Category Archives: Double Bass Lessons


In September 2018, I discovered Modacity as new way for preparing and organizing my practice routine for the Assistant Principal Double Bass audition for the Oakland Symphony.

Modacity’s main benefits for me:

  • How long I’ve spent time on each audition excerpt
  • Rate each excerpt – estimating my comfort level
  • It can keep a recording of the excerpt to analyze daily improvements
  • Create time limits to a piece or group of pieces / excerpts

Click the link below to get started.

6 Essential Apps for a Musician

Almost any smartphone today has an app that can replace any physical electronic devices needed for a student or professional musician. We don’t have to keep changing our 9V batteries or find an outlet to plug in our Dr. Beat or Petersons’ Strobe Tuner.

The Musician Apps I Use & Recommend

  • iStroboSoft: Pro Tuning
  • Evernote Scannable: Scan Music
  • forScore: Sheet Music Reader
  • Modacity: Pro Music Practice
  • Pro Metronome : Tempo, Beat, Subdivision, & Polyrhythm
  • insTuner Free – Chromatic Tuner / Drone

iStroboSoft: Pro Chromatic Tuning

click the logo for more details

One of the best and precise tuning apps is the iStroboSoft by Peterson. I highly recommend this to anyone playing at a professional level. It’s $9.99 to own the app.

Click here for more information.

Scannable: Document Scanner

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How to Play a “French” Double Bass Bow (Part 1)

Double Bass players use either a “French” or “German” bow to produce an arco sound.

Here are a few tips and exercises I use with my students about practicing with a French Bow:

1. Keep your fingers gently curved over the bow

2. The thumb is positioned at a 45 degree angle

3. Keep an equal grip with all five fingers

Exercise 1: Three Fingers Method

With a slow bow speed, play long tones with the “3” methods below, while keeping a relaxed grip with only 3 fingers.


Hold the bow with only…

  • Thumb, Index & Middle fingers
  • Thumb, Index & Ring fingers
  • Thumb, Index & Pinky fingers

Outcome = Better Control of Tip #3 and Dexterity

Continue reading How to Play a “French” Double Bass Bow (Part 1)

6 Steps to Develop a Solid Left Hand

These six steps will help you learn how to have a solid left hand to improve these common problems:

  • Holding down the string
  • Intonation
  • Moving up and down the fingerboard

STEP 1 – Curved Knuckles = Strong Fingertips

Solid Left-Hand
Photo by Kevin Monahan

Curved knuckles allow your fingertips to strongly hold down the strings. There is more clarity in pitch and sound production when we use our fingertips to hold down the string. Sliding up and down the string is easier with fingertips that are formed by curved knuckles.

Continue reading 6 Steps to Develop a Solid Left Hand