books, teachers, and simandl

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by aaguudis, Jan 22, 2002.

  1. aaguudis


    Apr 3, 2001
    is simandl book for just arco playing or for jazz players as well?

    also i have ray brown bass method and improvisers bass method by chuck sher. are these good books?

    reason why i have all these books is cause right now i .... DONT HAVE A TEACHER. BUT! i have had a teacher, i learned some fundamentals, so i dont think i am ingraining any bad habits (i am staying away from the bow right now for this reason, but pizz i know how to do).

    does that sound alright.

    also i'm gonna get a teacher but right now i dont have a place to practice my bass so i only play it like maybe once a week but once i get a new place and some time to practice i'm gonna go back to lessons.
  2. Although Franz Simandl (probably) didn't have jazz lines in mind when writing his book, I really feel that it is a "must have" for every bassist. When I began playing, my teacher had me go through portions of the book to solidify my fingering, intonation, etc. Although you don't NEED the bow initially, using it will improve your intonation dramatically.

    Although it may sound sacreligious, I didn't particularly enjoy the Ray Brown book. A few cool pointers on tenths, etc., but it hasn't changed my world yet. The Chuck Sher / Marc Johnson book is excellent -- it's worth the money just for the play along disc! However, if you haven't got the fingering down, and can't really practice regularly yet, it might be a bit heavy (some examples are near impossible).

    that's my 2 cents (Canadian).
  3. steve 1

    steve 1 Guest

    Feb 18, 2002
    utica, ny
    im using simandl's book right now, and its a really good guide. it not only helped me on upright, but also on my electric, believe it or not. you should read a little out of it...but beware of tenor clef in the back of the book, thats a killer.
  4. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    the simandl method has helped me in every aspect. I play both jazz and classical and it has helped in both areas. It really fine tunes your technique. My teacher actually had me memorize many of the etudes so that i could play them in front of a mirror and see what i was doing correctly or in many cases incorrectly.
  5. I know Simandl seems to be the most popular classical method out there, I really don't use it with my own students. I really find the studies rather dry and unmusical for the most part.

    Right from the start I encourage my students to approach even the simplest studies as musically as possible. I use the Bille study books with all of my students (published by Ricordi).

    Bille must have spent a good deal of time playing Italian opera - you can really hear it in his studies. So many of his studies are just little gems that actually resemble real bits of music (quite unlike much of Simandl which tends to seem very technical and dry).

    Just beware of Bille's antiquated use of the 3rd finger in place of the 2nd. Every time it says "3' for a fingering, I recommend you change it in your mind to "2".

    You can't beat the benefits of studying with a good teacher though.
  6. I guess I wouldn't assume that it's easier to teach yourself the double bass just because you're concentrating solely on pizzicato.
    I picked up Simandl book 1 before I got a teacher and thrashed around in it for the better part of a year; then got a teacher and had just as much to relearn with proper fingering technique and arm/elbow/wrist positioning as I did with however I was putting the strings into motion.
    You've had some fundamentals so maybe you're okay on the left-hand stuff. Hope you find the time to start playing again soon, glad you're planning on getting a teacher; you won't regret it.
  7. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    Personally I dig the Nanny book a little more than simandel I feel its a little bit more musical and it deffinetly spends a little more time on each position. If you deside to go that way get a copy of the exersises on pg 69 and 70 of simandel their great!if you work your way through those bowing your doin well;)

  8. Simandl and Nanny are BORING !

    I agree with Rob W that Billé has better studies, and as a teacher I use quite a lot of things.
    Yorke studies probably won´t help without a teacher, but "la contrebasse pour tous" by
    J.L. DEHANT may be a good item.

    You might keep a few studies of Simandl for basic training of each position.

    I have a copy of an older edition of Barry Green´s
    "Fundamentals of DB playing", which might be the best book for self teaching.
    François Rabbath is very good, too.
    Maybe the only way : François Rabbath with the CD-rom.

    My question is : does anyone know one good method for self-teaching ?:cool:
  9. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Worms, anyone? Gael just popped open a fresh can...
  10. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Simandl and Nanny are[i/] boring. Neither really resembles music.

    If you want a beginner method that sounds like real music off the bat, George Vance's three volume "Progressive Repertoire" (based on the Rabbath method) are a good start. They introduce the player to thumb position, harmonics, extensions and pivots almost immediately. A more holistic and musical approach to learning the entire instrument, in comparison to Simandl's slow crawl up the fingerboard.

    The only thing I don't like about them is that most of the pieces are arranged in the keys of D and G.
  11. I don't know... I think that's on par with wathing porno flicks to learn about life and how men and women interact.
  12. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I don't think studying by yourself is a bad idea.
    It seems you have taken advantage of much of the good material out there, especially the rabbath books and cd rom.

    I would encourage you to be very caredul, and to consider everything you do, subscribe to all the bass magazines and to practice intensely, I would even get books on posture, Alexander technique, read Linda Gilbert's body and bass articles in the ISB magazine.

    I might also try to do a summer workshop, Rabbath does some, and studying with him is the best way to understand his technique, and give you a boost.

    Look for good ideas, don't do anything that hurts and try to use a teacher every once in a while,
    maybe you can even send a video to someone for pointers.

    It must be hard to find a bass teacher in brazil.

    Alex, I'm not asking any advice in order to learn myself without a teacher. We do have excellent teachers in Rio and I have some experience already,
    inclusive as a teacher.

    I was taking part of this discussion about self-teaching, and my question was supposed to express
    some doubt.
    We all use some self-teaching some time and it seems there are people really needing especific literature.

    Interesting discussion, anyway I agree with what David Kaczorowski wrote above !

  14. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Sorry for misunderstanding!
  15. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire
  16. bootsaco


    Sep 8, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Rufus Reid's book has some good stuff. lot's of focus on sound production, and good ideas for getting around on the bass, and he suggests using the bow and pizz for everything, practicewise.
    my two cents.
  17. I believe the most effective learning is ALWAYS self learning. Bass or anything. You can only really master something when there is a clear concept in your mind of what it is. (Sometimes this can be more subconscious than conscious, but most often it starts from the latter, and later gets internalized to the former.) Equally, mistakes and problems are only truly overcome when you have a self-formed concept of what is wrong.

    Now, a teacher is probably the best asset you have in this process of self-learning. And the best teacher is much more of a guide in the process of building your own conception of things. Only a bad teacher says "do this" and "don't do that".

    Except for perfomance, where ideally you should just "be the music", or a certain kind of performance practice, where you practice "being the music", for me most practice and most lessons are in essence the same: self-learning.

    For me, then, I like a fair amount of practice between lessons, sometimes several weeks or more, depending on what I'm working on. I also use many other kinds of resources, such as books and videos. And careful, critical, analytical listening, of others and OF YOURSELF, RECORDED, is the most important technique in the whole toolkit.

    Also, try listening and discussing in detail with your teacher.
  18. hateater

    hateater snatch canadian cream

    May 4, 2001
    Eugene, OR
    I know this is an oldie but.... I think that a GREAT teacher is one who tells you what to do and what not to do. When it comes to arco, there are so many ways that you can fine tune yourself by small adjustments. IMO, it would be much better in any case to get a teacher to sit there and slap you when your technique slips- that is something that you just cant do on your own.
  19. TomGale


    Jul 31, 2005
    American School of Double Bass
  20. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Houston, Tx
    Simandl works. End of story. I teach with it and play out of it everyday.
    It is not meant to be music -it is meant to teach you how to play the bass.
    The fact that the music is not great is one of it's assets: the licks won't show up in your playing and if you can make these exercises sing you can play most anything. It is also a very stable technique to use as a bassis for any of the more advanced modern methods.
    I supplement it with alternate fingerings (after the student learns Franz's), and some Billie. For the thumb pos. I mostly use Petracchi & Bach.
    When it comes to music I use the music the student is actually interested in and solo pieces I find useful.
    My feeling is playing Simandl tells you where you stand, something most are afraid to face.

    You will never hear "it does not work" as an argument against it. Just work through the book - it is not really that long, it certainly won't make you worse, and if you really don't like it in the end it won't sound like you are making excuses.