Double bass

École de jazz à Paris | Cours d'instruments et de théorie

Level I

Course description: Introduction to basic jazz-bass techniques.
Course objectives:

  • Basic pizzicato technique (including rhythmic approach)
  • Left hand technique
  • Bass line construction (walking bass) over chord symbols
  • The Blues and the language of the Blues (pentatonic and blues scales)
  • Acquisition of basic techniques applied in simple standards
  • Rhythm exercises introducing the difference between dual and triple time
  • Theme statement: importance of phrasing and accentuation
  • Simple theme structure
  • Acquiring a solid rhythmic base


Level II

Course description: Consolidation of knowledge and skills acquired in Level 1 and introduction to more advanced double-bass techniques
Course objectives: Introduction to the most accessible tunes of Charlie PARKER, with an in-depth study focused on:

  • Consolidation of left-hand techniques
  • Pizzicato velocity
  • Improving phrasing and accentuation
  • Musicality

The above elements, cannot, at this stage, be treated independently but are rather inter-related.
This work is part of the classical instrumental “studies” that should be practiced daily.

  • Reproduction of, and playing along with solos of the great jazz double bass masters
  • Basic transcription of solos and simple bass lines
  • Mastering the walking bass technique
  • How to approach the bridge
  • Modes, chords: applied to standards
  • Rhythm exercises: 12/8, 6/8, 3/4, bossa nova, samba, Afro-Cuban rhythms
  • Bowing techniques in standards: stating the theme
  • Structure of complex themes


Level III

Course description and objectives:
Emphasis on daily practice (see Level II) and on more complex themes by Charlie Parker (Moose The Mooche, Donna Lee, Ornithology), Sonny Rollins (Oleo), Miles Davis (Half Nelson)…

  • Fast tempos.
  • Transcription and performance of more complicated solos (at least one per term)
  • Further work on bridge passages, the walking bass, and rhythm
  • Bowing techniques in standards: theme and improvisation