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Double Bass Newbie, Help!

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by DoubleBassLady, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. DoubleBassLady


    Dec 6, 2013
    So I have been taking double bass lessons for like a year now, and I can only play in the half, first and second position. I was just wondering, how long will it take for me to be skilled enough to start playing solo pieces in the thumb position? Is there anything specific I can do to help myself reach that stage quicker? Thanks!:hyper:
  2. You wll hear this mantra - 'Get a Teacher!', which is the best advice. In the meantime get books for Simandl, Ray Browns bass method, Chuck Shers Improvisers Bass Method, Rufus Reids Evolving Bassist an Evolving Upwards. Check out the links below.






  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Or not, since she already HAS a teacher.

    But this does seem a little slow; are you taking lessons weekly and how much time do you spend practicing daily? Progress is a direct result of focused time spent practicing and playing, so if you are only doing that an hour a day, you can't expect to make the same progress as someone who spends 4 or more hours a day.
    If, by chance, the lessons you to which you are referring are GROUP lessons, you may want to take heed to bassist1962's advice and find a private instructor.

    Getting to thumb position without having a good solid foundation in the lower positions isn't any easier than building the foundation first and THEN getting there. No quick and easy, it's the "P" word.

    Have you asked your teacher and what did they say?
  4. MostlyBass


    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Hmmm... That does seem slow. Check out "Practical Studies" by Thomas Gale - It teaches 4th position along with first.

    I believe the Gary Karr methods teach thumb position right away.

    I like to teach several position concurrently (Like 1 & 3 in public school or 1,4 & thumb is lessons)... I always start with first for a while but there's no reason not to do some - at least rudimentary - work in higher positions.
  5. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    Get a different teacher. Students of the George Vance method Play in thumb position on their first day. If your teacher isn't getting you where you want to go, then fire him or her.

    Of course, if you have been studying for a year and not practicing, that's on you. It's ridiculous to be playing for a year and not have more command of the fingerboard.
  6. MostlyBass


    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Ask your teacher what their long term plan and curriculum is for you.

    Also ask this of prospective teachers.
  7. When I was 17/ 18 years old, I took private lessons at once a week..OR SO... for a year or so....Simandl Method.

    Got to 7th position....then dropped out. Had I been more mature..I was 17, then ..or maybe had different circumstances....could have advanced in much shorter time.

    My instructor, ASO Principal, Jane Little let me advance at my own pace.
  8. MostlyBass


    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    A solid lesson curriculum should include a balanced study diet, that in addition to Simandl (which I highly recommend), employs scales, etudes, bowing exercises, solos, and perhaps jazz or something of the students choosing.