When upright double bass music comes in different
editions and arrangements
When searching for some upright double bass (sheet) music, you
might occasionally notice that there is often more than one, two
or even three editions of the same piece. There could be many
reasons for this, but here's a few:
As any bass player knows, because of the evolution of the performance
capability and technical advancements of the bass over the years,
composers (like Bach to Webern) didn't write for the bass back in
their day. At least not like they did for the cello or violin.
Mostly because the basses (and bassists), just weren't ready for
that. Well, maybe the bassists were ready, but with the way
the instruments were set up (very high strings, 3-stringed basses,
big fat gut string diameters and low tension etc...) need I say
more? Even now, anyone that has had their bass "updated"
to today's set up standards can attest, even one millimeter less
high on a G string (not buzzing!), will make a huge difference in
facility. (We strive for this kind of exacting set
up on all of our basses.)
Through out the years though different bass players or teachers
came up with different ideas and approaches. For instance,
the Schubert Arpeggione Sonata (in A minor) is arranged by
Stuart Sankey and also by Frank Proto. Which one do you choose?
If you are on a tight budget... I think I'd choose the cheapest
one....first! That will get you started. If you can
swing both parts, I personally would get both. Here's
why: While the music is the same, the bowings, the fingerings,
even the phrasing will be different. Both of these men (Frank
and Stuart) great teachers and players, have great ideas to share
in each edition they offer. If I am studying a piece (and
that Schubert is challenging!), I would get both editions to have
more help and ideas than just the one part. From my own personal
experience, I may get stumped with a spot (usually technical
issue with a smooth shift or intonation) and need some help.
Looking at the same passage in the other edition, I'd sometimes
find a completely different approach: Different fingerings,
different string choice, different positioning (even before that
spot and after) and it would always (well almost always) save the
day! Sometimes the passage is just plain hard and you will
have to well....practice it more!!
So if you really want to study a piece and play it your best, getting
another arrangement and edition, while it takes more money, could
be the best bass lesson (and cheapest) you've ever had.
Let's go back to the upright
bass sheet music now.