Upright bass lessons are offered for beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Students have the option of studying either classical, jazz, or bluegrass/rockabilly upright bass. Students will be exposed to literature suitable to the style of music they are studying.
Classical upright bass will cover standard orchestral and solo repertoire from all relevant time periods (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic, 20th century), scales, correct left and right hand technique, ear training, music reading, performance practice, applied music theory, the history and contributions of major composers, and the history and development of the instrument itself.
Students studying jazz upright bass will study standard repertoire, scales, left hand and right hand technique, improvisation, styles, bass line and solo construction, jazz evolution and theory, influential jazz bassists and musicians, applied music theory and reading, performance practice, and the role of the bass in an ensemble setting.
Lessons in bluegrass/rockabilly bass will focus on scales, left hand and right hand technique, the role of the bass in a bluegrass/rockabilly setting, influential musicians within the genre, bass line construction, ear training, and music theory and reading.
The main method book used in all classical upright bass lessons is “30 Etudes for the String Bass” by Franz Simandl. This method book covers a wide variety tempos, bow hand techniques, fingerboard positions, key centers, and has etudes ranging from all time periods in the development of classical bass playing. It is a standard text for all classical bassists and is best suited for beginning and intermediate level students. Students will also use scale sheets that will be provided by the instructor. As the student progresses, the instructor will use supplements for playing techniques as well as music from the instructor’s personal library.
The main method book for students studying jazz and bluegrass/rockabilly bass is “The Improvisers Bass Method” by Chuck Sher. This text covers all aspects of bass playing including right and left hand technique, scales, basic music theory and reading, improvisation, musical styles, bass line construction, soloing, how to analyze music, and how to develop musicianship skills. Students studying jazz upright bass will also use “The New Real Book” from Sher Music. This book is a compilation of standard jazz tunes combined into one large text, and is used by jazz musicians all over the world. As the student progresses, the instructor will use supplements for playing techniques as well as music from the instructor’s personal library.
What You Need To Get Started
Students studying classical upright bass will need an instrument, bow, rosin, tuner, metronome, and the required text noted above. The instructor can provide additional information on each of these items, such as what to purchase, and where they can be purchased.
Students studying jazz and bluegrass/rockabilly bass will need an instrument, tuner, metronome and the required text(s) noted above. The instructor can provide additional information on each of these items, such as what to purchase, and where they can be purchased.
All of these items may be purchased through the Music Academy STORE. Please see your instructor or the Music Academy Director for details.