Main Subject Double Bass Jazz & Pop 3

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
451 hours

Form / content / level

Admitted to the ArtEZ Jazz & Pop Double Bass main subject year 3.
See Competencies Matrix.
Further developing the technical and artistic aspects of double bass playing in the different styles of pop/jazz. Students will be able to demonstrate their command of the various elements of the technical exam before an assessment panel.
Relation to other modules
The contents of the main subject lessons are for the most part tailored to the technical exam, which means they are slightly more isolated from the other performance and theory modules than in previous years.

Studying several fingering methods. Developing flexible left-hand technique. Extensive arpeggio exercises. Double and triple stops. Thumb position exercises. Developing and refining a playing style attuned to the student's individual preferences and abilities. Timing and feel remain strong points of emphasis.


Themes and solos from Charlie Parker: Omnibook.


Transcriptions of solos by, e.g., Scott LaFaro, George Mraz, Marc Johnson, as well as bassists (or other instrumentalists) of the student's own choice.


Pieces like Cherokee, Joy Spring, modal pieces (Hancock, Shorter), consciously applying diverse harmonic tonalities, such as altered, octatonic, whole tone, mixolydian #11 and lydian; using upper-structure voicings, improvising with melodic lines, free improvisation. Constructing bass lines from a chromatic approach. Scale analysis of chord progressions. Diatonic solos in thumb position.


Specific attention to uptempo playing. Mastering a broad range of grooves, idioms and styles.


Gathering a performance-ready repertoire corresponding with the student's preferences and abilities.


- (‘Jazz’)Scales over 2 octaves: church modes (I – VII ), altered, harmonic minor, melodic minor, whole tone and chromatic, to be played as follows: quarter notes, rhythmical defined, phrased (with acce)nt, intervals and motives, arco.

- 6 études: broken chords (3 – 5 – 1 – 7) inversions through circle of fourth, walking bass through circle of fourth (| 3 – b2 – 1 – 7 |3 – 2 – 1 – 7 |), dominant9 chords through circle of fourth, Tetrads ascending and descending through all degrees of ionic scale and harmonic minor, Simandl, Patitucci, ...

-P play a walking bassline over different chord progressions: II – V – I – (VI) etc, Blues (different keys), Rhythmchanges (different keys), Modal (different keys) and Modulating progressions like Giant Steps (or other comparable piece)

- Theme of 4 (jazz)pieces (at least 2 bebop)

- 4 standards by heart. From a list of 15 pieces. Together with piano or guitar.

- A solo piece.
Mode(s) of instruction
Individual lessons & occasional group lessons.
Material & Tools
Real Books; Aebersold Series.

Todd Coolman: The Bass Tradition.

Marc Johnson: Concepts for Bass Soloing.
Student activity
Organizing a performance (band, repertoire, rehearsals) as part of the annual Jazz & Pop strings student concert.

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 in weekly lessons for the audition exam at the end of the third year. Attention is paid in particular to the development of the technical skills required to function as an instrumentalist and soloist in various styles of popular/jazz music, including but not limited to: playing in high positions and all keys, repertoire knowledge, and reading skills.