Saturday September 19, 2020
Silvio Dalla Torre
Chameleon Double Bass Double Bass as Solo Instrument? Tunings Playing Techniques I Playing Techniques II New Dutch School - Heavy Bow - Strings - Elements of Technique - Practising in Flow - Methods / Tutors - Opinions - FAQs

Methods / Tutors

The following teaching works are available for learning the four-finger technique:

Thomas B. Gale:
Technical Foundation Studies for Double Bass

Michael Wolf:
Grundlagen der Kontrabass-Technik

A few additional aspects of the New Dutch School that are not covered by the above works are included in my tutor:

BASSics - Grundlagen und Anwendung der Vier-Finger-Technik beim Kontrabass-Spiel (BASSics and application of the four-finger technique of playing the double bass)

The core of my approach is alignment to the musical requirement. In other words, it is not the music that has to serve technique, but the technique that has to serve music. For this reason, I place no value at all on the usual double bass études.
The greater part of these are musically inferior. Often they are humdrum, and therefore unsuited for conveying the technical and musical capabilities that are required for the music of the great masters. There is thus a need for high-quality practice material for double bass players – and an enormous range of options available that people do not think of.

Any orchestral passage by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Gluck etc. offers a greater challenge and has more musical sense than exercises by for example Simandl or Storch, because it is oriented not to the limitations of the double bass, but to the entirety of the work.

J.S. Bach´s cantatas and oratorios offer an inexhaustible reservoir of magnificent music. Every single continuo part can be seen and used as first-class practice material.

Of course it is also necessary to practise scales, arpeggios and technical exercises in different bowing techniques as well, but even these should never be devoid of sense or be executed purely mechanically. EDITION HOFFMANN has published my compilation, which should be sufficient:

Tonleiter- und Akkordstudien für Kontrabass

All this should form a sufficient basis for turning finally to the most important orchestral studies, to the double bass solo literature, and also to good trans-
criptions. I consider these important for getting to know the style of important composers. In addition, chamber music should always be played in every imaginable instrumentation.