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Why Simandl? Tags: chris fitzgerald left hand ray brown simandl technique. Sep 24, 1. Oct 19, prague czech republic. I read a thread about double bass learning method. Almost everybody recommends Simandl's book. I would, with respect, like to know why. I started to play double bass when I was about 30 after 15 years of playing bass guitar. I had a teacher for about a year, we covered the 'physical basics' of posture, both hands, bow.
I didn't need to talk theory or 'how to play jazz' or 'what to play' as I knew it already. Since that time I'm learning myself. I don't have the ambition to play classical music, it's jazz and around for me. In Prague, where Simandl studied around , I never heard about Simandl method.
I went to main city library, where they have lot of Simandl's etudes, and hidden in the depth of underground depository a single print of his first method book from around in german.
I scanned it through. Seemed to me very similar to other, newer 'classical' methods better known in Czech, like Frantisek Cerny Double bass technical studies The book itself doesn't really oblige the 'rigid' left hand pressing of two halftones with 1,2,4; I guess this is more a pedagogical tradition.
When I was learning by these ideas, I was progressing slowly and painfully. As it is very repetitive play the same until you can do it , I was fixating the good habits as well as bad ones, and the teacher constantly had to rectify me.
To me, much more satisfactory was Ray Brown's bass method. There is emphasis on playing in all scales, all notes on all strings. From the start, it takes the bass as an instrument where all fingerboard is approachable. It shows what you would want to learn tomorrow, after you deal with today's problem. Also, the intonation is learned from relations between tones, not in the 'this tone is here' way. And, not least, the licks you learn you really can use in your music.
I was thrilled by watching Chris Fitzgerald's Left hand techniques perspective. It confirmed my feeling that double bass should not be learned in 'this is done like this' way. It's more effective to know how many ways there are to do the thing, so that the student understands he needs to find the way that serves him best, even if it forced old Simandl to turn in his grave.
I would like to know whether the contemporary pedagogy corresponds with what I say. Or am I missing something and there is something important Simandl can teach me?
Reiska and Chris Fitzgerald like this. Sep 24, 2. May 10, Saint Louis, MO. Simandl is really about the music itself. It is really hard to play those etudes out of tune for very long. It really lets you know you are playing an etude. The methods that claim to be "more musical" seem to take longer and seem a bit less solid. The etudes themselves may not be as satisfying to play, but, playing the instrument well is incredibly satisfying.
Results show that Simandl is still one of the most efficient ways to get there. As far as Jazz goes, all the major jazz greats did Simandl save Wilbur Ware - even Haden worked on it. In some ways it is as much a jazz method as a classical method.
No method is going to work if you are not a thinking person. Methods are only a beginning. It is best to consult great bassists and other methods throughout your life.
I do the Simandl etudes with other fingerings and I transpose them. All due respect to Chris Fitzgerald and his great video series, however, that is not a replacement for a foundational method of arco study, and his series probably shouldn't even be consulted without a year or so of basics under your belt.
Same goes for the Ray Brown book. Simandl wrote his method and did his primary work in Vienna, that could explain why you are not seeing it there. That is part how it got to be so prevalent in the US. Ukiah Bass , equill , LM Bass and 7 others like this. Sep 24, 3. Jul 31, netherlands. Also usefull. Steve Freides likes this. Sep 24, 4. We shouldn't confuse fun or exciting with useful.
Patitucci is incredible, his book is not a foundational method. Loring , Max George , lurk and 3 others like this. Sep 24, 5. Nov 27, Delaware, USA. Part of the appeal of Simandl is that it is the method by which so many players learned to play, when others come up asking how they should learn, it's a stock response.
There is a certain fingering philosophy to Simandl that is decidedly old school but is useful nonetheless. While you may find yourself approaching the fingerboard with more string crossings in fewer positions playing jazz, having the foundation from Simandl of practicing more shifting across positions will be there when you need it. And you will need it, at one time or another. Even just the etudes in parts 1 and 2 of Simandl are extremely useful for building practical left hand technique on the instrument.
A scale is being taken and built out into something that demands attention to accuracy with regards to hand position and intonation. Take it a step further and challenge yourself to hear the chord outlined by what the melody line is doing in each etude. The fact that this is done incrementally and in all 12 keys is what I like to think of as a 'scorched earth' approach to building a bedrock of technique in the left hand.
However, part of growing on the fingerboard is learning that second, third, fourth, etc Simandl is a great first way of learning your fingerings. It's meant to take time to get down. Even learning one etude a week is valuable if it's done thoroughly and with the utmost concentration.
If playing etudes is really not working for you, however, consider supplementing with a song-based approach like Suzuki or check out Vance's books as an introduction into Rabbath fingerings.
Again, though, I agree with Damon that 'more musical' methods can be fun but often leave gaps in technique, like playing in the 'less common' keys like F and B. Playing jazz really requires fluidity in all 12 keys and the Simandl method and etudes address this issue thoroughly. Garagiste , pellomoco14 , equill and 1 other person like this. Sep 24, 6. Feb 24, East Coast. Your argument is not new. You don't understand the benefit of learning tradition first, before you find your own path.
I have played electric bass for a long time, with successes and failures. You ask a very legitimate question, and I hope you find a palatable answer to your liking. I personally will continue to go through Simandl, Czerny, Bille etc. Also, I usually have 3 or 4 books on my music stand. I decided to put the piano books up for awhile You have to start somewhere and open your mind, instead of expecting people to justify 's of years of proven results being wrong Please understand, I'm not saying you're wrong questioning these things, I'm just hoping that your mind isn't relative to being a closed fist Where no one can put anything inside a closed fist, or mind There are no shortcuts.
Find a teacher, find a method Simandl or something similar I guess and do what is safe and comfortable for your needs May a life of good technique and no injuries be yours If you ever decide to use electric bass technique on the upright Can I have your bass after you get RSI? I'm kidding ok? Last edited: Sep 24, Max George and neilG like this.
Sep 24, 7. Patience is still a virtue. Even with youtube
Is it possible to use double bass fingerings on the bass guitar? Actually, forget possible, is it even useful? The short answer is yes. The long answer is that including left hand principles from double bass method books resulted in the most significant improvements to my playing in many years: better tone, more consistency and less fatigue, especially on longer gigs. Long-term followers of this site will be well acquainted with my frequent touting of the Simandl double bass method book; I wrote about its virtues at some length in the original Unorthodox Instructionals book review series. Imagine my surprise when I received an email from John Goldsby informing me that said blog post was getting a shout-out in Bass Player magazine clang!
Why Simandl? Tags: chris fitzgerald left hand ray brown simandl technique. Sep 24, 1. Oct 19, prague czech republic.
F. Simandl - New Method for the Double Bass
Franz Simandl August 1, — December 15, was a double-bassist and pedagogue most remembered for his book New Method for the Double Bass, known as the Simandl book, which is to this day used as a standard study of double bass technique and hand positions. His approach uses the first, second, and fourth fingers of the left hand the third and fourth operating together as one digit for stopping the strings in the lower register of the instrument and divides the fingerboard into various positions. The second volume of the method looks at the use of thumb position using the thumb, first, second and third fingers, to play solo, high register work and again dividing the fingerboard up into a concept of positions. The second volume also delves extensively into the playing of harmonics.