Franz Simandl Piano Accompaniments MP3 and YouTube Playlist

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by MrUsefulAlien, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. I have seen a few threads over the years asking for the piano music for the 30 Etudes book for state orchestra auditions.
    I recently purchased a copy of the workbook, and have been using it for fretless bass guitar, with great joy!
    A kind user on youtube uploaded the tracks, but didn't compile a playlist.
    I went ahead and organized the playlist, as well as generate MP3's, which I packaged in a Zip Folder.

    I hope it's of use to someone.

    Playlist: YouTube

    Album in MP3: 133.44 MB file on MEGA
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
  2. ILIA


    Jan 27, 2006
    This is amazing. Thank you!
  3. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Very nice collection on YouTube...

    Not familiar with Mega, seems to require a decryption key???
  4. Apoligies,
    here's the key, i'll update the post.

    133.44 MB file on MEGA

    I tried to find something that will stay online for a long time.
    dhergert likes this.
  5. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Thank you, you have created a new interest to Simandl for me!
  6. I was working through the etudes, and could make out some of the harmony, but a big smile stretched across my face with the piano harmony, it makes a big difference.
    The youtube playlist is useful for slowing some of the pieces down to 75% of speed, the mp3's work well on my phone when I'm trying to play without mistakes and at speed. Enjoy!
    dhergert likes this.
  7. It might feel better and certainly sound better, but, I would say it would get in the way of Simandl actually doing its job. Best to just play the etudes by themselves.
    Andy Mopley likes this.
  8. It's good to find the Simandl gatekeepers on the forum!
    Who said you can't do both? Work through the etude unaccompanied, then reward yourself with the playalong?
    Or, if someone gives up playing the studies since they are boring to play, wouldn't playing at all be better than not playing?

    Either way, I uploaded the files for those who find them relevant to their practice routine, not to spark a normative debate on approaches to the Simandl studies.
    Joshua and dhergert like this.
  9. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Joshua and MrUsefulAlien like this.
  10. It is less about being a gatekeeper and more about understanding how Simandl works. It is better to play Simandl straight and then just play whatever music you like later.
    I think it is important to understand the difference between practicing and playing. I would file this under "playing" - just to be honest about it. Having said that, as much as I love Simandl, it isn't going to get any of my "playing" time!

  11. I understand you are passionate about the topic of Simandl, and might possess a greater understanding than most of us on the nature of practice versus playing, and the consequence of mixing up those concepts.
    So in that context, I can see why some should heed your warning (although dialing back the air of superiority might help get the message across better).

    For me personally, playing mostly salsa, pop, blues and other session material, any classical music is a breath of fresh air, including these simple Etudes. Playing along to them, simple as they are, with the shoddy piano, simply made me FEEL HAPPY! So I will continue to blend slow practice, with accompaniment playing, because I like doing things that bring me joy.

    To anyone venturing beyond this warning, I simply posted links for those that find this to be a useful tool, to add another dimension, even if an inferior one at that, to their practice/playing routine.
    I didn't envision this sparking some sort of debate, but here we are! Enjoy (or don't!) the play-alongs!
    jheise and dhergert like this.
  12. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    @MrUsefulAlien, thank you for putting these together. I'll use them...

    I come from a different musical world than most people who have an interest in Simandl. This other musical world for the most part doesn't read music, or at least doesn't sight read. We understand chords and simple music fundamentals enough to play in any necessary keys, we have honed the ability to play by ear and memorize songs to a high level of expertise, and we improvise nearly all the time. We do have a number of written forms, but most of them express either a simplified chordal/lyrical approach to songs, or a much more instrument-specific technically detailed approach to songs, and most of these written music forms look nothing like formal written musical score. Multiple genre actively support this world of music, mostly encompassed by the general terms roots and/or Americana music.

    I'm just one of thousands of this kind of musician, having been involved in this music for the last 55 years, primarily for fun, but often for pay too. I probably have more exposure to the formal world of western music than many others in this musical world, having studied in college enough to actively participate and assist in leading college level jazz-performance classes for a number of years. But at this time I don't sight read and really don't need or intend to in order to enjoy and play double bass or other instruments in this musical world.

    While there are double bassists in the musical world I come from who are well trained in formal music forms including Simandl, they are very rare and frankly their formal training and talents are probably somewhat wasted among the masses of people who just want to jam on the back porch, or who want to practice with their band to perform for a church, or do a restaurant or bar gig, or play on stage at a festival. This is also primarily a pizz or pizz/slap environment for double basses, there is very little arco actually used except rarely for special effects. While formal music skills for the double bass are highly respected, they are not used very often in this musical world -- for double bass, playing pizz or pizz/slap with correct intonation in any key, playing extremely well by ear and being able to fluently improvise are the primary skills needed to progress in this world.

    My initial interest in Simandl was primarily for double bass technical detail instruction; the few technical detail pages in the first book have been interesting but very general and at least a little disappointing from that aspect, but to be fair very few double bass instruction books deal in specific technical details more than trivially, nearly all of them very quickly turn to exercises written in formal musical score, intended for the reader to deduce what the author is trying to communicate from music being played. While I can slowly piece my way through these exercises, being written in formal musical score they have little to do with the world of music I live in.

    But, your backing tracks do. With them I can slog through the formal musical score and directly plug in Simandl's exercises, or I can use the keyboard backup to improvise, or I can do a combination of both. And I can use either arco or pizz. This provides a number of very pleasant, much more interesting, yet informal ways to exercise double bass techniques. I might even add some slap!
    MrUsefulAlien likes this.
  13. I am passionate about playing my music on the bass. Simandl is one of the tools that helps that. I think the point you are missing - and I am sorry to seem dismissive of something you are excited about - it that such a thing tricks you into thinking you got some work done when you haven't. It is a bit like sprinkling some flax seed on your ice cream and thinking it is more healthy than nothing. Best just to enjoy the ice cream and not kid yourself.

    To that end, I'd suggest an Aebersold or play along of music you actually like and just enjoy it. If you want the benefits of Simandl, bang out one or two raw before the Aebersold. Or if you do enjoy the Simandl with the chords then by all means, enjoy it, but be honest with yourself that you may not being getting the work done you think you are.
    AGCurry likes this.
  14. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Damon, I must admit the slap comment was mostly a gentle jab for you so we could have this conversation. Thank you, I appreciate your frank response.

    Honestly, I respect and in many ways admire what you accomplish and your level of appreciation for Simandl, and I look at your influence here in TB/DB as an extremely positive one for people who are on even remotely similar tracks; don't ever stop. Your influence is why I initially purchased Simandl, and actually a number of other high level double bass books too.

    But Simandl and these other respectable books will never be for me what they are for you. I've come too far with ear and improv without written musical scores, and realistically I have too little time and too little patience at this point in my life to go back and relearn music from the ground up, which is really what Simandl and many other books would require. And my target musical environment, the environment I really enjoy playing in the most, needs what I already have, not what Simandl or these other books would offer to me.

    I am still interested in the Simandl exercises and will use @MrUsefulAlien 's backing tracks to enjoy them. But rest assured, I'm not fooling myself, they will never be a major influence on my playing. And I'm also not fooling myself, I don't ever expect or want to play in musical environments that require the kind of training that these respectable sources in their most serious mode would provide. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy them.

    Mostly it's good for us all to remember that there are other musical worlds out there that support a strong culture that is equally important to those who participate in them. I love the world of music that I'm active in, but I look outside of it in awe and excitement at yours and other musical worlds... I'd gently suggest that if you look with an open mind, the view of other musical worlds will be equally exciting and awe inspiring for you.

    Thank you for the musical work you do and for the thoughts you share here.
    AGCurry likes this.
  15. neilG


    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    Learning the etudes solo is necessary, of course. Learning to play them in tune with the piano, or any other instrument, has immense value, since that's what you do when you perform.
    It should be noted, for those of you who don't know, that it is likely that Simandl himself wrote the piano accompaniments to the 30 etudes. I posted them on IMSLP some years ago. Best guess on the date of that edition is 1900.

    30 Etudes for the Double Bass (Simandl, Franz) - IMSLP: Free Sheet Music PDF Download
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  16. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    And of course, #17 remains the big showpiece...must be the other thing Simandl is famous for ;-) but on a serious note, are tempo marking not indicated because ??? Should they not be there, even if only as a recommendation? Metronome markings as recommended TARGETS for students, not REQUIREMENTS, to be clear.
  17. My edition has the tempo given at the start of each piece, if that's what you mean. For example, #2 is at 112bpm.
  18. jheise


    Aug 11, 2004
    Hamburg, Germany
    I might even go so far to consider an etude with a piano accompaniment a musical piece rather than an etude. Maybe not good music because it was conceived to solve "challenges" rather than being a musical piece first. But some composers I talked to went so far that some or even most of their compositions were sparked by the interest in something technical and not because inspiration just fell from the sky. So, yes, play it solo and play it with the accompaniment!
  19. Good point! I'm looking to jumpstart my reading and train my ear and fingersfor fretless bass guitar; do both solo and accompaniment are great for me.
    To your second point, I also read that some famous classical pieces started out as some form of study.
  20. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    Could you PM the tempos, when you can, please? My version doesn't. Thanks!
    MrUsefulAlien likes this.