F.Simandl New method for DB book 1

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Tyler_W, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. Tyler_W


    Jun 15, 2005
    Woodbridge, VA
    So... I bought F.Simandl New method for DB book 1 yesterday. When searching through the pages, I saw some stuff I'd never seen before like double-sharps (only seen in music theory class) and some really fast.. almost Yngwie Malmsteen type runs going up really high in the register. Alot of this stuff in this book doesnt seem very musical, but rather to build technique and strength. Am I correct? Also, users of this book, will I ever see alot of the stuff near the middle to the back of the book in intermediate orchestra in high school?


    --Tyler Walrabenstein
  2. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Yup... the book is not very musical and it does drill shifting and intonation a lot which lets you start playing "real" music relatively quickly. As for the really fast runs... start playing those exercises at a very slow tempo. Some of those exercises used to take me 20 minutes to play through just once at first. I still don't play them anywhere near fast several years later.

    The book only covers the lower half of the fingerboard but playing those exercises an octave up is great practice for thumb position... which you shouldn't need in high school orchestra but it's good to get comfortable with it early.
  3. Be sure to start the bowing variations on page 69 as soon as possible using just a scale if necessary. You will see those bowings in orchestra even if you don't end up having to play that high yet.
  4. edvon


    Apr 4, 2004
    my teacher just got me to page 69 in the book, what a challenge. How do you guys approach practice sessions to get your LH and RH to work independently? I try doing the variations on one string first, but then when I play across strings and have to shift - different story...
    cheers, Ed
  5. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Don't be taken aback by what the notes look like on the page. Some passages in Beethoven that are written in 32nd notes are reasonably slow whereas others are written as quarter notes and are quite fast.
  6. Johnnythekid

    Johnnythekid Guest

    Dec 20, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I just started into the book as well. The double sharps and stuff commanly won't be in High School music from my experiance, and if the double bass is anything like tuba was in high school, the fastest run you will play probably won't be in the band. The only really fast stuff I played was in honor bands, haha.
  7. TomGale


    Jul 31, 2005
    American School of Double Bass
    I got so bored teaching from Bk 1 that I finall wrote my Practical Studies for DB followed by Melodic Foundation Studies to replace it. I'm glad I did and so are alot of teachers that now use them both.
    Tom Gale
  8. Pete G

    Pete G

    Dec 31, 2001
    Northern Virginia
    I'm impressed that you have an intermediate orchestra in High School. So many schools now don't have orchestra at all.
  9. Here in Buffalo we are blessed. My daughter started in orchestra in third grade - in her school there is a elementary, junior high and senior high orchestra. I went to her concert and the fourth grade bassist was pretty darn good.

    Oh well, back on topic.
  10. Ed,

    Ok, hopefully this isn't too late. I can only relate what worked for me, so here goes:

    1) Play the bowing patterns on one string till it's second nature and you get the "feel of the pattern".

    2) Apply the patterns to some familiar scales where you don't have to think about the LH too much. Simulataneously,...

    3) Learn the p.69 excersize to the point of memorization with detached bowing or pizz or whatever.

    4) Then, start very slowly a bar at a time and apply each bowing in order to the excercise. Break down each movement of both hands. Map out the movements of the right arm, bow, etc. as you cross strings. Do it in slow or stop motion if you need to. Don't worry about tempo yet. Do not deviate from the fingerings until you can play every bowing example with those fingerings. That is one of the keys to this excercise. The fingerings Simandl (or Zimmerman) provided don't work very well with many of the bowings, so it forces you to get better at slurring through shifts, slurring across strings from open to closed strings, etc.

    4) After you know exactly what both hands are doing, play with the metronome. When I go back to this page from time to time, I start at 60bpm with each bowing example and once I can play it musically at that tempo I increase to 72, then to 84, etc. up to 120 or higher if I feel up to it and if it's appropriate for the particular pattern. The bowings require different approaches at the various tempos.

    5) After you master the excercise as presented, mix it up by varying the dynamics, adding accents, etc.

    6) Make up your own fingerings for each pattern that allow for more musical slurring and string crossings. Keep smaller slurred groupings on the same string etc in the lower positions. Try out fingerings that stay more in the middle of the fingerboard rather than going from 1/2 position up the G string only. Try fingerings that avoid the less sonorous Open D and G strings.

    Well that's how I do it (did it) FWIW.

  11. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    You may see some double sharps in your High School orchestra music. It depends on what your director picks for you. Are you a member of a full-orchestra or a string-orchestra?

    How do you know that the runs you see are fast? Is there a tempo marking? Usually; when you see 32nd or 64th notes, they are played in a slow tempo (unless they are ornaments). Also, I don't believe that the Simandl books goes above an A on the G string (one whole-step above the octave harmonic). Look at Simandl book 2; the notes go even higher.

    This simply isn't true. I can't agree with you because anything can be played musically. You have to build the phrases and make it musical. I'm sure that you've heard that when you practice your scales, you're supposed to practice them musically. I've heard some of those dry etudes performed with great expression and sensitivity.

    This depends on your director and the skill level of your emsemble. The "intermediate" label is relative. I am a public school orchestra director and I've seen High School ensembles of various levels. There are all kinds of names for High School ensembles: "Concert", "Symphonic", "Select", "Advanced", "Honors"; you get the idea.
  12. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    In some broadway-type charts, you might see the occasional double-sharp (I saw a couple recently in Seussical the Musical) and in book two, they introduce tenor and alto clef, which I thankfully only saw in cello cues in various orchestral charts in college.
  13. In the standard orchestral bass literature, double sharps and less frequently, double flats appear often enough that they can't be igonored. Double sharps appear frequently in Minor keys, and both appear wherever there is alot of chromaticism. I think with Simandl though, some of the enharmonic keys are not entirely practical, but more in the mode of being theoretically complete. Simandl's goal was to prepare the orchestral player for anything he/she might encounter, and if you limit the rep to the late 1800's, he does this well. It's better to be familiar with something you never encounter in the real world, than to encounter something you never worked on. Jazz players may never have to deal with alot of the keys he presnts, but why not learn them anyway.