Monday, December 10, 2007

Free Online Resources - Portnoi's book

I'm sure this one has been floating around for a while, but I just found out about it this weekend, thanks to LHoward's post on the TalkBass Forums.

It's a pdf version of Henry Portnoi's "Creative Double Bass Method", which I heard about years ago, but have never before seen. He starts the book with a section on bowing practice and styles, then moves on to "the fingerboard". Oh, and just what we need: yet another position-numbering system. He starts the player in what he calls "V" position (which would correspond to Simandl's "III" position), relying on the "tuning" harmonics to get the student in the right position.

This seems to be a very well thought-out and thorough method, and Portnoi seems to have gone to great pains to explain the "how" and "why" of all the technique very thoroughly.

To find the book, follow this link, click on "technique books" at the bottom of the page, then you can select the Portnoi book to download in .pdf format. I've already printed the whole thing out and will certainly be giving it a closer look (I don't think I can stand another trip through the Simandl at this point . . . )

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Virginia Dixon Interviewed on Contrabass Conversations

Jason Heath just released a wonderful interview with bassist and pedagogue Virginia Dixon on his "Contrabass Conversations" podcast. In this interview, Virginia had a chance to speak a little about her own experiences as a performer and teacher, as well as her views on teaching bass to the very young. She and Jason are both doing great work, and I hope bassists and teachers take the opportunity to listen!

If you'd like to read some of the previous articles I wrote earlier this year about Virginia or the Suzuki Bass Method, please follow the links below.

About Virginia Dixon
Interview with Virginia Dixon

How I became involved with the Suzuki Bass Program
How to Become a Suzuki Bass Instructor
Resources for Suzuki Bass Teachers and Students
Materials for Beginning Suzuki Bass Students and Teachers