Playing the upright bass in tune

Rx: Getting in tune on the double bass.

Two methods for getting better intonation on the contrabass:

  • Sing the proper name of the notes while playing them.
  • Play with a drone.

A recommendation to tune the playing to the singing. This works towards two important musicianship goals:

  1. tie the playing to the ear and what is in your mind
  2. keeping your focus on the notes that you are playing and not letting the mind wander

A variation on playing with a drone is to play against a dissonant drone, which will likely drive you insane but looks like an interesting approach as well.

The exercise presented is called the “All Intervals Exercise.” It involves naming each pitch and interval while sliding between a single note and all the intervals above it. Use sharps to name pitches on the way up and flats on the way down.



Comments are closed