Foundation Warm-Ups



The “weightless” bass – balancing with no left hand (notes)

    1.  Find center of gravity for the bass – middle finger-tip of left hand on saddle
        – bass is to fall slightly forward and toward you
    2.  Walk into bass (feet parallel to the top & back plates)
       – support it with your stomach on the top bout and lower legs on the lower bout
    3.  Adjust stance toward the left so that left knee catches the lower bout in the back.
        Turn out right foot so that weight is even on both feet (heels point toward each other)
    4.  Pull right toe back behind the top plate of the bass.  Keep your “tail” and the bass’s “tail” parallel.
    5. Adjust and repeat until relaxed and comfortably stable without left hand support. The bass rides on
        your hip and stabilized from falling forward by the left knee behind the bass.

Open strings (notes)
    Now the weight of the bass falls slightly forward into the bow

    1.  Stopped bow – stop, relax bow arm weight into string, change bow planes, use back to draw the stroke.
    2.  Continuous bow – change planes 3 inches before changing direction with back
    3.  Slow bow – 4th quadrant, relax, use the back.  25″ G / 30″ D / 35″A / 40″ E

    Stance     1.  Hold with left hand at c -bout or scroll
                    2.  No left hand

One-fingered scale (scale pattern from bass class exercises) (notes)

    1.  Position left hand in 1/2 position on the G string, all finger tips on the string
    2.  Using only the 4th finger play a scale from B flat up to F on the G string using the bowing indicated below (keep left thumb loose).  Check the    intonation on the D with the open D string and with the D harmonic resting directly under the D.
    3.  Repeat the same pattern using only the 2nd finger, then again using only the 1st finger.  Keep hand in position, fingers curled.
    4.  Repeat this on the other open strings (f on the D string, c on the A string, g on the E string.)
    5.  Extend the process to the octave harmonic on each string so only the fingertip on the left hand is touching the harmonic at the octave. (bring thumb to top of the fingerboard early!  when your reach the note f on the g string.)
    6.  Do one-fingered scales from open G to G harmonic.  Repeat on other strings.
    7.  Extend the pattern to two octaves on each string.

start with 4th finger on Bflat – check closed D with d harmonic – bring thumb to front of board at F – play G as harmonic (no thumb)

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Octaves  (combining principals of bow control, shifting and relaxed body balance.  (notes)