Originally Posted by ThomClaire
Musical pieces that correlate to certain sections of Simandl's new method.
I think we should have a thread where teachers can share what musical pieces they would introduce to a student based on how far they've been through Simandl. I would suggest that the first section be positions 1-4, then positions 1-6, 1-8, 1-11 and another section for students that are working through the exercises for intervals. The sections based on how many positions a student has gone through cannot be totally strict because teachers may prefer other parameters to determine a piece of music that should be learned. The purpose of this would be for students that don't currently have a teacher, or students wanting to go a little beyond their teacher's curriculum in their extra time. It'd be great if this thread were orderly as possible so it's not confusing.
Jazz bass lines or melody parts, orchestral excerpts, solo pieces are all accepted.
POSITIONS ONE TO FIVE.
As mentioned in a current thread below (Intonation - how, when and where to start)) my beginners start in First Position. Before attempting Simandl they work through two easy Australian books, "Tricks to Tunes" Book 1 by Audrey Ackerman and "I Bags The Bass" Volume 3 by Chris Bellshaw that are full of nursery tunes.
Simandl 1st. Position gives a chance to tighten up on LH shape and correct finger spacings for better intonation across all four strings.Nothing is played quickly. The bow hold and movements are kept simple. The bottom G in tune will set the open G into sympathetic vibration which helps a beginner identify the octave sound in tune before learning the scale. A above open D both tunes a 5th and sets up 1st.Position.
Then going back to Half Position I use more nursery tunes in "I Bags The Bass" Volume 1 before returning to Simandl and following Half Position with Second Position. The beginner is now hearing that the structure of each of these simple scales (G, F, B flat and C Majors) is the same. There are now tunes in Half and First Position to be found in "Amazing Solos for Double Bass" that have piano accompaniments, eg Pop goes the Weasel, Come Neighbours All. There is also Greig's "Norwegian Dance" in "Double Bass Solo Plus (out of print), entirely in First Position, that has a faster middle section to challenge with.
"MicroJazz" and "Rags, Boogies and Blues" books are also useful now. "Rythm for Strings" (Reilly?) is a good introduction to rythmic patterns based on fruit pies!
I pause in 2nd Position to work on changing and stabilising the bow hold, bow arm movements, note starts stops and "release". Also drawing the bow at 90 degrees to each string with steady contact point for best tone. There are tunes in "Amazing Solos" and Double Bass Solo (not Solo Plus) and I encourage the student to read through Wohlfhart's "25 Studies" (now out of print) that are in simple keys and reinforce reading skills and bowing patterns, as well as note finding and beginning to use alternate fingerings.
I jump students from 2nd Position to 3rd Position in order to stay with simple keys. D Major scale comes first, followed by a few simple tunes that combine 1st and 3rd Positions, eg "Amazing Grace" and "Troika" in "Amazing Solos." These are followed by the Simandl exercises that precede the D scale then perhaps "Ragtime Bass Player" by Adolf Lotter (?) and the First Movement of Marcello Sonata in G Major.
From 3rd Position I jump to 5th and the F Major scale over two octaves. This enables the student to know the notes chromatically from lowest E all the way to 2nd octave F and opens up lots more repertoire. "The Elephant" and "The Bull Steps Out" as well as many of the tunes in "Amazing Solos" are now possible. Also string crossings in Zimmerman's "Contemporary Technique...."
I will usually leave Fourth then Two and a Half Positions in Simandl until later, but will teach the scales they contain with alternate fingerings so that there are as few gaps in the knowledge of the fingerboard up to 5th Position as possible. So the keys now covered are C major and up to 5 flats and 5 sharps, with E and F Major both over 2 octaves.
I will pause here to reflect on the repertoire (including studies) that I may have missed so far before going on.