How (not) to play the bass:

  • When doing spiccato, bounce your bow as high as possible – it’s impressive.
  • Count rests out loud, that way people know that you can count.
  • Don’t wait for the lower string tuning note. You’re better than that.
  • Be sure to snap the string when playing pizz – it adds a nice percussive sound to help the cellos and violas.
  • Talk whenever you want – you’re far enough back that you never bother anyone and the conductor can’t see you anyway.
  • Be 5 minutes late – the winds are tuning anyway so who cares?
  • Bombard the maestro with useless questions – you’ll seem like you really care about the ensemble.
  • Don’t practice – you want to be ‘fresh’ for the gig.
  • Befriend the tuba player so you can make fun of everyone else.
  • Leave your case right behind you. It will make leaving the gig quicker so you can get to the bar before the brass section.
  • Dynamics? Ha! You need everyone to hear the tempo – play loud!
  • Remember, pops concerts are 45 minutes of G – D then a run that’s impossible.
  • Don’t sweat all those excerpts in Beethoven. The cellos double you anyway.
  • Speaking of cellos, ignore their bowings. Hmmm… No really.
  • Don’t bother bringing a bow tie – someone always has an extra.
  • Talk during the gig – rock stars do.

One comment

  • In response to my overzealous use of rosin, I was corrected.
    “Don’t be a rosiholic.”—Warren A. Benfield

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