Watch The Video Lesson

This is lesson DB-10 Playing Your First Notes on the Bass, and is a continuation of my journal of things I have learned as a beginning adult double bass student.  See the video for a few pointers about beginning to play your first notes.  Be sure to check out my Double Bass Lessons page for a complete list of all of my lessons!

For making progress in orchestral playing I am using the big “orange” Simandl bass method book and a book of bowing techniques called, “Mastering the Bow”.  (I’ll talk more about jazz, blues and pop playing later.)

You can find both books on Amazon, or probably at your local music store.

F. Simandl, “New Method for the Double Bass”, published by Carl Fischer

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Franz Simandl:

Franz Simandl (August 1, 1840 – December 15, 1912) was a double-bassist and pedagogue most remembered for his book New Method for the Double Bass, known as the Simandl book, which is to this day used as a standard study of double bass technique and hand positions.[1]

His approach uses the first, second, and fourth fingers of the left hand (the third and fourth operating together as one digit) for stopping the strings in the lower register of the instrument and divides the fingerboard into various positions.

The bowing book is called, Mastering the Bow, Studies for Bass, by Gaelen McCormick, published by Carl Fischer.

Much of what I present will be drawn from these books and I think having this grounding in technic and theory will pay off when you play pop/jazz/blues.

  • For this lesson, I am looking at page 6 in the Simandl book.

Simandl Page 6

  • For now play using full bow strokes.
  • These are the symbols for down bow and up bow.


  • Bow position on strings:
    • Keep bow parallel to bridge and edge of fingerboard.  Tip the bow slightly towards you as you play.
  • Practice with a metronome.