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Re: Bass Pedagogy resources

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Posted by Rich Laird ( on February 28, 2002 at 09:12:13:

In Reply to: Bass Pedagogy resources posted by Conor MacCarthy on February 28, 2002 at 06:55:27:

: Does anyone know of a beginners-level double bass book designed for an older student; I have recently begun teaching a girl in her 20s and books such as the yorke mini-bass books are obviously designed for a younger student......any advice?

For what it's worth, Conor, I used to do a lot of teaching and made it a point to become familiar with the different method books that were out there. Most of my students were college-age, though many were new to the double bass.

I decided on the Lajos Montag method books for several reasons. For one thing, the exercises are good for developing bowing right from the start. With the more conventional Simandl books, the exercises are so totally mundane that you're not developing any real bow-control until you're practically done with the first book...why not the develop the right hand right along with the left hand?

Another thing is that some of the initial exercises actually bear a distinct resemblance to actual music - Simandl, Bille, Nanny are really horrible from that standpoint. Whatever method book you use, you probably want to supplement it with some kind of real music. (There used to be a book called "The Melodious Bass" by David Walters that was great for beginniers - I don't know if it's still published.)

Thirdly, as you progress into the second book... third book, etc., Montag really emphasizes two things that I think are probably the hardest things about playing the bass: 1) string-crossing and 2) crossing the break between regular positions and thumb positions. He really gives you a workout in both those areas.

The books are hard to find - but I'm pretty sure they're still in print 'cause I saw some of them in a local Violin Shop (Alexandria, VA) not too long ago. I would think Lemur or someplace like that would have them.

You ought look them over - hope this helps.

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