Beginning DB Help

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Musik Meister, Apr 27, 2002.

  1. My school is lending me their double bass over the summer so I can learn how to play it. I've already tried looking for teachers and they're aren't any that will teach me in the summer, only when school start again. So I need to learn how to play DB. I've been play EB for about 5 years now and I think I'm pretty good. So all I need to know is what are some begginer books to buy. I also need books to help my music reading, since I never really used it with EB. Thanks.
  2. Klimbim


    Mar 3, 2001
    Generally alot of bassists use Simandl's New Method for Double bass to start out, and chances are your teacher might use this too. But this technique does have some detractors.

    Other techniques include Rabbath, Bille and Nanny.
    you'll find the method books for sale from

    But though you will have the bass through the summer - it might be wise not to actually start on it yourself, because you might just only build bad habits and this will set you back a step instead of giving you a head start.

    What I might suggest is that if you really really can't find a teacher for now, then try to get a hold of Simandl's book, and play it on your BG - this is to get an idea of hearing what the etudes sound like. It'll be really basic - but it'll train up your music reading, which is the main point, really. Use the summer to practice reading music, and then get to the real technique only under a teacher's guidance.If you're good at BG, you can read the advance techniques at the back of the book - those orchestral excerpts etc etc...Weber's Euryanthe overture is kind of fun.

    Also, you can check out Ray Parker's fingering discussion thread in this same forum, and use those fingerings on your BG.

    Well, just my 2c worth.
  3. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    How many teachers have you talked to? If someone could just spend a few hours with you to make sure you're playing in the correct position it would help a lot. I'm sure you know a lot of scales and if you had someone to help you a little you could use the summer to learn some scales on the DB (believe me you'll have to relearn them!) and practice reading them.
  4. I live out in the country, in a small town. My ochestra teacher at school tried to find me a teacher of private lessons and she coundn't.

    thx for the replies
  5. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    another way to solve your rural dilemma-
    there are several videos out on the market that teach basic physical hand positions. you have the doublebass, you want to be with it, then play it! Mark Schatz, to me, has a wonderful instructional video. Yeah, I know he isn't a classical player. So what. I've been in a master class of his, and his physical approach is firmly rooted in tradition. He has great time and great tone. If you are brand-spankin' new to the DB, get it. You won't have to unlearn anything when school gets back in session. The books are great, but a video would really complement them well.

    I wish I could tell you the publisher of the video... I'll look around the Net and try and find it.
  6. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    here's the publisher's website. they also have a video by Todd Phillips. definitely more oriented for all around technique. check them out!
    BTW- is your "setup" in good order? trying to learn positions while fighting high string height is a real drag. school basses, on the whole, don't receive much TLC.
  7. i have part one and two of "bluegrass bass" by mark schatz. they are pretty good for raw begginners. lots of info on how to hold the bass, hand position and so on. watched twice, i'll part with them for 25 bucks(new i think i paid 50) if interested.
  8. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Ed is on the spot.

    Meister: have a good vacation, and break a leg.
  9. I am sorry that I have not replied. You see, I don't own a computer at home so I must use a computer at a friends house. I live in Fayetteville, Georgia, which is about an hour south from Atlanta. I've tried looking for teachers and have had no luck. If you know of any teachers close to me, that would be wonderful. And by the way, what's a good string height? Thanks.
  10. joon


    Mar 16, 2002
    Manila, Philippines
    Hi all, just a follow-up question. I just got a copy of Simandl, and being that it's meant for classical playing, could I use the exercises in there as pizz instead of arco?
  11. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    No problem. Check regularly your intonation with a chromatic tuner or a keyboard. Focus is on proper fingering and proper left hand position. Widen 1-2 and shorten 1-3 spaces. Play along with a metronome to strengthen your sens of time. Do not underestimate the melodic quality of these exercises, they sound good when played well.

    GET A BOW, FIND A TEACHER, they will pay off.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I saw that video called "Essential Techniques for Acoustic Bass" by Todd Phillips, that is supposed to cover this - on "homespun" video.

    Anybody got any thoughts on this or Todd Phillips? I've never heard of him or homespun, but there don't seem to be many instructional videos for Double Bass, (any at all?) so this one stuck out in the shops in London.
  13. joon


    Mar 16, 2002
    Manila, Philippines
    It's a bit difficult to find a DB teacher in here, but I'm still looking (I gotta start it right!). Meantime, it's just gonna be me and the book.

    I'd definitely get a bow sometime, but when I have enough cash and of course, a teacher.

  14. rablack


    Mar 9, 2000
    Houston, Texas
    Even if you just drop $50 on a Glasser fiberglass (real hair, not synthetic) it will be worth it. For intonation and just learning to get the sound out cleanly the bow is the thing. You'll also probably get hooked on it and want a better bow later. So, the worst that would happen is that you'll have an extra beater bow to take on combat zone gigs.
  15. Executor666


    Jul 3, 2002
    I am one of those detractors. F. Simandl's method gets too hard too fast in my opinion. I suggest you try Essential Elements.
  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    I have never heard this complaint about Simandl. Rabbath? Sure. But Simandl? I think that if anyone found anything in Simandl getting too hard too fast I would advise the person with the complaint to simply slow down. As always, YMMV.
  17. hello fellow bassist,
    i'm an EB player also interested in learning DB.. i've been reading this there anyone could explain me what arco and pizzicato(did i spell it right?)is? -tnx!

  18. Arco = playing with a bow
    Pizz = plucking with the fingers
  19. tnx steve, its a big help!now i can start learning DB, hope u can answer again my other questions in the future.. more power..
  20. shag


    Mar 13, 2005
    (if you still can't find a teacher) Search the web for all colleges and univeristies within an hour or two from your home then look on their site for the music faculty. Believe me, it will be worth the ride to where ever you need to go. Just find any bassist on the school's site and email them.