Main Subject Double Bass Jazz & Pop 1

Module code
Curricular domain
Practical Classes
Group size
Number of course weeks
Class duration
One 50-minute lesson per week
Total contact hours
25 hours
Study load
339 hours

Form / content / level

Admitted to the ArtEZ Jazz & Pop Double Bass main subject year 1.
See Competencies Matrix.
Acquiring the technical basics required for the student's musical development. Students will be able to play the pieces described under Content or similar material (self-chosen pieces, other genres) with a band and to improvise over the pieces, demonstrating they have laid a sufficiently solid foundation with respect to musicality, technical ability and musical interaction to play the pieces and apply the acquired theoretical concepts to their playing. For more details with respect to tonal coloring, range and improvisation skills, see Contents.
Relation to other modules
The level of instrument proficiency corresponds to the contents of the band and theory modules.

Learning to play all common scales and tetrads over a single octave and over two octaves, both vertically and horizontally. Playing arpeggiated tetrads up to thumb position. Introduction to Jazz scales. Developing effective right-hand technique.


Blues lines from Ray Brown's Bass Method. Latin rhythms.


Bass lines by Ray Brown and Oscar Pettiford, as well as bassists of the student's own choice.


Constructing bass lines over common and predictable chord progressions, e.g.,Tune Up. Playing solos based on harmonic principles. Elementary thematic and motivic improvisation. Bass lines and solos over blues progressions. Playing along to various recordings in order to absorb musical ideas and energy.


Functional playing in ensemble settings. Developing a steady sense of pulse, with a focus on playing with solid time and a deliberate feel.


Playing themes and the appropriate accompaniment by heart. Various styles and tempi.


- (‘Jazz’)Scales over 2 octaves (till 7th position): church modes (ionic, dorian, lydian, mixolydian, aeolian), harmonic minor, melodic minor, whole tone and - chromatic (1 octave only).

- Play a walking bassline over a chord progression: II – V – I – (VI), I – IV – V, Blues (most common keys: F, Bes, C, Es) and Rhythm changes.

- 2 études

- A solo piece
Mode(s) of instruction
Individual lessons & occasional group lessons.
Material & Tools
Rufus Reid: the Evolving Bassist.

Adelhart Roidinger: Der Kontrabass im Jazz.

Franz Simandl: Bass Method (Stuart Sankey edition).

Francesco Petracchi: Simplified Higher Technique.

George Vance: Vade Mecum for the Double Bass.
Student activity
Organizing a short performance (band, repertoire, rehearsals) as part of the annual Jazz & Pop strings student concert; independently organizing a performance (five pieces) as part of the propaedeutic audition.

Examination and assessment

Mode(s) of assessment
Assessment by the main subject instructor at the end of each semester. A technical exam (an audition for a panel consisting of three examiners) is part of the assessment procedure.
The student should have mastered the elements described under Aims. Specific criteria are: creativity, expression, improvisation, technique, sound, intonation, timing, reading skills, repertoire knowledge, progress, self-reflection, session participation, attitude and lesson preparation. Technical exam: the student should have sufficiently mastered the elements noted under Contents.
Pass requirements
The student has completed this module if he is awarded a minimum grade of 5.5 at the end of the second semester.
Examination procedure
At the end of both semesters the instructor fills out an assessment form designed specifically for this module. Assessment is comprised of a verbal evaluation and a concluding grade. The instructor reviews this assessment with the student during the first subsequent lesson. Assessment at the end of the autumn semester is formative and expressed in terms of satisfactory/unsatisfactory. It indicates a student's progress in this module. No ECs are awarded and there is no resit. Modules can only be absolved, and ECs awarded, after the end of the spring semester.
Resit options
See the Education and Assessment Plan.

Module summary

This module is intended to prepare students through weekly lessons for the practical part (audition) of the propaedeutic exam Double Bass Jazz & Pop. The student learns to play pieces in various genres, in part chosen by the student himself (jazz, fusion, latin, possibly including original compositions by the student), and to improvise over the pieces. During this process, attention is paid to technical facility and stylistic awareness with respect to rhythm, harmony and melody. and to subjects such as jazz-specific fingerings, bowing techniques, various harmonic colors, rhythmic concepts etc.