There is a definite lack of good study pieces for jazz double bassists – especially for beginners. While classical bassists have a wealth of written material to draw upon, because jazz is largely an improvised art, there’s not as much suitable written music.
Working on a set study piece is a key part of any jazz bassist’s practice routine (Part 3 of your practice routine), and I suggest the Marcello and Vivaldi sonatas for those wishing to look at some easier classical music. Bassists who prefer to focus on jazz may find the piece I offer here a useful one to work on.
For some, the Simandl method book is so far removed from the music they want to play that it seems like a chore. What they really need are interesting jazz study pieces to play that provide new challenges to develop their technique. To this end, I have composed a number of pieces to meet that need. Most also have backing tracks.
I have all of my private students working on set pieces in addition to working on their improvising. Here are a few reasons set pieces should become part of your practice routine.
Think about transcribing a piece of music that you hear which you can then learn. It’s an incredibly useful skill, so if you’ve never done this or if you find it hard to do, start simple. I suggest all bassists spend part of their practice time transcribing music and also playing classical and jazz study pieces to develop the wide range of skills necessary for today’s diverse music.
I hope you enjoy “G Minor 6 Blues” and, if you have any questions or feedback, please drop me an email or leave a comment below the video.