Friday, 16 May 2008

What's in the library?

Method Book for the Double Bass

In this post which I hope may develop into a series of related post, I would highlight to readers from Singapore some of the noteworthy double bass literature that they can have access to from the libraries under the National Library Board.

Method books shall be first on my list. When it comes to method books for the double bass, it is worthy to take a look at F. Simandl's New Method for the Double Bass. Right here in Singapore, a copy of this method book can be found at library@esplanade for browsing. The call number is:
English 787.5076 SIM -[ART] v.

What I like about this method book: There are some orchestral excerpts that are found in this method book. In addition, this method book provides insights to playing scales in various keys on the double bass.

However, double bass player, Jason Heath, pointed out that the fingering positions proposed by Simandl are comparatively more difficult to remember and pretty non-intuitive as compared to the new method of Francois Rabbath and his followers.

Nevertheless, Simandl's method is fairly systematic in its approach and offers some essential studies for any double bass student who aspires to play in an orchestra or a string ensemble. In fact, I understand that Simandl's method is, according to Jason Heath, one of the predominant double bass pedagogical methods used in the United States today.

F. Simandl's New Method for the Double Bass also contains a few photographs showing how one should hold a double bass and the bow. Other than providing studies for the left-hand, it also contains many studies that focus on the right-hand technique.

If you should find this method book to be of some use to your study of the double bass, original copies of it can be purchased from Lemur Music: Item number: CFE01