Jean Auray Luthier - Double basses

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The workshop


I have always made structural reliability and lasting sound quality priorities for the instrument. I feel that double basses do not like to be adjusted too often. It is important to find the right adjustment from the start and the bass will improve around that adjustment.

Photo Workshop 028A few years ago, I came to the conclusion that there was something I could not grasp : one double bass proved one theory about adjustment but the next proved the opposite denying the validity of a theoretical approach.

Unconsciously I stopped watching and listening to the musician and allowed myself to feel the way he or she was in contact with the instrument, the position of the body, where tension appeared and where there was none. I moved from trying to understand what the person thought and wanted, to sharing what they felt. I gradually became aware that I was working without my mind, from a silent space which remained as I picked up my tools and altered the position of the sound post or bridge.

I move the sound post without taking a deliberate decision about its positioning. What I do at that moment is almost unconscious : it is guided by the perception I had of the musician playing the double bass. I also listen to the wood and to the rubbing of the sound post against the table and all these elements guide my hand in those few seconds.

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Jean Auray Luthier - 888 route de Riottier - 69400 Villefranche sur Saône - France