Rabbath still cool?

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by chicagodoubler, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Just wondering what happened...
    10 years ago every other word seemed to be praising Rabbath... are we really that fickle, or have some of us returned to Simandl, etc...?

    FI, the ubiquitous eggpin seems to have evolved or vanished in many circles, and fellas just don't seem to be using his books much anymore.

    The reason for my curiosity: I've been revisiting some of his books and concepts and getting great results!!!!

    Are you guys still teaching/ playing any of his methodology? Are there any teachers besides Sturm and Ellison still teaching the whole system?
  2. thedbassist

    thedbassist Guest

    Sep 10, 2006
    I think Rabbath is awesomely cool. If you want some teachers who know the whole system, Ithaca's professor(forgot his name), Sandor Ostlund, Ali Yazdanfar, Jean Michon and Gary Karr! jk about Gary. I think Rabbath's concepts are amazing, although some need to be kind of fit for the orchestra world(I don't collapse my fingers) but I pivot and torque and am a big believer in the 6 positions and use the Laborie endpin. I think Rabbath's greatest contribution is his use of the bow though.
  3. MDEbass

    MDEbass Guest

    Dec 15, 2008
    I've recently been listening to recordings of him and think he's awesome. Theres a cool interview with Rabbath on the Contrabass Conversations podcast
  4. JazzyLambert

    JazzyLambert Guest

    Dec 8, 2008
    Had a teacher (1 lesson only) who worshipped Rabbath so rabidly that he made me play with my german bow held in a french grip. I know that Rabbath is one of the great virtuosos/composers/technichians/iconoclasts of DB,,,,but this guy really put me off him.
  5. thedbassist

    thedbassist Guest

    Sep 10, 2006
    There are bad teachers of every method, a lot of people also don't really understand the Rabbath technique imo. They think it's set in stone and that if you can play it on another string with less shifts then you have to play it that way, what they don't realize is that the Rabbath technique gives you the tools to do whatever you want to(not give you the tools to only do it one type of way). It's really artistic imo, Rabbath doesn't want a lot of Rabbath clones, he wants a lot of musicians who have every tool at their disposal imo.

    Also, that teacher sounds like an amateur. I can't imagine anybody trying to make me play a German bow with a french grip(I'm a frenchie btw).
  6. dchan


    Nov 19, 2005
    Bethlehem, PA
    ^ I remember talking to Francois' son, Olivier - the one who sells the bass case. We both agreed that technique you use means nothing if you can't affect the emotions of the listener - in the end, music is an art-form and not a science.
  7. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    Rabbath is a genius that explored little known techniques, and I think everyone should have a serious look at what he has to say.

    Having said that, in the 90s many took Rabbath as sort of a cult, and that's not healthy either.
  8. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Anybody still using his books? I recently went through the exercises and etudes in book 1 and was surprised by how tricky and musical they are!
  9. quenoil

    quenoil Guest

    Jan 20, 2007
    I use his books, and use them with my students as well. I'm pretty sure they are among the most popular bass method books - many, many people use them.
  10. CreamJeans

    CreamJeans Guest

    Jan 8, 2009
    rabbath is still too cool 4 school...i mean too cool to teach at school! lol
  11. That sums it up. It isn't any sort of wholesale replacement for what came before, unless you only want to play just like him.
  12. thedbassist

    thedbassist Guest

    Sep 10, 2006
    What does wholesale replacement mean?
  13. Joe Gress

    Joe Gress Guest

    Dec 22, 2005
    Pueblo, CO
    I'm going through his books right now.
  14. Well, I am proponent of being aware of as many methods as possible.
    I think to really get Rabbath you should at least be familiar with Nanny, which is what he was reacting against.
    It is a very personal and I would say reactionary method and also depends a lot on set up which can limit the strength of the sound which may not be suitable for the widest breadth of styles a bassist might need to be proficient in today.

    At the same time, so much of it is extremely useful, and anyone wanting a serious overview of the instrument cannot dismiss it.
  15. quenoil

    quenoil Guest

    Jan 20, 2007
    This is just not true.
  16. wathaet


    May 27, 2007
    The eggpin (ellison/gilbert pin) has evolved and he (professor ellison) now drills a hole instead. Ellison certainly incorporates a lot of Rabbath in his teaching and it has certainly not diminished.
  17. I like your argument!
  18. thedbassist

    thedbassist Guest

    Sep 10, 2006
    Damon, why do you constantly bash Rabbath as bad for a beginning bass method? Where have you gotten your knowledge from concerning the Rabbath method?
  19. I studied it with someone two away from Rabbath. I think it is fine if the beginner is set on being a classical soloist.
    The set up, pivots and approach to sound production just does not transfer to the wider needs of a working bass player playing jazz, classical and whatever else is thrown at them, as I keep saying, such a person also needs to be well aware of Rabbath's contribution.

    For starters, you are just never going to get a powerful pizzicato tone like William Parker or Paul Chambers using that system.
    You can, however with the left hand parts of Simandl and Petracchi.

    I think some methods are better to start with than others, but I don't think we can get every single thing we need from any of them.
  20. quenoil

    quenoil Guest

    Jan 20, 2007
    I'm not arguing. What you say is objectively untrue. To say that Rabbath was reacting against Nanny is to really misunderstand him. And to think that using his method books (or technique in general) has something to do with how a bass is set up just isn't right. His technique was developed, and the books were written, when Francois used a totally different setup than he uses now. And people all over world using all kinds of basses, strings, etc, playing jazz, classical music, pop music, etc use his method and technique.