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So, Who Is Studying Rabbath's Techniques?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by jgbass, Feb 27, 2006.


  1. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    I started studying Rabbath's techniques about a year and a half ago when I started studying with Kristin Korb.

    I got the George Vance books and kind of back tracked to the beginning and learned things a new way. When I started, I had only been playing upright less than two years anyway. Now I am studying material from Rabbath's second book and I am working with my teacher on solo pieces with Rabbath fingering ideas . I even had the chance to study with him at the Arizona Bass Players Festival last October and play for him in a master class.

    I think it really has made a positive difference in my playing. The Vance books got me into thumb position almost from the beginning. The material I study in this system is just more interesting and engaging compared to other approaches I studied.

    Just curious who is studying Rabbath techniques.
     
  2. i don't study rabbath technique, but i study some of his exercices wich are very musical and they can happen in just one position.
     
  3. tappingtrance

    tappingtrance Cooke Harvey Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2005
    Great stuff - I have studied with George Vance and attended several of his summer week long seminars with Francois there - fantastic concepts around stance, playing lightly, pulling the bow across the strings rather than pushing down - great DVDs out - all highly recommended.
     
  4. fcleff

    fcleff

    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I was a composition major/bass pricipal and never really went outside of Simandl until I graduated. My teacher just never felt the need to expose me to a lot of different stuff. My lessons were more repertiore oriented rather than etude. Now I do a lot of teaching, both private and classroom, and have been getting more and more into Rabbath.

    His exercises are very engaging to all students that I have exposed to his method. I have to be careful, though, because his position system is different from any taught in public schools. It is easy for students to get confused. Once they get it, however, they love it.

    Personally, I am doing what you are; going back to square one and kind of relearning things. It is helping with my Bach in terms of intonation and ease of figuring out, on the fly, what fingerings I will use (better fingerboard geography). I LOVE that last piece in book one. My students really dig it, too. :cool:
     
  5. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    When I was at the Arizona Bass Fest, and after playing for Rabbath in his Master Class, I went ahead and had the bent endpin put in. This involved a hole being drilled in the bottom of the bass at a 44 degree angle. I could not believe the difference having the endpin has made in making it easier to play the bass, being able to play for hours. The ergonomics just seem so right.

    Rabbath is also a big advocate of the French bow. I did not make the change until a few weeks ago. I had read some posts about Bob Golihur selling a French bow for $140 and it had gotten favorable reviews. Decided that was not a huge investment. When the bow arrived, it took about two minutes to decide I was going to start playing French bow. I'm sure I don't have the positioning quite right, but it works great with the bent endpin deal. Now I thinking of exploring his Art of the Bow DVD and learn more about bowing. To observe him play so absolutely effortlessly with a big smile on his face is just so amazing.

    I wonder if he's going to be at any summer camps?
     
  6. GirlBass

    GirlBass

    Jul 31, 2005
    New York
    boo! you switched to French bow after playing for Rabbath?!?
    I played for him once and he tried that on me, but I wasn't having it.
    The Laborie pin is nice for sitting though, I've been trying that out and I like it.
    I've also heard something about a festival in hawaii that rabbath will be at in a few weeks. anyone going?
     
  7. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    Domaine Forget
     
  8. fcleff

    fcleff

    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Yeah, I saw Rabbath perform when he did a week-long residency at U.T. I had never seen him play before and I brought a couple of my younger students along. We were FLOORED!!!

    I am saving up for the bent endpin. Any suggestions on where to get one and what to look for?
     
  9. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    No boo here on my decision, and after I played for Rabbath I was unconvinced I needed any bow change.

    After using the new endpin for four months, and feeling uncomfortable with the ergonomics of the endpin with the German bow, I thought I would give the French bow a try. Makes more sense, when playing with the bass near or on my shoulder in this position, to use a bow that approaches the strings more directly from the top. This is all hard to put in words, just a result of my playing experiences. I immediately experienced a change in my playing for the better and I have little desire to play German bow anymore, but may use it for jazz bowing.
     
  10. GirlBass

    GirlBass

    Jul 31, 2005
    New York
    sorry, I was basically joking to perpetuate the french vs. german war ;)
    It's great that you found a technique that works for you, and I guess it wouldn't make sense to hold the bass the rabbath way and try to get around it with a german bow!
     
  11. If you don't want holes drilled in your bass, I would recommend using the Eggpin. You can get the same playing angle without drastically altering your bass.
     
  12. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    I had the procedure (haha, I don't know what else to call it and it really helped to have some other basses go before me and survive) done at the Arizona Bass Fest by some folks from the Robertson & Sons Shop in Albuquerque. That's probably no help to you where you live, but it cost me $100 including the endpin. They could probably give you some info.
     
  13. fcleff

    fcleff

    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Thanks for that, both of you. I am in Austin and have a couple of decent shops here that may be able to do it. I am also going to check out the eggpin. Where does one find them, Lemur?

    There is also going to be the Bass Oddessy coming up here at U.T. and I think that Robertson's is going to have some kind of set up. Though, I don't think that they will be doing that kind of work, at least I can glean some info. :ninja:
     
  14. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    From my POV lots of people are. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that George Vance has the market for beginner bass pedagogy cornered and that Rabbath is the most well-regarded living virtuoso bassist.

    Because there are also so many other great bassists and teachers out there with their own individual styles and preferences, and technology affords even students hundreds of miles away to get personal demonstrations of those techniques, it's more likely that we're all studying an amalgam of styles.

    Rabbath is great, but for me the biggest contribution from him comes from his left hand fingering concepts. If I did play French bow, I would be more inclined to someone like Jeff Bradetich's tone quality...tending in general towards a meatier, more "macho American" than "delicate French" sound
     
  15. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    As a jazzer, this is why I study his materials. The "Crab" LH technique is brilliant. I had stumbled onto the beginnings of something like it intuitively, but working (pizz, of course) through some of his etudes and watching the DVD over and over has sure helped a lot.
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I've looked at his books and would like the DVD - but It seems to be either unavailable or phenomenally expensive!? :meh:
     
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I checked it out of the university library. You may want to search in the library of a music school near you to see if they have it - it's worth the effort. :)
     
  18. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I agree it's way cool. His etudes are very challenging I can definitely see your getting useful results from them Chris even without the bow!

    Some of them I try to read and struggle through...but they're like supercharged Simandl position exercises I can't "hear" a melody on them and so I get lost real fast LOL
     
  19. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    I believe you can find the eggpin at Lemur. I've seen it in their catalog. Also, if you contact Robertson's, maybe they can bring endpins and the tool they use to drill. I kind of would be more surprised if they didn't have the equipment for that at Bass Odyssey.

    Yes, the crab technique too, and the pivoting technique he demonstrates on his video (the video, not the Art of the Bow). And, I don't know if this is strictly about Rabbath, but my teacher also reminds me, when I'm getting into intonation problems, to think about using a lot of 1 -4 fingering. Works like a charm to clean up intonation.
     
  20. I've been wading into his Book III. So far I'm pleased with the results. Better sound, better intonation, better agility with left and right arms.