For Rabbathians

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by PepeRomero, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. PepeRomero


    Jul 5, 2005
    A question for Rabbathians:
    From having studied in the tradition of the Simmandl school (with a teacher -- hold your guns, you get-a-teacher obsessives), I decided to give a try to the Rabbath Method. I got my hands on the 3 volumes of the Nouvelle Technique, and I've had a bit of trouble translating my previous position concepts to the new ones.
    Rabbath uses only 6 positions to cover the whole register of the bass (although he writes in the 3rd vol. that the 2nd position isn't really used, but only as a transition step). On the 1st Rabbathian postion I can cover the same notes that I covered on the Simmandlian HP, 1st and 2nd positions.
    Am I right on that?
    Should I consider the Rabbathian positions as equivalent to Simmandlian positions, only that the former are much more embracing? Does the Rabbath school see the positions in the same way as Simmandl and others?
  2. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    From what I am hearing out here on TB, I see it really as 'Sections'. The concept of a 'Position' as we know it is to play all the notes without moving, and then you shift to a new position. I see his method as a mental Conception combining Positions into Groups. Experienced players already do that as Pivoting comes later with experience unless you teach it right off the bat!

    100s of years ago, some schools tuned the Bass in 5ths like a Cello down to C. It was realized then that it was too big a Stretch so 4th tuning soon came to rule as well as 3-string and then back to 4.

    If Simandl seems too Elementry then play thru it anyway you like but play the notes in tune. Then you can move to more advanced methods. Position learning is the easiest and most fortified in my mind.
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I think the intent behind the two systems is different. Simandl's emphasis seems to be on reading music and mapping the notes on the written page to those on the neck, so the method has you read and play exercises that exhaustively cover all the notes (including enharmonic equivalents) within a position before proceeding to the next.

    Rabbath, on the other hand, seems intended to get people comfortable with the physical aspects of the instrument rather than the note-reading aspect. I liken it to a wind instrument method: it begins in the middle of the instrument's register and gradually extends one's comfortable range both upward and downward. Each position has a notably different left hand shape - the 3d position being the easiest to locate and finger, and the others relatively more difficult to locate and play.
  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    As I understand it, Simandl's intents are (in part, anyhow) pragmatic -- learning to play in tune when you can't hear yourself very well. Rabbath, Simandl+ and my approach all depend more on being able to hear yourself, at least to some extent.
  5. Savino


    Jun 2, 2004
    You will notice in the Rabbath books that there are specific position studies. The approach is the same as the simandl books yet the positions are larger, divided by the harmonic series. As it was mentioned before, Rabbath introduces pivoting methods right off the bat, as it is essential to the technique. 2nd position really is unneccessary except for a few keys because all the notes are under your fingers in 1st and 3rd position. It sounds crazy but it works. Of course this is all leading up to the bass being one position.
  6. Is there any information on these tunings? I've been experimenting with C G D G this summer and some things are rendered easier with this configuration. There is less string crossing involved with larger intervals and it's easier for me to play octaves in tune. Also the notes fall nicely on the fingerboard. The down side is low G string is A tuned a whole step down so it loses punch. Would a solo F# be stretched too tight for a G ? Also would the guage be too inconsistent?
  7. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL

    Velvet Strings makes a set called Compas 180 which is available in either normal or fifths tuning (A/D/G/C).
    Down at the bottom of that page for prices...

    I am in no way affiliated with Velvet Strings, I just haven't seen any other company making a single set for fifths tuning.
  8. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Thomastik has a Red Mitchell set of Spiros that are for 5ths.
  9. Thanks, guys, for the input. I'll crank up my cash flow if needed. I've been real happy with my Pir. Or. Flex. Will these others be comparable?
  10. MKoby


    Jul 14, 2004
    MD/Metro DC
    Francois' approach of six positions with pivots is to give the student a reliable, repeatable foundation.
    By utilizing harmonics and the crook of the D neck, the approach is designed for faster learning.

    The Rabbath Method should probably be considered "the art of the bow", as he suggests the left hand should follow the right. Left hand skills are to allow free use of the right hand.

    Rabbath organized his ideas for equipment and demands appropriate to the 20th century (ie low tension steel strings, narrow shouldered bass, balanced bow, and bent endpin to remove weight from the left hand)

    George Vance has organised a preliminary series (six books)
    leading to the Rabbath books, and discusses some of this.

    Simandl devised his method for different equipment and musical demands, although it was state of the art at the time.

    Positions are not equivalent between approaches.
  11. topbassman

    topbassman Banned

    Mar 3, 2005
    What are some other bass methods that are more advanced than Simandl but not quite as modern as Rabbath?