Tuesday October 27, 2020
Silvio Dalla Torre
Chameleon Double Bass Double Bass as Solo Instrument? Tunings Playing Techniques I Playing Techniques II New Dutch School - Heavy Bow - Strings - Elements of Technique  · Playing Sitting Down  · Four-Finger Technique  · The Thumb Position - Practising in Flow - Methods / Tutors - Opinions - FAQs

Playing Sitting Down

The heavy bow is an essential element of the "New Dutch School", and this on its own dictates playing in the sitting position. The greater weight of the bow would have to be held up in the standing position, but sitting down, with the altered angle of the arm to the instrument, it virtually falls onto the string on its own, as with the violin, viola and violoncello. Quite aside from the fact that it is necessary to master playing in the sitting position (if one wishes to obtain a position with an orchestra), additional reasons
for this are:
  • it is no longer necessary to continually balance the instrument – upper body,
    arms and legs are thus completely free
  • due to gravity, the bow is more easily
    sucked into the string (which is very important for creating the flow)
  • the left elbow can be kept lower when playing sitting down than when standing – this results in less fatigue.
The only disadvantage I can see is that there is more that has to be transported.

To avoid the body damping the back of the instrument, I recommend that the double bass is held relatively central and that both legs are positioned on the sides, which also helps in maintaining a relaxed sitting posture. I advise against using a footstool, since this leads to a distorted posture.