Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra

Shrewsbury Orchestral Society

Professional Double Bass Player Matt Gibson Returns To Shrewsbury To Play With SSO

Matthew Gibson

Summarise your instrument...
‘It plays a supporting role. It’s big, has a very deep sound, is versatile and fun.’

Best thing about it?
‘It is needed in all types of music.’

Worst thing about it?
‘Carrying it around.’

How often do you practise?
‘I can go for days without practising, but then will do four days solid if I have a difficult piece coming up.’

Why did you choose the double bass?
‘Because I was a very bad cellist and my teacher told me to.’

Do you ever wish you played another instrument?
‘No, although I sometimes have nightmares that I am playing principal oboe and I don’t know what I’m doing.’

Where do you sit in the orchestra?
‘On stage left, against the side wall, in front of the trombones.’

What can you hear where you sit?
‘Everything, but with a lot of brass.’

How much is your Instrument worth?
‘Mine is a cheap one worth about £15,000. Other double basses in the orchestra are worth £100,000.’

Your favourite pieces for double bass?
‘Mahler’s Ninth Symphony and “The Rite of Spring” by Stravinsky.’

Tell us a joke about double bass players
‘What is the difference between a violin and a double bass? A double bass takes longer to burn.’