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Education question.

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Zarathustrah, Aug 22, 2012.


  1. Zarathustrah

    Zarathustrah

    Apr 21, 2009
    I'm a working jazz musician, however I've started accepting some entry level bass students who are interested in pursuing orchestra at their school.

    I'm just curious what method book do you generally use with your students who are entry level players?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Public school: Essential Elements and Practical Studies by Thomas Gale

    Private Studio: Practical Studies, Simandl (in tolerable doses), étude book like Sturm or Storch, and whatever the student may be using in school or other lessons
     
  3. Zarathustrah

    Zarathustrah

    Apr 21, 2009
    That's exactly what I'm looking for.

    Thanks a ton.
     
  4. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Glad I could help!
     
  5. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    The Vance books are held in high regard for these purposes. I've had good results with Rabbath 1 with serious minded high school students. With the attention spans of most young kids these days though, Simandl doesn't show up on the stand until they display a high level of dedication.
     
  6. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    You should definitely familiarize yourself with the Vance book. Oh - and I also use Suzuki books for the solos.

    BUT - I usually use the cello books for my bassists and white-out the fingerings. The Suzuki bass books use Vance's fingerings which are very different from traditional fingerings and different than what a beginning elementary or middle school bassist will encounter. He does a lot of things up in 4th (Simandl system) position. This does work well with Gale's books. And book 2 (i think it's 2) does a lot of thumb position. Look at the Suzuki books - they jump all over the place. I'm not a fan of the Suzuki bass books but I do like to use the cello ones. Yes I may sound like a heretic there but this is after 17 years of teaching and I've taught / teach all grades including college....
     
  7. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    I like the My First Simandl book to start. It is solid Simandl concepts without the extra "junk". Much easier for students to tolerate.

    BG
     
  8. ejnachtrab

    ejnachtrab

    Nov 18, 2011
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Does anyone like using Bille in place of Simandl?
     
  9. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    I like Bille's book but not his fingering system. The third finger is too weak with beginners and the spacing for half steps can get too tight between 3 & 4.
     
  10. petesenkowski

    petesenkowski Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    My teacher and I used Bille's book; regarding the fingering, he told me, "In Italian, 3 means 2".
     
  11. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Bille is golden. Re: Suzuki bass... What the heck? I don't know a single professional pedagogue who uses this book. Even dedicated Suzuki programs use different books. In my not so humble opinion it needs to be trashed and rewritten. And... Not to sound like a broken record but Simandl 30 is a gift from above. It fixes a tremendous number of problems. If one honestly analyzes the challenge of each étude and takes the time to work through them with diligence, excellent things happen.
     
  12. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    I agree about the Suzuki! It's such a mismatch to the rest and not even cohesive within its own series.

    Wow! I haven't used the Simandl 30 etudes in years. They are useful but dry- as Simandl is- but more fun than the method. The method if you know how to use it wisely in reasonable doses is invaluable.
     
  13. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Mostly-

    The 30 are dry, but there apparently are piano parts, and the book is like boot camp for a section player. Also, we apparently need to do the hang. Pm me.

    Fwiw, at this point I find far more value in the 30 than in the method for many young students. The first ten or so etudes are incredibly challenging to truly play well, and the benefits are extraordinary.
     
  14. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Can someone explain Bille's fingering system in short? Is replacing 2 (Simandl system) with 3 all there is?
     
  15. eerbrev

    eerbrev

    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
    from what I understand, that's basically it. It comes from (once again, as I understand it) long string length basses with high action in the Italian school. One would use 1-3 for a half step as it is stronger and has a slightly farther reach than 1-2, and 1-4 for a full step just like the german school. How this translates into chromatic stuff (where in the german/simandl school one uses 1-2-4) I have no idea, but assumably the Italian school uses 1-3-4.

    When I play, I'll use 2 or 3 depending on situation. for a G major or C major scale, for the interval between B and C (or E and F in the c major scale) i use 1-3, but for example, between the C# and D on the G string in a D major scale, I would use 1-3 ascending (were I to continue onto the next octave) and 4-2 descending.

    But then, i'm one of those crazy Canadians. yeesh. ;)

    eerbrev
     
  16. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    As always... What does your teacher say? ;)
     
  17. A great set of entry level material is offered by Yorke edition. They are on the net under the name of Spartan Music. Everything there is graded and there is a large volume of material especially written for beginners.

    FC
     
  18. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
  19. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Thanks. 1-3 for half steps makes sense but 3-4 is more awkward then 2-4 in most situations I think. Especially for whole steps. I wonder how in Bille's system they would play for example A-Bb-C-Bb on the G string. Sometimes I use 1-2-4-2 for this but would that be 1-3-4-3 with some pivot in Bille's system?

    Don't want to 'convert' to Bille's system but just want to understand the basic principe. Just so I know what it is.
     
  20. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Unless a teacher advocates it, don't worry about 1-3-4 for Bille.

    Every teacher I know who uses it just replaces 1-2-4. The important part of Bille is the material. To my knowledge it is not taught in the Americas as a "method" per se. It's just a great set of etude books.

    Just like working out of Rabbath's methods- you can use normal Simandl fingerings all day long and still get the benefit of the etudes.

    Marco Panascia would be a good guy to talk to. He's the only guy I know stateside who uses 1-3-4 all the time.
     

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