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David Heyes

David Heyes: BASS - the Final Frontier: 24 Pieces in Harmonics for Double Bass

David Heyes: BASS - the Final Frontier: 24 Pieces in Harmonics for Double Bass

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About the Collection

BASS - the Final Frontier includes 24 pieces in harmonics - 20 are short and simple, featuring a limited number of notes, concluding with four concert works, which are more advanced and explore much of the range of the double bass. 

Each of the shorter pieces has a list of the notes used, including the string to play them on and with which finger, and throughout + indicates that the thumb is used. 

BASS - the Final Frontier is an introduction to playing the most straightforward harmonics, although a few false harmonics and ones played in the lower positions are included to add variety and contrast. There are no tempo, dynamic, or expression marks and each bassist should customize each piece as necessary. 

Harmonics are a fun addition to the skills of the double bassist, of any age or ability, and open up a new world that is exciting and endlessly fascinating. 

A Note from David

"Mr. Heyes is mad on harmonics!" was an overheard comment from one of my young students to his parents at a bass workshop many years ago. In the intervening thirty years, not much has changed and I still love playing harmonics, also teaching my students how to play them. My fascination began in the late 1970s when I was introduced to harmonics in Bottesini's Elegia and the Dragonetti/Nanny Concerto by two of my teachers, Laurence Gray and Bronwen Naish. Bronwen had studied with Gary Karr and played many virtuosic Bottesini pieces in her recitals and, following her example, I was determined to do the same. As soon as you start to play harmonics and understand how they work, but more importantly when they don't, it's a journey that is endlessly fascinating as you discover the natural and false harmonics which you can play across the entire range of the double bass.” [David Heyes/January 2022] 

About the Composer

David Heyes studied double bass with Laurence Gray and Bronwen Naish, later at the Royal College of Music in London, and completed his post-graduate studies in Prague with František Pošta (Principal Bass, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra). He has given recitals and masterclasses in 20 countries over the past few years and has been a juror at a number of international competitions, three times as chairman. 

David's collaborative work gained him a prestigious award from the David Walter Charitable Trust of New York for his pioneering activities as a soloist, teacher, publisher, and commissioner of new music for double bass and he works with composers throughout the world to expand the double bass repertoire by commissioning new music and by rediscovering forgotten ones. Since 1983 more than 700 works have been written for him, music from one to twenty basses and from beginner to virtuoso, and he has premiered ten contemporary concertos with orchestra. 

David began to compose in 2013 and has had music performed and recorded in 27 countries across five continents. He is a D'Addario Performing Artist and has recently commissioned a solo double bass from British master-luthier Martin Penning. 

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