Cello – Sul Tasto

Sul tasto has less limits on cello than it does on viola and violin, and may also be used quite effectively on its two lower strings in combination with tremolo. About a week ago, I uploaded a video that talked about the reasonable upper limit on sul tasto, pointing out problems of fingering too close …

Strings – Studying Bowing on Marked Parts

Study bowing by looking at marked string parts, and look over your own orchestra parts once they’ve been rehearsed and performed. This can be enormously educational for an orchestrator trying to get their head around how bowing works. Even a very experienced composer will occasionally score a phrase with certain assumptions about bowing, and then …

Strings – Bowing Styles and Markings

The orchestrator should learn to automatically envision what type of bowing is to be used in every orchestral passage, and mark those passages as needed. This is one of those steps on the road to mastery for a professional orchestrator – learning all the different types of bowing, and indicating the appropriate style in the …

Double Basses – Bowing and Articulation

The orchestrator needs to understand how difficult it is to make the double bass speak well, and to what lengths players go to get the ideal sound. There are a number of different considerations, but I’ll touch on the three most important here. The first is what choice of bow. The most common bow that …