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What's after George Vance's Progressive Repertoire

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by crocau, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. I am almost through the Progressive Repertoire (the 3 volumes) and I wish to continue in that direction. I would like to find other classical pieces arranged for the upright bass, to further develop my bowing and learn more wonderful songs.

    I learned a lot with the Progressive Repertoire, and I really enjoyed the fact that it is not really a method (Nanny's is soooo boring). I like that kind of small solo pieces. They don't need to be challenging, just interesting to play. If I would be playing cello, I would learn the five Bach suites !

    Any ideas ?
  2. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    I have been studying the Vance Progressive Repertoire and am halfway through the second book, suggested by my bass teacher. To me, it has been a great learning experience in technique -- pivoting and shifting and good fingering.

    One classical piece that I worked on even before I started Vance (was studying Simandl at the time) is Marcello's Sonata in G Major. There are 6 of them in the book. Worked on #1 and #6. Melodic stuff, don't know if that would be too easy for you, though but I think something ike this might be a good jumping off place from the Vance book and/or moving into Rabbath.
  3. Kind of along the same line as the Vance method, you might want to check out some of the higher-lever Suzuki books. My kid plays Suzuki violin, and by the end of the first book, she was playing Bach minuets and Gossec's Gavotte. I dig pulling out her violin books for T.P. practice.

    Just a word about Vance's methods. I have an adult student who began playing from square one about 6 months ago in the Vance Book One. His thumb-position playing is already more confident than another student of mine who has been playing a number of years. I'm "learning" the book along with him, and it really is an enjoyable experience.
  4. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    I studied for about two years with two different teachers who had me work on the Simandl method. After awhile I began to question how much progress I was making.

    I now study with a new teacher and have had about 8 lessons with her since last July. We started in with the Vance books right from the beginning. I can't believe how much progress I have made. The pivoting makes total sense, thinking fingering in 1-4 is another concept. I can now play in thumb position. These books are deceptively simple but have so much info packed into them. My playing has improved more in the last few months than it did all last year and I look forward to practicing whereas before it was beginning to feel like drudgery. :)
  5. Shaun Kelley

    Shaun Kelley

    Aug 23, 2007
    I believe that Simandl, Nanny et al should umm, *retire*. I love the Vance books since in addition to their pedagogical value, the pieces are so *musical*. That is why we play in the first place, right? Simandl is simply hideous in that regard (and so may others).

    A question to the teachers out there: if you are using Vance, do you also teach the Rabbath left-hand fingerings that are in the books? I have an 8-year old student at the moment who is using both Suzuki and the very beginning of Vance (we are doing "Scotland's Burning"). He is developing LH strength, and I am a little concerned about the pivot stuff for his young hands.
  6. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    Not to turn this into another Simandl versus Rabbath thread...but you really can't just dismiss the Simandl system like that. The Vance/Rabbath books are great, but they teach the fingerboard in a very macro sort of way. Simandl, Bille, and Nanny do a great job of refining to your micro positioning on the fingerboard. You really need both to truly master the fingerboard. From a pedagogical standpoint, I think Vance and Rabbath are great for younger students, but more advanced students will benefit a lot from the older systems.

    To the OP, I would look into the suzuki books. I think there is a Zimmerman collection of solos for the bass as well. Also, don't be afraid to learn movie tunes and such by ear just for fun. It's good ear training and provides some variety.
  7. Stan Haskins

    Stan Haskins

    Nov 17, 2005
    NY and Miami
    Personally, I cross out the Rabbath/Nanny position numbers in the Vance editions and write in the Simandl positions (which is what is used in the Suzuki series, by the way, as well as Strictly Strings and Essential Elements). So, for example, I cross out 3rd position after the shift in "Fox and Goose"(Vance edition) and write in 4th position.

    I don't think it matters which numbering system you use - it's a matter of personal preference, really. The kids should stick with just one system consistently until they have a mastery of the notes, though. Otherwise it's terribly confusing.

    To the OP: if you've finished all three Vance volumes, you're probably pretty well-prepared to jump into the repertoire. Try the Eccles Sonata, or one of the Marcello Sonata (the E minor one happens to be in Suzuki bass book four, which might be a good choice for you) - Maybe the Capuzzi Concerto? Or the book "Solos for the Double Bass Player" (O. Zimmerman), which has lots of short pieces of varying difficulty.

    Have fun!
  8. danielhaugh


    Feb 1, 2009
    Do not forget about the David Walters Music Minus One.

    Kind of the same Idea. I do not remember if these two volumes have fingerings or not but if you are getting through Vance no 3 than you can probably figure it out yourself.