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Performer Guides: Double Bass

Use this guide to find resources for music performance, including LC call number browsing ranges for repertoire, books, and journals..

Virtual Browse for Scores:

You don't have to visit the Wilson Music Library to browse our shelves! The Library Catalog supports virtual browsing. Once you find a score that you're interested in, scroll to the bottom of the catalog record to see other scores shelved in the same row.

Screenshot of the virtual browse feature at the bottom of the catalog record for John Musto's Quiet Songs.

Finding Repertoire:

If you're looking for new repertoire to perform, it is often helpful to browse the Music Library's scores. The following call number ranges are for double bass music; individual works within these numbers are arranged alphabetically by composer or arranger:

M55-M58, Music for double bass alone
M237-M238, Music for double bass and piano
M1018, Music for double bass with orchestra (full score)
M1019, Music for double bass with orchestra (piano reduction)
M1105-M1106, Music for double bass with string orchestra (full score)
M1118, Music for double bass with string orchestra (piano reduction)
M1366, Jazz ensembles

Online Resources for Double Bass:

The International Society of Bassists - "With some 3,000 members in over 40 nations, the ISB is an organization for those who teach, study, play, repair, build, and enjoy the double bass."

American String Teachers Association - ASTA is the membership organization for string and orchestra teachers.

Books on Double Bass:

Cover of a Double Bassist's Guide with a close-up black and white photograph of a double bass's bridge and right f hole.

A Double Bassist's Guide to Refining Performance Practices

Murray Grodner draws on his distinguished career as a double bass musician and teacher in this compendium of performance philosophy, bowing and phrasing recommendations, tutorials on fingerings and scales, and exercises for bowing and string crossing. Grodner addresses technical obstacles in musical performance, offers advice on instrument and bow purchase, and provides a detailed approach to the fundamentals of bass playing. This guide is an invaluable resource for any bassist seeking to improve performance practices.

Dark green cover of the Baroque Double Bass Violone.

The Baroque Double Bass Violone

The most exhaustive study of the double bass violone accessible to English-speaking musical enthusiasts. This book includes lists of terminology, the most comprehensive bibliography to date, and 48 illustrations that make this a complete compendium of string bass research.

Dark green cover of Domenico Dragonetti with picture of a dragon playing a double bass.

Domenico Dragonetti in England (1794-1846)

Dragonetti devoted his life to the double bass. His career in England (1794-1846) is one of the most remarkable success stories in the annals of musical history. His unprecedented virtuosity elevated the double bass to a new status. In combination with his charismatic personality his musical talent dominated the English cultural world for more than fifty years. As performer, composer, collector, and friend, he exposed the unforeseen potential of the double bass. His formidable talent as a musician and businessman provides an unusual insight into nineteenth-century entrepreneurship. This first substantial biography and assessment of Dragonetti's career allows us to understand his importance in the history of music in general and of double-bass performance in particular.

Cover of Better Git It in Your Soul with a black and white photograph of Charles Mingus playing double bass.

Better Git It in Your Soul: An Interpretive Biography of Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus is one of the most important--and most mythologized--composers and performers in jazz history. Classically trained and of mixed race, he was an outspoken innovator as well as a bandleader, composer, producer, and record-label owner. His vivid autobiography, Beneath the Underdog, has done much to shape the image of Mingus as something of a wild man: idiosyncratic musical genius with a penchant for skirt-chasing and violent outbursts. But, as the autobiography reveals, he was also a hopeless romantic. After exploring the most important events in Mingus's life, Krin Gabbard takes a careful look at Mingus as a writer as well as a composer and musician. He digs into how and why Mingus chose to do so much self-analysis, how he worked to craft his racial identity in a world that saw him simply as "black," and how his mental and physical health problems shaped his career. Gabbard sets aside the myth-making and convincingly argues that Charles Mingus created a unique language of emotions--and not just in music. Capturing many essential moments in jazz history anew, Better Git It in Your Soul will fascinate anyone who cares about jazz, African American history, and the artist's life.

Yellow cover of Deep Down in Music with a drawing of a double bassist playing pizzicato.

Deep down in Music: The Art of the Great Jazz Bassists

Presents the lives and artistry of notable jazz bassists, traces their influence on one another, and investigates the impact of various innovations on the development of jazz music..

Cover of the String Instrument Owner's Handbook with a painting of a luthier working on a violin in his shop.

The String Instrument Owner's Handbook

In The String Instrument Owner's Guide, Michael Pagliaro surveys the complete "ownership life cycle" of bowed string instruments. A touchstone work for uninitiated and advanced players, The String Instrument Owner's Guide provides a roadmap for every step of the owning process, from selecting and buying (or renting ) to maintaining, repairing, modifying, upgrading and even re-selling your instrument. The String Instrument Owner's Guide answers, chapter by chapter, such key questions as: Where did string instruments come from? How do they work? What are the different kinds of string instruments? How they are made? How should you choose one? How do you care for string instruments? What accessories are needed and what do you need to know about them? How do string instruments compare to one another? How does one learn to play? And so much more. This work should sit in the library of not only every professional musician but also of students, teachers, technicians, and parents.

Dark green cover of String Syllabus v. 1 with a photograph of staves of music.

String Syllabus, Vol 1

This follows the popular ASTA String Syllabus, Vol. One: 2003 Edition, which has been ASTA's top seller and most requested publication for the past five years. The new version was carefully and thoroughly updated and revised by David Littrell, ASTA past president. Members will also appreciate that new material was added for Alternative Styles. 140 pages.

NEW: Classical Scores Library

Looking for Something Specific? Search the Library Catalog:

Excerpts, Etudes, and Method Books:

Excerpts and instructional materials are classified in the MT range and housed in the same location as books:

MT320, General works
MT322, Systems and methods
MT330, Studies and exercises
MT331, Orchestral studies (excerpts)