I am the Artist Teacher of Bass at the University of Redlands School of Music and a Lecturer in the Department of Music at Cal State LA. At Redlands, I teach double bass and electric bass to all classical and jazz students as well as non-majors. At Cal State LA, I teach classical double bassists who are music majors. Both schools offer undergraduate and graduate programs.
|Redlands School of Music general info||Cal State LA Department of Music general info|
|Redlands Audition info (select Undergraduate or Graduate)||Cal State LA Auditions (select Undergraduate or Graduate)|
I encourage students at all levels and in all styles to perform music they feel confident playing and that shows their musicality off at its best. A mediocre performance of hard music is in no way better than a great performance of less difficult music. Below this is some free music on IMSLP for classical bassists, suggestions on what to play at a jazz audition, and some other classical sources for audition music.
All of this music is free to download via IMSLP. This list is in no particular order and has music at a variety of levels for students in different situations: performance majors, music ed majors, music minors, etc.
Arrangements and Transcriptionsand find the one for double bass
The Elephant(double bass part, movement 5) and
The Swan(cello part, movement 13)
Arrangements and Transcriptionsand use the cello transcription
Any standard or bebop tune will work well, and good blues playing is always welcome. Be sure at least one of your choices swings. It's best to play the melody, walk or accompany in the appropriate style, and solo. If you're unsure about what songs are good choices, pianist Ethan Iverson has a list in this blog post of about 90 tunes that are kind of
common practice standards. And any bop tune from a Parker, Gillespie, Monk, or Powell album would be great (those are just four artist examples almost at random). Fake Books (aka Real Books) will get you the basics of the melodies and chords, but be sure to get help from your teacher and listen to the masters play through the tunes to double check what the book says.
Barenreiter's Concert Pieces for Double Bass and Piano is an excellent collection of solo music that has some pieces in the lower positions and many that use the full range of the instrument. Oscar Zimmerman's Solos for the Double Bass Player is another excellent collection of solo pieces that are genearlly more advanced and use the full range. These two collections contain some of pieces in the IMSLP list above and there is a bit of overlap between them as well.
Publishers such as Recital Music, Liben Music, St. Francis Music Publications, the International Society of Bassists, and International Music Co. have large catalogs of double bass music for purchase. Most pieces have sample pages. YouTube can be a good resource if you want to listen first, though not all pieces will be available.