bass given to jazz legend Ray Brown (who performed at the club many times) by his one-time wife Ella Fitzgerald. (…) Ray Brown’s Amati bass was noted for its unique timbre and sound. That bass is still in existence today, currently belonging to David Longenecker who plays with the Toronto Philharmonic.
Ronnie Scott’s bespoke bass is no less of a work of art. Made from the very highest quality tonewood and covered in eight coats of varnish, the bass had taken over nine months to produce from scratch by renowned London-based instrument maker, Laurence Dixon. Laurence had been in regular contact with Longenecker to replicate key unique characteristics of the bass such as the ‘f’ holes, machine heads and the neck ‘scroll’.
DiscoverDoubleBass.com is a new website by Geoff Chalmers, providing freely available video lessons for double bass in HD quality. Geoff covers topics like standing posture, sitting position and good posture, scales and arpeggios, cycles of 5ths, right hand exercises, accurate shifting, and others.
Based in the UK, Geoff has performed on numerous gigs, shows, cruise ships, tours and recording sessions. He has a degree in jazz bass, as well as a postgraduate diploma in classical music. In addition to being a busy freelance bassist Geoff is also an experienced educator teaching bass at schools, colleges and universities, as well as private students.
Jazzleadsheets.com, a resource for sheet music, has published some new transcriptions of music featuring the double bass: “Our bass corner has been created with the player in mind, to focus on improving technique and expanding repertoire. It’s a tool to learn about great bassists, to listen to them, and to learn how to incorporate their techniques while developing one’s own sound. It’s also a great resource for the accomplished bassist to get pieces that showcase the bass and let them have some fun fine-tuning their chops, and then showing off.”
Headway has worked over their popular preamp EDB-1, and launches the brand new and even more versatile EDB-2 this summer. Among the new features of the EDB-2 are: the 5 Band EQ is now assignable to Channel 1, 2 or both; the notch Filter is assignable to Channel 1 or 2; A huge 0-32 dB gain to interface with most mixers/desks etc.; phantom power is assignable to either “ring”, “tip” or “XLR” to power virtually all instrument microphones/pickups;
phase reverse is assignable to each channel;
3 way input impedance selector for each channel; Mini jack aux input (for e.g. iPod)
The EDM-1 is an ultra compact 1-channel-preamp and features 3 Band EQ, tuneable “Range” Control, 9v Phantom Power (assignable to “Ring” or “Tip”), 3 way impedance selector, earth Lift Switch, mute switch.
The EDM-1 is powered by battery, mains or phantom powered from mixer. A
XLR adaptor is included to convert the output jack to XLR Balanced DI Out.
The ISB Convention, the probably most important double bass event this year, starts in a few days. Convinient: the schedule, directions and social media channels are already available as an app for the iPad:
Pim van der Zwaan is a dutch double bassist and photographer who extensively works with the double bass. At his website and Flickr, he shows some of his photos which mostly have been taken at the workshop of luthier Harry Jansen. Some of his photos are available as a book: “The Art of double bass making“.
Harry and Pim are currently are working on a new book about the old school of English doublebass making , with photos of basses from John Lott, Panormo, Fendt and other amazing basses.
From August 3.–10. 2013, double bass legend Gary Karr will be at the beautiful Chesa da Cultura / St. Moritz (Switzerland) for a Masterclass. He will play a concert at Aug., 9. (8:30 p.m.)
Stiftung Pro Musica e Cultura
Tel. 0041 (0)61 361 62 44