Little help for a bass player?

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
Afternoon all. First post for a new recruit so cut me a little slack please!

Got the website adress off a mate of mine who plays for YBS concert brass. Like the look so far.

I'm currently playing E-flat bass, but three other E-flat players around me, and a vacant spot on BB, I've been asked to consider moving. I was always happier on low stuff than high stuff (but hey, isn't everybody?) so I kinda think it'd be a good plan cos my band are a great buch and I really want to make a go of it.

I started on BB, but moved onto E within a few weeks, and haven't picked a BB up in three and a half years. Has anyone got any advice on how to switch between the two with a minimum of fuss?

Any and all advice gratefully recieved.
 

PeterBale

Moderator
Staff member
Hello, and welcome to theMouthPiece :wink:

I'm going to move this thread into the section called "Rehearsal Room" which is where we usually deal with this sort of request. More people are likely to see it there and respond.

As someone who has moved frequently between BBb & EEb I wouldn't have thought you should have too many problems, especially as you have played it before. Try and arrange to spend some time on it, practising and getting used to the pitch again. I'm sure the others will be quite supportive, if there is a little uncertainty at first
 

nickjones

Active Member
Aye go for it.....I play Eb and Bb ( both as bad as each other ) started on Eb...but when I joined Point Of Ayr ( 1991)and was accepted on the National Youth Brass Band of Wales both bands were looking for a Bb players ,I gave it a go and still doing it now , try and do both if you can , if any bands need a dep it is good to be able to play both..helps your sound , production , range.....you got nowt to lose.
 

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
Thanks for the advice. And I'll try and post in the right spot next time. It usually takes me a month or so to fathom website out!

Any need to change mouthpiece or anything? I'm currently on an old besson prototype (The same one I started on.) but it's quite narrow compared to what some of my compatriots are using, so I tend to struggle on the really low stuff you get in some test pieces.

I'va a bach 24AW that someone reccomended, but I haven't really used yet cos it doesn't do to change mouthpiece 2 weeks before a contest! Would that do for BBb as well as Eb?
 

Darth_Tuba

Active Member
Thirteen Ball said:
I'va a bach 24AW that someone reccomended, but I haven't really used yet cos it doesn't do to change mouthpiece 2 weeks before a contest! Would that do for BBb as well as Eb?
Although mouthpieces are a very personal thing, the 24AW should be fine. It's a standard mouthpiece used by lots of bass players in bands and should be fine for going between Eb and BBb. :)
 

Ste69

Member
For 15 years, I played Eb with a Wick 4L (most people gasp and faint when I say that, wondering how the hell I got by :!: )

Since joining my current band, I found there was no way I could nearly produce enough sound or anything like the tone. So I moved to the Bach 24AW that came with the band's instrument. Have been on it nearly a month and it's going ok although I now need to build myself up lung capacity wise to fill the damn thing :wink:

I have considered (when not running up to a contest) looking for something a bit more personalised - you know, actually going out and trying a few for size!!!!!
 

Drew

New Member
Just to play 'devil's advocate' for a moment - did your band aculmalate so many EEb's thinking that eventually you would go on to BBb? Not just because it's the only instrument that matters, but because nobody else wanted too! That's an old trick bands/conductors have played for many years?

Regarding mouthpieces you may want to think about Plexiglass? I play on one and in 'my own personal view' and it gives a much more softer and bigger sound. It also helps with those pedals when needed, I use to use a Vincent Bach 18 and get down to a pedal B, now I can get as low as a pedal, pedal D! Which I must admit I haven't used that much, yet!
 

drunkandy

New Member
I started off some 18 years ago on baritone and as I got bigger I descended down to BBb. After some time playing on that ( at a quite high standard, I personnally think :oops: ), our M.D asked me to move on to EEb. I never enjoyed it because I felt more exposed, and shortly moved back to BBb. The best thing I did was take three years off, because when I came back, I felt a much stronger player.
 

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
Plexi Mouthpieces? Heard of plastic ones on trombones and stuff, but never on bass. Maybe I'm just slow on new developments.

There's three Eb basses at TYorkshire Co-op besides myself, all of whom I'll freely admit are better than me. I was drafted in as a last-minute unsigned player from a non-competing band (About 4th section standard) for the areas, and much to my surprise, they offered me a place! At this time they had two B-flat players, so I don't think moving me was on the agenda then.

To be honest I think it's good of them to offer me the spot when a vacancy arose, rather than draft in another BB to replace the guy who left, regardless of how convenient it is for the MD. Some bands will often just say 'thanks a lot and see you later' to a newbie who's been drafted in for a contest and maybe isn't quite up to standard. Seen it happen to quite a few of my mates. The other two lads turning up was just unhappy chance, but I can't be unhappy just cos they're better than me can I? Despite the fact the band can't offer me a spot on Eb, at least they've had the decency to give me a chance at staying on.
 

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
drunkandy said:
I started off some 18 years ago on baritone....
It's funny where different people start off isn't it? Almost all my compatriots started on cornet, and most of them are still there. While they were pitching up and going for top As Bs and Cs, I was going the other way looking for pedal As and Gs!
 

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
I though it was funny when you said about taking 3 years off. The old cogs move pretty slowly upstairs y'see. It was kind of a "Oh I know a bass player who said the same thing about time off and ... Hold on a minute!!!"
 
Talking of changing between EEb & BBb, my old mate Carl Woodman (tMPer) currently plays EEb in the International Staff Band and BBb in his other band at Chatham Citadel. I tend to think that it's a good thing to be able to play both - you end up making yourself more indispensible that way!

Also orchestral tubists in this country will regularly swop between Eb and CC tubas, depending on the repertoire. In the orchestral environment it just kinda goes with the territory.

As for me, can't play the BBb for toffee!! :wink:

Paul Drury
Eb Bass
Edinburgh Gorgie SA Band
 

Okiedokie of Oz

Active Member
Ste69 said:
For 15 years, I played Eb with a Wick 4L (most people gasp and faint when I say that, wondering how the hell I got by :!: )
I spent 3 years on a 5. Came with my old Imperial EEb. People wonder why I now have such a natural inclination for high stuff on bass.

So I moved to the Bach 24AW that came with the band's instrument. Have been on it nearly a month and it's going ok although I now need to build myself up lung capacity wise to fill the damn thing :wink:

I have considered (when not running up to a contest) looking for something a bit more personalised - you know, actually going out and trying a few for size!!!!!
The 24 is a great nouthpiece for a EEb. But in a double Bb? not my choice. A good B flat player is someone who can lay a nice resonating floor down and let the Eb's provide the rest of the power. A small mouthpiece in a B flat tends to make your sound thinner, but stronger. If that's what both you and your conductor want,t hen sure, go for it. As an allround mouthpiece I use the VB12. It give a very round Eb sound, brilliant for the rare times I play CC and and is a good "best of both worlds" mouthpiece in a Bb.

that's my opinion.
 

Ste69

Member
Okiedokie of Oz said:
The 24 is a great nouthpiece for a EEb. But in a double Bb? not my choice.
Sorry, probably didn't make myself clear.....I have a tendency to do that :!: I still play Eb on a 24AW. Or hang on....were you talking about 13ball and his little dilemma :?:

Oh God I'm confused :roll:

Still it doesn't take much usually :wink:
 

bassinthebathroom

Active Member
I do both, and use the same mouthpiece (a Wick 2L) for both. It's great fun, though the first few hymn tunes tend to be a bit of a laugh - wrong notes and everything as I try to find my pitch. :oops:
 

Ste69

Member
bassinthebathroom said:
I do both, and use the same mouthpiece (a Wick 2L) for both. It's great fun, though the first few hymn tunes tend to be a bit of a laugh - wrong notes and everything as I try to find my pitch. :oops:
Just the first few :?: :wink:
 
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