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British double bass teachers: Who's the best?

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by Bas-ddwblwr, Dec 13, 2006.

  1. Hey, I'm off to study in London next year having received a scholarship to study in the Royal Academy, Royal College of music and Guildhall school of music. I have no idea who are the best teachers around. Any suggestions? I'd be grateful for any ideas!
    Thanks, Bas-ddwblwr (Wales)
  2. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    Peter Buckoke
  3. Why Peter Buckoke? and why haven't the other 39 people who've viewed this suggested something!!!
  4. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Cause we don't know either and are curious as to what comes up nor are some of us from the UK. Be patient. :)
  5. NotACello


    Oct 11, 2006
    new york city!
    I think Duncan McTier teaches at the Royal Academy? His playing is amazing and I've heard he's a great teacher.
    I however don't know about the other teachers. sorry.
    Congrats on having such successful auditions!
  6. nickbass


    Apr 29, 2005
    Northants, UK
    orchestral? jazz? french? german? are you attending all three colleges? more information please!
  7. kontrabass


    Sep 29, 2004
    Duncan McTier (german), Corin Long (french), and Thomas Martin (french) are all teachers of note. I'm sure that I'm forgetting a few, as London seems to have so many ensembles and conservatories.
  8. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    I assume from the posts above you only want classical teachers? if you want jazz reccomendations, say so and I'll post some names.
    Out of curiosity, what sort of grant covers studying at 3 different academies?
  9. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    funnily enough, he used to live near where I am now based, and did a bit of jazz playing on the side. He had a reputation (among the jazzers) for not being very good! Not to be taken too seriously, as he is obviously a world class classical player, but a lot of local jazzers are amazed to discover how highly hes now regarded...
  10. Noir


    Mar 14, 2006
    I'm considering moving to London in a few months, so it'd be useful to hear those names.

    Thanks in advance.
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Actually if I was going to say who was my favourite of those I worked with (I have no idea who's best) I would say Paula Gardiner who lives and works near Cardiff in Wales! :p
  12. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    The best teacher I've had, by far, has been Steve Berry, but hes a long way from London (Blackburn).
    Great jazz bass players who teach in London include Steve Watts, Arnie Somogyi, Jeff Clyne.
  13. Thanks very much for your replies so far!
    Just to clarify a few things, I'm a classical french bow player, and I won't be studying in all 3 conservatoires, but they have all offered me seperate scholarships, so I have to pick one.
    Also, I thought Corin Long was a german bow player?
    Does anyone know much about NEIL TARLTON? I've been told he's quite good?
    I've also heard that Tom Martin is good, but he's at guildhall, which doesn't have a very good undergraduate course IMHO.
    Thanks again, any suggestions are welcome!!
  14. kontrabass


    Sep 29, 2004
    I think you're right. I did a bit more research and he seems to be using a german bow more often than not. I swear I've seen him with a french bow, though!
  15. nickbass


    Apr 29, 2005
    Northants, UK
    All the people mentioned are excellent players and teachers. Neil Tarlton has two great books out, one a double bass adaptation of the Sevcik method, and the other a scale method. His colleague at the Royal College, Tony Hougham, is principal at Covent Garden and is a superb teacher. I studied with him for two years and found him very supportive, organised and open-minded, as well as a fantastic player. Not many teachers have all these qualities at the same time!
    Don't forget Rinat Ibramigov at the Guildhall either, who is a phenomenal player!
    Personally if I was veering more towards solo playing I'd go to Duncan McTier and if I wanted to expand my playing to include other forms (jazz world etc as well as Orchestral, I'd go to Tony Hougham because he has an open mind and is not as fixated on the classical world as some of the others, and would be prepared to help you! He's a real French bow specialist as well. If I wanted to develop mainly my Orchestral playing then I'd first take a good look at the ensemble standard in the different colleges, as well as the sizes of the bass intakes. But the question of your own eventual direction probably isn't the issue now, when you're just looking for the best all round grounding for whatever you may want to do in the future.
    All these colleges teach to a very high level, and offer a variety of excellent teachers, so the most important question is, which college will suit you best? They are all very different in terms of atmosphere, location and style. Which did you best like at your audition? We're talking about 4 long years, here!
    Some things to think about, anyway. Congratulations on so many good offers, and good luck in your choice,
  16. kontrabass


    Sep 29, 2004
    Just to clarify, does McTier focus more on chamber and solo stuff, rather than orchestral preparation?

  17. nickbass


    Apr 29, 2005
    Northants, UK
    Alex, I am sure in his Royal Academy teaching he covers the whole range necessary for professional work. But since he himself specialises in solo and chamber work, he would be my choice for advanced work in these areas. However, I think you need information on this from people who have studied on these courses and know what goes on where.
  18. Hi,
    Many thanks again to everyone who've commented. Particular thanks to Nick for that long message. I think that I'll probably take the Royal College's offer because there are three well-reputed teachers there (Peter Buckoke, Tony Houghman and Neil Tarlton) and their ensemble training at the RCM is first class, lots of orchestral experience, whereas the guildhall don't have that much I don't think. The college also has a halls of residence which is a big plus in London, and it's a lovely place too.
    Cheers, Bas-ddwblwr.;)
  19. Justin K-ski

    Justin K-ski

    May 13, 2005
    This is kind of late, but Thomas Martin gave a masterclass at juilliard back in october and it was fantastic. That guy really knows how to play bass. Of course, I'm sure Neil Tarlton, Duncan Mctier and all the others mentioned have a lot to offer as well, but I just wanted to share the positive experience I had with Mr. Martin.
  20. bassbass


    Dec 29, 2006
    All colleges have very different things to offer...
    Duncan McTier is an amazing player but i think you'll find an amazing player no matter where you go, you should be looking for the best teacher. Maybe you should try to get a consultation with each teacher that your interested in? It might be a bit expensive but its worth it if your getting scholarships, and there is no point going somewhere on a whim as you will ultimately be there for the next four years which is a long time if you dont like something...
    It seems the Academy has a really strong department for basses, I think you have regular lessons with all the teachers there. Guildhall has really good teachers too, Tom Martin (who plays German and French!), Rinat Ibragimov and Kevin Rundell are all (or were) Principal London players, and Tom and Rinat both have CDs out of solo stuff. I think the problem with guildhall is it used to be a bit crappy but it seems to be changing alot for the better. (Also the halls are about 2 mins walk) where as the Royal College halls are about 40mins away!!!! Dont no much about college i'm afriad.

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