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DB beginner

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by DocBop, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    After playing BG and guitar forever and being scared of things without frets I finally went out today and bought my first DB. I love the sound, so time to do it.

    I have looked at the beginner threads and see Simandl, Ray Brown, and Rabbath mentioned a lot. The Simandl I had, used to do some of it for BG. The store gave me a copy of the Ray Brown book so I have that. I keep seeing Rabbath mentioned and I looked on Amazon and don't see it. Can some tell me the title?

    Money is tight, but I plan to get a teacher to at least get me started right.

    I want to play Jazz in long run is one book better than the other with that goal? Any other advise for a newbie other than shutup and go practice?
  2. Hey man,
    I'm currently in the LA area and have been studying with a cat named Roger Shew. His name is RShew on Talkbass. he's on occassionally. You could probably PM him and get a lesson from him. I'm currently studying out of Ray Brown and Simandl, but I learn a lot more just by going out and playing with people. There's a jam down in the Crenshaw area by Leimert Park that is pretty nice towards the newbies of jazz. PM me if you need anything. i'll be around till early august

  3. well, I have learned allot from both the ray brown and simandle methods, they will both give you a host of exercises which tackle some of the most difficult aspects fo playing the double bass.

    I know from your posts in BG land that you KNOW what you are talking about when it comes to the bass guitar, so i would suggest focusing on methods to use what you know already about a fingerboard.

    when I started out, I (after some simandleing and browning) had a good selection of fingerings in my grasp, but it was the practicalities of working without frets that held me back.

    I countered this by tailoring exercises based entirely on getting my intonation up to scratch. three that helped me were..

    1 - walking on one string - so you have to get REALLY used to where all the notes are. starting off with ballads that move around allot like misty or chelsea bridge. playing them on one string along to a recording meant that I had to be comfortable with jumping from an F to an Eb on the E for example, but i had time to think about the changes.

    after I was moving around comfortably I sped up the pace and then worked through the other strings.

    of course once you have jumped to the Eb on the E 50 times it starts to becoime a feeling thing rather than a looking thing, and you start to feel comfortable in being able to jump that high in everday use (should you need too :) )

    2 - doing two, or even three octave scales in a 'jumpy' fasion.

    ie, going down and up at the same time, so i'd play the 1, then the 1 two octaves up, then the 2, then the 7 two octaves up, then the 3, then the 6 two ocatves up. so you are always jumping large distances and finding the right notes. of course you could do this for all the other scales as well.

    3 - I developed a fun exercise that was good for getting the feel of a certain chord on the DB,

    playing (for example for a maj 7) 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 1 (two ocatves up)

    then going

    1, 3, 3, 1, 5, 5, 1, 7, 7, 1, 9, 9, 1, 11, 11, etc


    1 (the 1 that is two octaves up), 13, 13, 1, 11, 11, 1, 9, 9, 1, 7, 7, etc.

    the two of each interval I played in different positions, so 1 followed by 3 in the usual position followed by the 3 on the same string as the 1 etc..

    these all seemed second nature on the EB but I found them very useful for developing intonation on a DB, as the jumping around meant your intonation has to be flawless or it makes no sense!

    of course, there is ours of fun to be had starting at different noted with different chords/extensions.

    the methods in the books gave me common patterns and showed me good practice for passages, but my EB knowledge was there for allot of the shapes and patterns side of things, i needed something to unlock it! these three methods have helped me get to know my bass, and become comfortable with moving around on a fretless instrument!

    hope that helps, o

    EDIT - yeah a teacher is of course vital as well, I gave myself some minor damage with sloppy technique when i started out on the db, I jumped straight into some big shows without a teacher to say 'stop! thats not good etc' and my BG technique on DB has given me a ganglion cyst on a joint which is not serious, but could have been avoided. the DB is a tough beast to tame, and (as im sure you know) it needs to be approached with respect as it has the potential to damage you allot more than the BG
  4. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks all for the great info, I have saved this thread and will be refering to it. I do plan on getting a teacher to get started I can already see my idea of the fingering need help, so worththe money to get a proper start.
  5. I think you have all the tools you need. Just make sure that you are using the proper fingering (as illustrated in Simandl, 3+4 are one finger in the lower positions) and the proper overall body technique, left wrist flush w/ forearm, nut roughly at eye level, etc, so you don't do any physical damage. That stuf alone is probably worth a few private lessons from a reputable teacher. Welcome to the club!

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