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All about strings

E-bass & violin close-ups
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Introduction

Introduction

Stringed instruments come in all shapes and sizes. From the giant double bass to the hand-held violin. Some instruments have 21 strings, others just four, some are plucked with the fingers, some played with a bow.

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Picture comparing the neck of a violin and a guitar

Feature

Feature

Notes as signposts

The tuning pegs on a double bass

Larry Bartley outlines the chief role of the double bass in a jazz band: to provide the backbone to the music and to remind the soloists where their 'home' is

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Articles

Articles
Different parts of the double bass

A look at some of the great double bass instruments of the past, and how the bass developed into what it is today...

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The cello fingerboard

How have changes in the construction of the cello allowed it to produce a greater sound? Cello-player Ben Chappell demonstrates and explains.

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Violinists playing together

An introduction to the techniques used by violinists, and a look at the playing of Yehudi Menuhin, one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century.

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Lucy Gould is playing her violin

Lucy Gould recalls how she learnt the essential skills of violin-playing, including how to hold the violin and the bow, and how to use vibrato.

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A double bass bow

The importance of the bow should never be under-estimated. Find out how they’re held and listen to bowing effects from tremolando to train noises.

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Double bass in a forest

Larry Bartley explains why he is so driven to play the acoustic bass – even though the instrument is something of a liability

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Larry Bartley explains the importance of hitting the right spot on a double bass's fretboard – something that only comes with practice

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Larry Bartley demonstrates pizzicato playing, and the famous 'walking bass' sound that has been a feature of jazz and swing since the 1930s.

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Wali Cham explains how to hold the kora in such a way that all 21 strings can be played

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Three koras

Kora-player Wali Cham Jobarteh explains where all the parts of the kora come from and how they fit together.

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In 'Moving Away' the two koras have a special relationship. Find out how the two players interact with each other throughout the song.

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Maya with guitar

Just because an instrument is playing a repeating pattern it doesn't mean there isn't room for subtleties. Find out how Maya does this in the guitar part of Tunde Jegede's 'Moving Away'.

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A cello

An overview of the cello's role in music from its earliest days to the present time, with examples of some of the wide-ranging music written for it.

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