We’re concluding the interview that we began on CBC 114 with double bassist Mark Morton, who is currently professor of bass at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX and has also served as Principal Bass of the Columbus Symphony. Mark was the first prize winner at the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition, and he was the assistant double bass instructor for Gary Karr at the Hartt School of Music. He is well-known for writing and publishing the “Dr. Morton” series of books on the art of bass playing, and he is the founder of the American School of Double Bass.
We start this segment of our interview discussing Mark’s Simandl-Plus® approach and how it increases the number of techniques available to the modern bassist, as well as some specific examples in orchestra repertoire where these kind of techniques can be used. We also talk about when Mark starts using the third finger and the thumb on the neck, adopting a more flexible approach than advocated in Simandl technique. We also discuss melodic gestures and when to shift according to a particular gesture, lyrical and technical fingerings and when to use them, shifting strategies, the value of Simandl and how it teaches the “grid” of the fingerboard, Mark’s fingerboard mapping system, and some of his upcoming projects.
We also feature a recording this week of Mark playing the Gliere Tarantella from his album Russian Rendezvous, which is available from CD Baby or the iTunes Music Store.
I recommend downloading Mark’s Simandl-Plus® packet and following along with our discussion to get a more complete idea of how he implements these concepts.
This week, we discuss