Want Info on Warren Benfield

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by Eilif, Oct 15, 2001.

  1. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Two years ago I was forced to give up the double bass. (financial and time obligations) About two years prior to that, I had been studying with Warren Benfield. I recently heard a rumor that he had passed on. I have alot of fond memories of him, and I was curious if anyone could tell me when he passed away, or share any information about him, life/career, etc.
  2. Eilif:
    I studied at the Congress of Strings in 1966. Warren was our teacher. It was that summer with him and my other colleagues that pushed me into my lifelong love of the double bass and my 42 year profession. He was kind, gentle, and encouraging to a raw kid from Canada.


  3. that's warren benfield in the back row on the left.
  4. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Nice photo!

    Here is the biographical information provided in his SUPERB book, "The Art of Double Bass Playing," published in 1973, by Summy-Birchard Company, Evanston, Illinois, 60204.

    ISBN 0-87487-081-X

    The bio paragraph says:

    "Warren A. Benfield

    Professor of Music, Northwestern University and De Paul University, and member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Formerly with the Minneapolis Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and Philadelphia Orchestra."

    It is one of my favorite bass books. I keep it where I can look at it every day.

    Do a Google search for "Warren Benfield, The Art of Double Bass Playing" to find the book.

    It is a remarkably musical, wide-ranging discussion of all aspects of playing our instrument. For example, there are great sections on taking auditions, some examples of modern notations, etc.

    Great B & W photos throughout. He talks about all kinds of extended or alternate fingerings, varying with the situation at hand, the contribution of jazz players to the bass pizzicato technique, the realities of being an orchestral bassist and/or teacher, and much more. A timeless resource.

    Contributors (in discussions, at least) include David Walter, Bertram Turetsky, Henry Portnoi, Roger Scott, and Joseph Guastafeste.

    Its a slim book that covers more than most of my other "bass books", combined.

    Do a search on "Warren Benfield" to learn more about the bassist/teacher. Apparently studied at Curtis with Anton Torelli, for starters. Here are some sample pages:



    (read the text at the bottom of this one)
  5. THE SAW


    Sep 14, 2006
    Benfield was a very sharp cookie, and the man I give most credit to for encouraging me to go into the oil business.
  6. txstatebass


    May 3, 2007
    Duluth, MN
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings
    Did Slinky start inviting friends to TBDB again?
  7. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Just wanted to add a thanks to the folks who resurrected this thread and added some great information. I wouldn't have found it except I searched for "threads started" by me. I've been messing around on the DB again recently, and I should definitely pick up his book.
    Thanks again.