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Thursday December 14, 2017
Silvio Dalla Torre
The Bassetto in History My Bassetto Bassetto Practice - Use / Literature - Playing Technique - Methods / Tutors - FAQs

FAQs

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Questions and answers on the subjects "Double Bass" and "The New Dutch School" are to be found here.
Can the bassetto be used in the orchestra?
No. In the (classical) orchestra, the bassetto does not make sense, in particular because it lacks a minor third at the bottom of the range (contra G) in comparison with the four-string double bass in orchestral tuning. Also the high notes are used only very rarely.
How long does it take to learn the bassetto?
That depends of course on your previous experiences. A cellist who has been playing for years should not need more than six months to attain a certain degree of security on the instrument. For double bass players it is more difficult (see Playing Technique): they must reckon with at least one, perhaps two years, for the changeover. But anyone who is already accustomed to the four-finger technique has an advantage.
Does someone who plays double bass and bassetto get completely confused?
In my experience: at first, definitely Yes. However, the confusion clears up after a little while. Later you become able to switch between the two instruments and to change over without any great problems.