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How Long?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by John453, Apr 1, 2006.


  1. John453

    John453

    Apr 1, 2006
    Columbus, Ohio
    Hello everyone. This is my first post here, although I've been browsing these fourms for about a week I finally decided to make an account.

    My question is, how long did it take most of you to get out of playing Etudes from Simandl, Nanny, or other Etude books and start playing orchestral excerpts?

    I've been playing for about 2 1/2 months. My teacher and I are working on two octave scales at the moment, and we're on roughly page 40 of Simandl (I don't have the book with me so I can't tell you whats on the page). I hope this is the place to ask this questions, sorry if it's not!

    Thank you,
    John
     
  2. I never really worked out of a book. Best way to learn is through the music itself.
     
  3. Anon2962

    Anon2962

    Aug 4, 2004
    i'm not sure how it works in the states - i know that you guys put alot more time into teaching orchestral excepts. For me, maybe 4 or 5 years before i started playing any 'common' excerpts.

    Good luck!
     
  4. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    Playing bass is a life-long pursuit, so my advise is take as long as you need, and take advantage of as many playing situations as you can. When I started, I played in the high school, and all-state orchestras and jazz bands, in addition to studying Simandl. In college, I started Simandl again, but that time, I played through the book very slowly. I would also search out people to play with, and would spend hours a day playing. When I wasn't playing, I would go to the local jazz clubs.
    Keep in mind the importance of the basics. They may seem slow, tedious, sometimes downright boring, but they are the basis of everything that you are going to be playing for the rest of your life. If you rush them, you will start to devolop bad habits that will take a lifetime to unlearn. There is no reason, however, that you couldn't find a local orchestra and audition. That's the other thing about the basics...They really don't mean anything to you until you apply them.
     
  5. John453

    John453

    Apr 1, 2006
    Columbus, Ohio
    Thanks to all who replied! Another question: What were the first orchestral pieces or easier solos you worked on? I'm going to the Future Virtusi program at the ASOBD this year, so i need a recomendation for a solo to work on in a masterclass.

    Thank you
     
  6. sibass89

    sibass89

    Jan 29, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    I'm still playing etudes. They never end. After Simandl Book I, you go to Book II, and then you do Billé, Sturm, Kayser, and Kreutzer. So etudes will never stop. It took me about a year of lessons before I started with excerpts where my excerpts then worked with my etude. For instance if my etude was working on spiccato I worked on the trio to Beethoven 5.

    The first solo I played was the Elephant, then I went on to some Marcello Sonatas, then Eccles Sonata, Vivaldi Sonatas. The 1st Marcello Sonata (the key it is in is slipping my mind right now) is probably the best for you right now, or even the elephant. The Elephant is standard repertoire (I've seen it come up recently in Orchestral Auditions) and I would find it hard to believe there is a classically trained bassist here who hasnt played atleast one of the Marcello Sonatas, and they are both great for Masterclasses.

    Good Luck at ASODB.
     
  7. John453

    John453

    Apr 1, 2006
    Columbus, Ohio
    Thanks a ton sibass! My teacher said the same thing you did on the Etudes. I should've said, it's not that i don't like playing the Etudes it's just that they get boring after practicing them for a few days.

    Would you, or anyone reccomend getting the Orchestra Volume 1 Double Bass by Zimmermann? It seems like a good price, but I can't find what pieces are in it.

    Thanks again everyone
     
  8. Anon2962

    Anon2962

    Aug 4, 2004

    I've been playing the same 6 studies every day for the past 8 months, and you'll find people that will play the same ones for years. Studies are great to warm up with. Maybe you could try and push your expectations of what the studies should sound like/ try different bowings etc. to mix things up and make them more of a challenge?
     
  9. sibass89

    sibass89

    Jan 29, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    I've never used the Zimmerman books. I was just always giving a copy of the actual part as my excerpt.

    I don't what excerpts are in the Zimmerman but some of the ones I played in the beginning were:

    Die Meistersingers Von Nurenberg
    Beethoven 5 Scherzo and Trio
    Beethoven 9 Recitativo
    Mozart 40 first mvt
    Schubert Unfinished Symphony - first 8 bars

    I personally wouldn't reccomend orchestral excerpts until you get up to book two in Simandl. Once you get to those etudes, which are longer and a little bit more musically satisfying, I think it would be good to start some excerpts.

    Also, I agree with Conor. Don't play the etudes as if they are just studies and exercises. Play them as if you are playing them in a recital or as if a concerto. Make sure the vibrato is perfect on every note and that everything is part of a musical line. This will make the etudes more enjoyable and you will get the most out of it.

    Mr. Levinson always tells me, "scales, arpeggios, and etudes, aren't exercises, they are music, they should be played like love songs (where he then sings the etude)."

    So keep working hard and I'm sure your teacher will give you some excerpts when he/she feels you are ready.
     
  10. bejoyous

    bejoyous

    Oct 23, 2005
    London, Ontario
    Hi John

    A good book I use with my students is (I'm not sure of the exact title, though) Exercises in Half and First Position by Slatford published by Yorke. While the Simandl is a great book, the exercises can be quite dull. This book has shorter exercises that work on one problem at a time and has fun little tunes, such as English folk songs, sailor songs plus short orchestral passages throughout. Highly recommend it. Also, it's all in 1/2 and 1st position so you get really secure in the "money note" range.
     
  11. From a pedagogical standpoint, my advice is to wait until you have completed at least pg. 69, and prefererably all of Simandl I before tackling orch rep. Remember though that Simandl I has lot's of nuggets in the back that you will need to learn anyway, so If you just plug along, you will get to Beethoven 5 soon enough. You seem like you are advancing quickly. When I was 13, I spent about 1 month teaching myself how to play in tune in hp and 1st position, and getting a good sound. That goes a very long way in the orchestra. Believe me. 95% of the notes you will play are between G on the E string and C on the G string. The rest will come in time. My advice is to go fast enough to get prepared to play in orchestra, but be prepared to go back and review it all again very slowly when the pressure's off. You'll thank me later. I think spending a year on just technique will make things go faster down the line if you have the luxury.
    -Jon
     
  12. John453

    John453

    Apr 1, 2006
    Columbus, Ohio
    We just started on 69 today (We're starting 69 while we go through the rest of the book. Now we're on A minor 2 octaves and it's Etudes). We pretty much made it through the first three bowing variations...very slow tempo. Man those things are confusing. The only one i can do even remotly in tune is the third (first two notes slurred, then second two etc) The two with the staccato and slur variations are confusing.

    Thank for all of you that have helped. I went to the library yesterday and found Zimmermann's Concept for Bwoing book, it has some easier excerpts I think I'll just stick with it and my Etudes.

    Thanks again everyone!
     
  13. I remember that page well.

    I don't think the bowing patterns are confusing, but it is alot to process all at once within the excersize. The reason your intonation gets worse, is that when faced with these challenging bowing combinations, your focus shifts to the bowing technique, and the left hand technique starts to fall apart. I think this is very typical.

    You would probably find all these bowing patterns much easier if you applied them first to simple one, and then eventually two octave scales.

    I had a hard time combining the bowing patterns, with the etude, and the intonation. But after a few seasons in an orchestra, where you are constantly dealing with changing bowing patterns, I went back to that excersize, and it was a whole lot easier.
     
  14. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    It's certainly typical for me.

    I was very eager to doing everything immediately, and so I got ahold of orchestra excerpts and worked on them furiously almost from the outset. But it exploited no advantage for me whatsoever and I sounded exactly like any other beginner.

    It's easier for people to draw negative conclusions regarding your skills and potential when you're hacking out Mozart 35 than Mary Had A Little Lamb as a beginner. Prejudices and expectations run rampant through life in all endeavors, and in hindsight I think it's of value to exploit common prejudices to one's advantage.

    I chuckle to myself now when I think of others hearing me struggle with that stuff back then, and after learning to play the bass for several years now I'm still not confident with them.

    But sometimes I'm not sure it matters at all what a student works on, how a student prepares himself for playing music of any kind. We've all got to start somewhere, and I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with getting possessed and wanting to struggle with any of the great music that's out there as a student. It's intoxicating.

    Hmm on second thought I take the sales pitch back. Nobody should buy my schtick if it endangers losing his teacher!
     
  15. John453

    John453

    Apr 1, 2006
    Columbus, Ohio
    That's what I meant by confusing. I should've worded it better. Thanks for the tip on doing them with scales.
     
  16. John453

    John453

    Apr 1, 2006
    Columbus, Ohio
    I was wondering if Bottesini Method for Double Bass part 1 is a good book to work with along with Simandl? No where around me stocks the book so I can't look at it in person. Are the Etudes similar to Simandl's? Is the book similar to Simandl in any other ways? I kind of want a book that goes across the board instead of up and down so I have good intoneation and know my notes all around.

    Thank you,
    John
     
  17. John453

    John453

    Apr 1, 2006
    Columbus, Ohio
    One more question :)

    I need two solos to play in a masterclass at the ASODB (Future Virtuosi Program) this summer. I was thinking about one (or more) of the movements from the Eccles Sonata, would this piece be suitable for someone of my playing level? If not, what would you reccomend? I have access to a few books from the library one is pink i think it's called "Solos for the Double Bass Player" the other is orange i think the title is pretty much the same as the pink book.

    Other reccomendations highly appreciated!

    Thank you,
    John
     
  18. sibass89

    sibass89

    Jan 29, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    Eccles is a great piece. It requires some position, but nothing that outrageous so its a good piece to learn some thumb position in. The first two movements are pretty standard, as well as the 4th. For masterclasses I tend to find though that the shorter the better because you get to work on more with the teacher. There are some great short concert pieces that you can look into. Also there is the Galliard Sonata, and the Vivaldi Sonatas, which are good pieces that dont require any thumb position.

    There is no wrong thing the play at a masterclass. Play something at your level. Ask your teacher for a reccomendation and play what he/she says you are capable of playing. You are going to get a lot more out of the masterclass if you play something that is at your level because everything the teacher does will sink in.

    Those solos for the Double Bass Player Books are pretty good. I used them at one point. Most pieces have changes in them, with things down an octave and stuff but its no problem whatsoever.
     
  19. John453

    John453

    Apr 1, 2006
    Columbus, Ohio
    Just got back from my lesson, my teacher said pretty much the same thing as you. He also said I should consider Bouree from the Third Cello Suite (It's from the Solos for double bass player) I forgot to ask my teacher if Vocalise (Rachmaninoff) would be a good piece to consider? It's all in tenor clef, which sets me off it goes up to a high E in thumb position and I'm only at A. But if I'm up that high when July comes around then I might reconsider:smug:

    Most likly I'll do the first or second movement from the Eccles Sonata.

    Thanks a lot sibass you've really been a great help to me :)
     
  20. John453

    John453

    Apr 1, 2006
    Columbus, Ohio
    Little update:

    I decided on Vocalise and the ssecond movement of the Eccles sonata for the masterclass.

    Thanks for the help everyone :)

    John
     

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