I assumed most of us have learned "in isolation".
I wonder. And just how isolated is "in isolation"? I never took formal lessons, but I did see other people who played and paid attention to what they did and their occasional advice. Not that I always copied them exactly, but it did give me a basis for comparison when I did my own experimenting.
I've worked very hard on that repeated note thing [Simon Thoumire] does (even manage it on a tune or two).
Do you know if you're doing it the same way he does? I.e., do you know how he
I'm assuming Simon dosen't stand up much and dance around (unless those thumbs be mighty strong).
Strength really shouldn't be a problem. It should be possible to develop sufficient strength with practice. Though I don't use Simon's grip, I often play even my contrabass English while standing. (And though I can't locate the link at the moment, somewhere on DoN Nichols' web site is a picture of me playing his
contrabass. Though I'm seated, I'm holding it suspended above
my lap.) No, the problem in using Simon's grip for standup playing is that twisting the thumb loops to get the rotated orientation exerts torques that work against controlling the orientation of the ends. Bracing the end against the leg counteracts this.
But I don't think even that is insurmountable. If the mountings of the loops were modified, so that they were fixed in a rotated orientation, then the destabilizing torque should be (largely?) eliminated. One might still expect difficulty in controlling the ends if there's only one point of contact (the thumb) on each end, but as I've demonstrated to myself when experimenting with my little fingers free of the plates, any finger which is pressing a button is also a contact point which can be used to augment the stability and control, and on an end where you're not pressing any buttons, you can still press one or more fingers against some part of the bare end. I still prefer to use the finger plates most of the time, as I feel it adds to
my control. But they're not absolutely necessary to playing while standing.