I need help deciding how to word an instruction in an orchestral string bass part.
First, some background. I know that traditionally the string bass (contrabass, double bass, etc., whatever you want to call it) tunes the lowest string to E. I also know that a lot of professional orchestral players use instruments with C extensions (or even B extensions) on that lowest string. I also know that some players use 5-string instruments, where the lowest string is tuned to C (or B) and the next string up is tuned to the old-fashioned lowest E note.
Here’s the situation I need help describing in the string bass part: I want a non-vibrato lowest E as the last note (held for several measures with staggered bowing) in the string bass part. In other words, if the instrument has a lowest E, I want the note played on the open string. However, if it has a C or B extension, then I want it played non-vibrato. If I just say ‘non vibrato’ in the part, the players who have a ‘normal’ instrument are going to think I’m an idiot. “Of course it’s non vibrato, duh, it’s an open string and HAS to be non vibrato.” Whereas the players with extensions will understand what I want, and the players with five strings will, hopefully, figure out what I’m after.
Someone who has faced this situation before, or, better yet, someone who actually plays the instrument, please help me find a succinct way to say this in the part. NOT, obviously, as convoluted as the above explanation is!