Double Bass Lesson Routine
Generally, a double bass lesson follows the following format; however, adjustments are made to meet the needs of each student.
Each lesson will begin with tuning the instrument and getting the student settled with the instrument. Because tuning the instrument is a relatively easy task, I usually use this time to make sure that the student is set-up correctly. It is a great time to check that the student is centered over their feet, that they are holding the bow correctly, if more rosin is needed, and if the bow is tightened correctly. Who knew that the learning began even before the instrument had been tuned?
Most of the time the lesson then moves on to playing the scale of the week. While learning the notes of the scale is important, scales are also a time to focus on technique. While the student plays I draw the student's attention to five different aspects of technique: Left Hand, Right Arm, Balance, Relaxation, and Musicianship. These five categories are very effective, yet simple enough that students can remember them as they practice.
The primary method book I use with my students, Progressive Repertoire for the Double Bass, covers both of these categories simultaneously. While etudes can be boring and un engaging for the student, this book turns pieces, such as Twinkle and Go Tell Aunt Rhody into fun engaging exercises for the students. I believe that the most important thing is to keep the student playing, and what better way than giving them fun music to play! Beyond this book, we will cover much more classical and jazz repertoire.
While this is not the focus of the lesson, I am more than happy to help my students with their orchestra or jazz ensemble music. This help can allow students to play well in their current ensemble, or even place into a more advanced ensemble!