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Geoff Chalmers

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Copyright 2013 G Chalmers
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Introduction
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I!suggest!the!following!exercises!are!added!to!your!practice!routine!in!
addition!to!scales!and!arpeggios.!They!improve!intonation!by!
learning!to!use!a!consistent!hand!shape,!with!accurate!shifting!and!
careful!listening.!!
Play!a!small!selection!of!the!exercises!as!part!of!your!warm!up.!Play!
slowly,!carefully!and!from!a!point!of!relaxation.!If!it!hurts,!stop.!Focus!
on!the!shifts!you!find!hardest,!to!improve!faster.!!
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Play!the!patterns!out!of!time,!checking!your!tuning!against!open!
strings!and!harmonics.!Your!focus!should!be!on!pitch,!so!if!it!helps!to!
slow!down!until!you!can!play!them!accurately,!thats!fine.!
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Divide!the!exercises!into!smaller!sections!and!focus!on!the!part!you!
find!hardest.!!
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The!suggested!fingerings!are!not!definitive!and!alternatives!should!
be!explored,!especially!at!the!neck!heel.!All!exercises!can!be!
continued!into!thumb!position!once!thoroughly!learnt.!!
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To play the double bass in tune you need a good ear, the
correct hand shape and accurate shifts.
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A Good Ear:
Try!to!hear!the!note!you!are!about!to!play!before!you!shift.!You!need!
to!have!a!target!to!aim!for.!Small!adjustments!to!hand!shape!may!also!
be!required!at!the!target!note,!so!careful!listening!is!a!must.!For!this!
reason!I!also!recommend!that!you!play!as!much!as!possible!with!the!
bow.!Dont!worry!about!your!bow!technique.!In!this!context!its!just!a!
way!of!producing!a!very!focused!sound.!This!makes!it!is!more!
effective!than!pizzicato!alone.!!
Listen!for!the!tension!between!notes!when!they!are!out!of!tune!and!
how!they!sit!together!comfortably!when!in!tune.!When!making!
adjustments!try!to!consider!if!you!are!sharp!or!flat!before!correcting!
your!pitch.!!
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The!Bass!Player!Toolbox!scale!backing!tracks!are!a!great!tool!to!help!
reference!your!tuning!whilst!practising!scales!and!arpeggios.!Watch!
Copyright 2013 G Chalmers
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all!of!the!scale!video!lessons!at!discoverdoublebass.com!to!help!you!
develop!your!listening!skills.!!
Put!careful!listening!at!the!centre!of!everything!you!do!and!it!will!
soon!become!second!nature.!!
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Hand Shape:
Fingers!1,2!&!4!of!the!left!hand!should!to!be!divided!into!three!equal!
semitones.!A!common!problem!is!that!the!gap!between!the!1
st
!and!2
nd
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fingers!is!too!small,!or!reduces!mid!shift.!!
Try!to!apply!pressure!with!arm!weight,!not!by!squeezing!the!neck.!
The!thumb!should!be!completely!passive,!its!role!being!to!help!
measure!distance!and!stabilise!the!hand.!
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The!discoverdoublebass.com!left!hand!technique!lessons!will!help!
you!to!establish!the!correct!hand!shape.!The!following!chromatic!
exercises!will!really!help!you!focus!in!on!your!hand!shape!and!
semitone!shifts.!Remember!to!play!a!small!selection!of!the!chromatic!
exercises!at!the!start!of!your!practice!routine.!!
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Accurate Shifting:
Reaching!for!the!target!note!without!considered!practice!is!unlikely!
to!achieve!reliable!results.!The!purpose!of!the!following!exercises!is!
to!memorise!the!distance!of!semiPtone!and!tone!shifts.!They!should!
be!played!as!a!slow!glissando!with!the!finger!in!constant!contact!with!
the!fingerboard.!As!you!improve!you!can!speed!up!the!shift.!In!
normal!playing!it!is!desirable!to!disguise!shifts!with!speed.!However!
to!help!you!better!learn!these!distances!I!recommend!practising!the!
following!shifts!slowly!and!evenly.!!
Watch!the!shifting!technique!lessons!at!discoverdoublebass.com!
before!starting!the!following!exercises,!or!if!you!need!more!
information!on!shifting.!
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Play!a!small!selection!of!following!Chromatic!Scale!Exercises!and!
Intonation!and!Shifting!Exercises!at!the!start!of!your!practice!
routine!to!improve!your!tuning.!
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With practice you will develop more accurate and consistent tuning so
you can focus on creating music, without the distraction of technique
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Geoff Chalmers

Coy||g|t C C|a|mo|s 203

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Pick a sma|| se|ection of exercises for each practice session.
Sim.
PF=Primary Fingering
AF=A|ternate Fingering
C C|a|mo|s
Cbromatlc 6caIe 6xerclses
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x.5

x.6

Coy||g|t C C|a|mo|s 203

PI Sim.
C Chalmers
C C|a|mo|s

Sim.

AI Sim.
x.5b

Sim.

5tudies in 4ths

Sim.

Sim.
x.6b

x.7

x.8

x.9
Coy||g|t C C|a|mo|s 203

5tudies in 5ths

C C|a|mo|s

5tudies in Octaves

x.1

x.2

x.3
Coy||g|t C C|a|mo|s 203

PF
When p|aying pizzicato shihs p|ay the note, shih but don't re-p|uck the target note.

PF=Primary Fingering
AF=A|ternate Fingering

Intonatlon and 6blRlng 6xerclses
C C|a|mo|s
C Major 5cale 5tudies

AF
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PF


x.2b

5tudies in 3rds

Coy||g|t C C|a|mo|s 203

x.4

x.5

x.6

x.7


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C C|a|mo|s

x.6b


5tudies in 4ths


x.7b

x.8

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x.12

Coy||g|t C C|a|mo|s 203

x.13

C C|a|mo|s

x.8b

5tudies in 5ths

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Coy||g|t C C|a|mo|s 203

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5tudies in 6ths

C C|a|mo|s

5tudies in 7ths

kemember to pick a small selection of these exercises for each practice session. Use them to nd your
weak spots, don't rush through them. Work carefully and slowly, focusing on theparts you nd
hardest.
5tudies in Octaves