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Hi Everyone!

My friend recently asked me to write a double bass concerto for her! She told me that she wanted it in G major; I said I will write it for her but the problem is... I HAVE NEVER WRITTEN FOR SOLO DOUBLE BASS IN MY LIFE!!! Can someone please tell me how to write for double bass. Things like scordatura, chords, do's and don't's will greatly be appreciated! (By the way, this concerto is in a classical style so instrumentation is early classical as well.) If you want me to upload it, let me know!

Thank You!

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Surely you'll find information on the internet, if not in some textbook. But also, I think it's good to see scores for double bass, in this case, and listen to the pieces on youtube at the same time.

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The only piece for solo double bass that I know of is Thomas Goss' Double Bass Concerto in E minor.

But I do think that the double bass is underrepresented. Usually the double bass will get either the same notes as the cello but sounding down an octave or otherwise have a pretty simple bass line while the other string instruments bring in the complexity.

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Best to talk to her about what she can do. Sketch a few things up and ask her to try them and if she can't find out why. Ask her to play something advanced - if she fancies a concerto she should have a fair repertoire even if part of an ensemble.

Can you write for other strings? If so, consider the difference with the bass - the extra long stretches and time (just milliseconds but even so) changing positions, string jumping, etc so don't expect quite the agility of a violinist....sure, there's a double bass Paganini-a-like out there somewhere but try whatever you write with your performer as you go along. As I understand, that's a fairly normal approach. 

Edit: I couldn't immediately find any double bass studies but looked up the ABRSM Grade 8 that embodies a fair repertoire. She if she can access and play any of the 2020 syllabus. She may already play some of them. 

https://us.abrsm.org/en/our-exams/bowed-strings-exams/double-bass-exams/double-bass-grade-8/ 

Edited by Quinn
reference material

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