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HELP ! -- Starting Again Later In Life

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by JCS, Dec 15, 2004.


  1. JCS

    JCS

    Dec 14, 2004
    I am a 58 year old who has not played a stand up bass for 40 years and would like to re-learn to the extent I can. I almost need to start from scratch. Any suggestions with books or other instructional materials for the beginner?

    I do have a bass now but don't remember the strings. I really am starting over but hope some will come back a little quicker.
     
  2. Welcome home and to TB. Start with reading the newbie links at the top of the forum. Then see if you can locate a teacher who will help you on the straight and narrow path.
     
  3. Simandl's New Method for the Double Bass book 1 is probally the best beginers book you can get. It's has simple etudes, and starts from the bottom of the bass to the top with the studies getting progressivly harded as you go. It also runs you through the basics stance, the strings, tuning, bow hold.
    Good luck,
    Mike
     
  4. JCS

    JCS

    Dec 14, 2004
    What is meant by the "newbie" links in your message? Are you refering to the "links" with a slang term as an adjective or am I missing something? Sorry, I am not up to date with all this so I may ask a seemingly dumb question.
    Thanks for the advice.
     
  5. JCS

    JCS

    Dec 14, 2004
    Thanks, I will look up this book on the net. I live in John Mellencamp's "small town" in Indiana so there are not too many people here playing or teaching string bass. The book wil help I am sure.
     
  6. bassbaterie

    bassbaterie

    Dec 14, 2003
    Houston Texas
    Director, Quantum Bass Center
    Simandl is very dry to work through without a teacher. Once you get to where you recall your map of the fingerboard, add other stuff to keep you motivated. The Simandl is a great foundation each time you make a transition to a higher position, etc. so keep working with it and referring to it. An endless source of skill-builder material is to download MIDI arrangements of pop, jazz or classical pieces and play along either on the screen or print out the bass part. For extra fun play the other parts in the arrangement.

    Just keep playing, but whenever you get the chance, travel and take a lesson. Someone needs to see what you are doing to help you with your position and keep you from falling into radical trouble.
     
  7. Hey, if you're not up to date with a lot of this internet jargon, you ARE in the right place. The majority of us are not too technologically savvy but we love to make deep music.

    If you look at the top of each TB forum (technique, basses, setup and repair, etc) you will see something that says newbie links. This is a collection of links (click on one, it takes you to another web site) our moderators have compiled and organized that are especially beneficial to new (hence "newbie") or inexperienced players. There is more good advice and wisdom there than you can read in a few hours.

    Simandl is very good for teaching you the bass clef, where the notes lie on the neck, and a fingering system to find those notes. A teacher can really help you by teaching you how to approach and grapple with the actual instrument.

    I would also suggest you take a little time to fill out your profile--especially location. There are a lot of knowledgable folks here who just might be able to suggest someone in your area who might help you out.
     
  8. Eugene Levinson's book "School of Agility" is a great book of scales and arpeggios (the starting point I would suggest). The book offers alternate positions and fingerings for every major scale as well as their parallel harmonic, melodic, and narutal minor counterparts. He also has a series of arpeggios that start with the note of the scales for each particular section (i.e. E major and minors have a series of arpeggios starting on E). The book is extremely thorough (sp?) and is a great resource for any player. It's amazing how many different way there are to play 3 octaves of a particular scale (I think G major may have 30 recorded in this book)

    Everyone should go out and get this book now.
     
  9. I'd also suggest that if you don't have ready access to a teacher you check out what's available on DVD or Video. Written descriptions of how your hand should look and so forth are often hard to translate into action, and a visual image helps a lot. For what its worth, if its jazz you play, I think the series of videos Ray Brown did are well worth a look, and inspiring at the same time. Check out Lemur music on line for what's available. Welcome back to the bass. :)
     
  10. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    Chicago
    ..a trip to U of I in Bloomington should find you a good teacher. How far is that from you?
     
  11. JCS

    JCS

    Dec 14, 2004
    We are an hour from IU ! But it might be worth it.
     
  12. JCS

    JCS

    Dec 14, 2004
    Our son is a drummer in Indy and he might be able to hook me up with an instructor. He plays with Henry Lee Summer, Jennie DeVoe, the Aligator Brothers and group he put together called Three pound Universe. They play mostly rock but he has a lot of contacts in the music scene in INDY.
     
  13. bassbaterie

    bassbaterie

    Dec 14, 2003
    Houston Texas
    Director, Quantum Bass Center
    My buddy is an instructor at IU Fort Wayne. If that is close to you, I can get you his contact info. I don't know the geography so maybe IU is in more than one city?
     
  14. bassbaterie

    bassbaterie

    Dec 14, 2003
    Houston Texas
    Director, Quantum Bass Center
    And something to add, I sometimes travel 200 miles each way to take a lesson (not very often but whenever I can) and save up a page or more of specific questions that I know the instructor can answer. It is worth it, many times over.