Scordatura tuning

Retuning the strings. Notated with a verbal instruction to retune, possibly with an additional staff to show new tunings. Retuning takes time and care. Retuning the double bass is relatively common, although most music sticks with the standard tuning (albeit with a low C extension). The tuning pegs on a bass enable very accurate retunings.
Scordatura tuning:
The history of bass tunings:
19th Century 'solo' tuning:

Tap instrument

Tapping the body of the instrument with fingers or with the bow. Notated with a verbal instruction, with x-shaped noteheads for extended passages. The large, hollow body of the bass makes tapping the instrument quite effective. Belly, ribs and back all produce a different sound, making the instrument resembles a tom-tom. It is best to stick to hand taps rather than using beaters.
Tapping the instrument:

Play behind bridge

Playing the strings between the bridge and the tailpiece. Notated with a verbal instruction, with x-shaped noteheads if necessary. The standard bowing and plucking techniques may be used for this effect.
Play behind bridge:

 

 

 


Bow on bridge

Bowing the strings directly on the bridge. Notated with a verbal instruction, with x-shaped noteheads if necessary. This is not the same as sul ponticello which plays near the bridge. (See 'behind bridge' clip for more information).

 

 

Bow tailpiece

Bowing the tailpiece. Notated with a verbal instruction. Rather uncontrollable and ugly, but fairly loud. (See 'behind bridge' clip for more information).

Striking strings

Striking the strings with the hand. Notated with a verbal instruction. Quite a strong effect. The left hand can be used to produce pitches, or to add more strikes. Striking strings:

'Silent' fingering

Fingering pitches with the left hand without bowing or plucking the strings. Notated with a verbal instruction. A common technique, particularly in jazz. Silent fingering:

 

The Orchestra: A User's Manual is a free resource and will remain so. It still receives between 8,000 and 16,000 unique visits per month from all over the world. See the testimonials. Thanks to all the donations, I have been able to create this responsive re-design. But the movies and sound clips recorded in 2004 do show their age. I would really like to re-record everything and add many more techniques, especially for solo and ensemble writing. I estimate this will cost around £30,000. If you know a source of such funds, please contact me: a.hugill [at] bathspa.ac.uk