The Upright Bass Site – We don't call it a double bass ;-)

Don Hermann’s Accompanied Rudiments Course


Some beginners to the upright bass have been playing using tuners to check their pitch. While this is not a bad method, it can lead to frustration and discouragement sometimes. There is a practice aid that’s great for any upright bassists that are intermediate beginners and above. I’ve been using the Accompanied Rudiments Course for many years now, first as a method of practicing intonation and later as part of a scheduled routine of practice.

The Accompanied Rudiments Course is a set of CD’s that comes with a book that goes through major and minor scales and intervals in every key at various speeds. The CD is essentially a piano recorded, playing scales up two octaves in every single key so that you can hear a reference pitch while you are playing simultaneously on the upright bass. For beginners, you will also get to develop your shifting, rhythm and notation reading while playing along.

The intended level of skill for the Accompanied Rudiments Course is what I would consider an intermediate beginner; You should be at the point where you are attempting to play two octave scales.

The reason that I recommend this, is because versus a tuner that is correcting you visually, listening to the piano allows you to correct yourself through listening. In the real world, you will need this skill of pitch matching to adjust your intonation on the fly. When you are playing with other instruments, you will not have a visual reference to correct your pitch, you will have to adjust according to what you hear.

This is a efficient way to practice because it works not only on intonation, but other necessary skills simultaneously.

Accompanied Rudiments Course can be purchased through Lemur Music