Simple Concepts – Beginner’s Double Bass Lesson with Katie Thiroux

Simple Concepts – Beginner’s Double Bass Lesson with Katie Thiroux


I want to share with you some simple
concepts just about playing the instrument whether you’ve been playing
it for a while a few years or you just picked it up there’s a reason why you
wanted to play the bass and it’s because you love it and you love that deep bass
sound and you’ve also heard other bass players that you really enjoy so first I
just want to talk about creating a nice sound on the instrument so just take
your bass stand up and I just want you to try playing your D string play it a few times and now if you
notice my finger is going directly into the a string I’m pulling I’m going into
the a string I’m not using too much effort really just pulling it
and letting it go same with the a-string now is the e-string there’s obviously no
other string behind it so what I kind of like to think of is a turning motion
like you were turning a door or the key to a car and just turn it and keep my
thumb under the fingerboard turn it that way so I can still get a nice big sound now if I wasn’t stopping if I wasn’t
going directly into the next string and I was pulling outward not only am I
using way too much energy because I always say bass players we’re not lazy
but we have so much work to do we’re always playing in the band
constantly planning behind everybody’s solos and all that we want to make it
easier on ourselves so instead of pulling away and out I have nothing to
stop me from doing that and I can’t hardly play all night like this or even
play an up-tempo song like that no way I’m gonna fall over so just use the
natural at your natural energy of your whole entire arm you know from your
shoulder down and use gravity let gravity do all the work for you
and just go right into the next string and also I want you to notice my
strength my think my index finger is going into the next string I’m not
lifting it up right after I’m not going and again you can play however is
comfortable to you as long as you’re using that gravity you can approach it
from the side this way I’m using two fingers the main point I want to get
across is are you getting the the nice sound that you want and if you would
like to play a little bit softer that’s fine too
as long as it’s that’s what you’re hearing in your head the goal I want you
to achieve is that any sound that you hear in your head that sounds good to
you that you want you should be able to get it on the bass so just a little bit
about tone and sound production obviously if the more my right hand
slips up the fingerboard the softer that sounds gonna get so you can mess around
with that as well just so you know where your sweet spot is as we like to say on
every instrument it’s different some people you might see play almost even
past the fretboard you don’t have to do that you don’t have to play up here you
play where the sound sounds really great to you and for me on this instrument I
kind of like this sound right here I’m just at the edge of the fingerboard but
you just play around with that just play your open strings
and then start to mess around if you’re if you’re just picking up the instrument
again the bass then you start to mess around was having that strong left hand
you know when one finger is down they’re all down so if my pinkies down all the
fingers behind it are down and think about having that nice sound again that
nice big tone and again my right hand gravity is doing the work for me in my
left hand I’m really digging into the string not to the point that it’s
painful but I’m really digging in and all my fingers are in the position where
they would be if I’m playing I’m playing an F natural right now my first second
and third finger are down we don’t really use our third finger in this
position but if I were to play my second finger it should be on a natural
my first finger should be on e-flat so that’s another thing that’s very helpful
with your left hand you always want your fingers to be in the position that
they’re that they’re on top of if my hand was scrunched up like this and I
was playing F and I was playing I wanted to play e-flat
I’d have to shift my whole hand back and kind of contort my arm a little bit we
just want to make it easier on ourselves like I said playing the bass we have so
much to do already let’s make it easier and along those lines we also want to
keep our fingers close to the fingerboard as best as possible so I’m
going to demonstrate this just by playing an F major scale and I’m going
to do it a little bit sloppily okay that was super sloppy it was still like for
the most part in tune but did you notice how I shifted way too much took my hand
off the fingerboard way too much unnecessarily I took my hand off there I
shifted there unnecessarily I collapsed my hand which feels good at the moment
but boy am I gonna get tired after a while playing like this the more I
shifted up my hand position scrunch and then I get quite out of tune so I want
you to think about keeping your fingers close to the fingerboard keeping them
almost like they’re just floating over the fingerboard so I’m ready to play any note that I
want in that position also you can get pretty close to this with keeping your
hands close to the fingerboard you might slip up sometimes and lift your fingers
too much and not have your fingers press down I’m playing see natural and my
first fingers up and my pinkies having to do way too much work so practice your
scales slowly in a mirror too so that you can see what’s going on
also if all my fingers aren’t pressed down all the way when I’m playing with
my pinky or my second finger I have a great potential to start buzzing the
string like this and the sound isn’t going to come out because I’m not firmly
pressing down with all my fingers so if that happens to you and you start to
buzz and you’re not sure why usually it’s your left hand and it’s a really
simple issue to fix you just have to remember mmm I need to press my hand
down so if you’re having some of these sort of complications while you’re
practicing I always find it useful say I’m having an issue with buzzing and
keeping my hand pressed down and maybe keeping my right hand close to the
fingerboard I’ll have on my music stand in front of me just a little note while
I’m practicing my scales that says strong left hand keep right hand lower
just as a little bit of a reminder and that’s totally cool to have because what
we want to have as a bass player is a nice strong sound and to be completely
clear thanks for watching the lesson and I
hope you enjoyed it if you want to learn more from me please click the link below

7 Comments

  • William Gupton says:

    Thank you…i just bought double bass i play 6 string electric bass now i want 2 get better and the double bass will take me there

  • Busta Bass says:

    Great fundamentals.
    I had a chance to study double bass in high school back in the 60s, but fell in love with the electric, as its sound was ubiquitous in virtually everything on the radio but straight ahead jazz at the time. Fast forward fifty years, and I am head over heels trying to gain an appreciable level of double bass proficiency playing, yep, you guessed it…straight ahead jazz. Shoudda listened to my band director… Couldda been accepting Grammys today, instead of scouring YouTube for lessons.😕

  • cpaterso28 says:

    Good stuff!

  • 3340steve says:

    Thank you for posting this excellent teaching video.

  • izziOnBass says:

    It's very had to find a left hand note positioning videos. Thank you for posting this. Also have become a great fan of Katie! Cheers!

  • Wayne Elliott says:

    07:15 If you're not sure why … it could be the brownies!

  • Rafael Feliczaki says:

    Always nice to review the fundamentals, the very first thing that I did when I got my bass (well, apart than learning to hold the bass) was focus on these concepts until it became natural and automatic to my playing.

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