High Point, NC
8.000 x 10.000 inches
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Bass Fiddle Blues
Drawing - Pencil
Jazz....American....Down South in New Orleans or Up North in New York at the Birdland Club. Strum it. Feel it. Reverberating in the Soul. Dancing in the Mind. I drew this image from a live performance, expressing how the music captivates, demonstrates our need to feel....feel blue, feel happy, feel longing for another time. I've listened to alot of jazz, rock, bluegrass, the list goes on..... and one constant is the bass. The heartbeat that brings life to the melody. Arms wrapped around the body, coaxing rhythyms and living, breathing soul from the strings.The double bass, also called the string bass, upright bass, bass fiddle, bass violin, doghouse bass, contrabass, bass viol, stand-up bass or bull fiddle, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra, with strings usually tuned to E1, A1, D2 and G2 (see standard tuning). The double bass is a standard member of the string section of the orchestra and smaller string ensembles in Western classical music. In addition, it is used in other genres such as jazz, 1950s-style blues and rock and roll, rockabilly/psychobilly, traditional country music, bluegrass, tango and many types of folk music. A person who plays the double bass is usually referred to as a bassist.Beginning around 1890, the early New Orleans jazz ensemble (which played a mixture of marches, ragtime, and Dixieland) was initially a marching band with a tuba or sousaphone (or occasionally bass saxophone) supplying the bass line. As the music moved into bars and brothels, the upright bass gradually replaced these wind instruments. Many early bassists doubled on both the brass bass and string bass, as the instruments were then often referred to. Bassists played "walking" bass lines�scale-based lines that outlined the harmony.Because an unamplified upright bass is generally the quietest instrument in a jazz band, many players of the 1920s and 1930s used the slap style, slapping and pulling the strings so that they make a rhythmic "slap" sound against the fingerboard. The slap style cuts through the sound of a band better than simply plucking the strings, and allowed the bass to be more easily heard on early sound recordings, as the recording equipment of that time did not favor low frequencies. For more about the slap style, see Modern playing styles, below.Jazz bassist Charles Mingus was also an influential bandleader and composer whose musical interests spanned from bebop to free jazz. Many upright bass players have contributed to the evolution of jazz. Examples include swing era players such as Jimmy Blanton, who played with Duke Ellington, and Oscar Pettiford, who pioneered the instrument's use in bebop. Paul Chambers (who worked with Miles Davis on the famous Kind of Blue album) achieved renown for being one of the first jazz bassists to play bebop solos with the bow. Terry Plumeri furthered the development of arco (bowed) solos, achieving horn-like technical freedom and a clear, vocal bowed tone, while Charlie Haden, best known for his work with Ornette Coleman, defined the role of the bass in Free Jazz.A number of other bassists, such as Ray Brown, Slam Stewart and Niels-Henning �sted Pedersen, were central to the history of jazz. Notably, Charles Mingus was a highly regarded composer as well as a bassist noted for his technical virtuosity and powerful sound. Scott LaFaro influenced a generation of musicians by liberating the bass from contrapuntal "walking" behind soloists instead favoring interactive, conversational melodies.While the electric bass guitar was used intermittently in jazz as early as 1951, beginning in the 1970s bassist Bob Cranshaw, playing with saxophonist Sonny Rollins, and fusion pioneers Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke began to commonly substitute the bass guitar for the upright bass. Apart from the jazz styles of jazz fusion and Latin-influenced jazz however, the upright bass is still the dominant bass instrument in jazz. The sound and tone of the plucked upright bass is distinct from that of the fretted bass guitar. The upright bass produces a different sound than the bass guitar, because its strings are not stopped by metal frets, instead having a continuous tonal range on the uninterrupted fingerboard. As well, bass guitars usually have a solid wood body, which means that their sound is produced by electronic amplification of the vibration of the strings, instead of the upright bass's acoustic reverberation.The string bass is the most commonly used bass instrument in bluegrass music and is almost always plucked, though some modern bluegrass bassists have also used a bow. The bluegrass bassist is part of the rhythm section, and is responsible for keeping a steady beat, whether fast, slow, in 4/4 time, 2/4 or 3/4 time. The Engelhardt-Link (formerly Kay) brands of laminate basses have long been popular choices for bluegrass bassists. Most bluegrass bassists use the 3/4 size bass, but the full-size and 5/8 size basses are also used.Upright bass used by a bluegrass group; the cable for a piezoelectric pickup can be seen extending from the bridge.Early pre-bluegrass traditional music was often accompanied by the cello. The cellist Natalie Haas points out that in the US, you can find "...old photographs, and even old recordings, of American string bands with cello." However, "The cello dropped out of sight in folk music, and became associated with the orchestra." The cello did not reappear in bluegrass until the 1990s and first decade of the 21st century. Some contemporary bluegrass bands favor the electric bass, because it is easier to transport than the large and somewhat fragile upright bass. However, the bass guitar has a different musical sound. Many musicians feel the slower attack and percussive, woody tone of the upright bass gives it a more "earthy" or "natural" sound than an electric bass, particularly when gut strings are used.Common rhythms in bluegrass bass playing involve (with some exceptions) plucking on beats 1 and 3 in 4/4 time; beats 1 and 2 in 2/4 time, and on the downbeat in 3/4 time (waltz time). Bluegrass bass lines are usually simple, typically staying on the root and fifth of each chord throughout most of a song. There are two main exceptions to this rule. Bluegrass bassists often do a diatonic walkup or walkdown, in which they play every beat of a bar for one or two bars, typically when there is a chord change. In addition, if a bass player is given a solo, they may play a walking bass line with a note on every beat or play a pentatonic scale-influenced bassline.Country music bassist "Too Slim" (Fred LaBour of Riders in the Sky) performing in Ponca City, Oklahoma in 2008.
An early bluegrass bassist to rise to prominence was Howard Watts (also known as Cedric Rainwater), who played with Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys beginning in 1944. The classical bassist Edgar Meyer has frequently branched out into newgrass, old-time, jazz, and other genres. "My all-time favorite is Todd Phillips," proclaimed Union Station bassist Barry Bales in April 2005. "He brought a completely different way of thinking about and playing bluegrass."An upright bass was the standard bass instrument in traditional country western music. While the upright bass is still occasionally used in country music, the electric bass has largely replaced its bigger cousin in country music, especially in the more pop-infused country styles of the 1990s and 2000s, such as new country.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_bass)All work in this gallery is the original work of Elizabeth Briggs. It is for sale, copyrighted to � Elizabeth Briggs and, as such, is protected by US and International Copyright laws. No copying, reproduction or use of images is allowed without my written permission.WATERMARKS WILL NOT APPEAR ON PRINTS.
February 27th, 2013
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