Early Start on the Double Bass

Kids to the bass! The Sassmannshaus method was applied to the double bass by Holger Sassmannshaus and J. Peter Close.

Early Start on the Double Bass encompasses everything that one would expect from a Sassmannshaus method: an easy start, progression at a suitable rate, songs and scales in different positions from early on, as well as many duets. While children learning other string instruments can start as early as the age of four, the appropriate age to begin with the double bass is approximately eight (possibly even six); this allows for a faster progression than on the other string instruments, and the method consists of only three volumes. Original compositions by Boguslaw Furtok and the lively illustrations by Charlotte Panowsky enrich the volumes. This method meets the needs of the growing number of young bass players.

Early Start on the Double Bass – Volume 1

19 Lessons. With numerous call songs and nursery rhymes. Includes flash cards for learning the notes and their finger placements in the first and half positions. With many lively and colorful illustrations by Charlotte Panowsky.
BA 9661 (English edition) – 72 pages


After the first pages featuring open strings and basic note values, the “cuckoo call” is introduced as a basic interval. Note reading is practiced from the beginning, and accidentals are explained in an easily understandable way. By the end of the first book, students have had the opportunity to play many English children’s songs using the first, second and fourth fingers, and note values from whole to eighth notes have been learned. Most exercises are underlaid with text so that rhythms can be easily learned and melodies can be perceived as a whole. The important melodic building blocks of thirds, triads and scales are introduced. Scales in C, G, F, and B-flat major are played in one octave.

Music sample

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Early Start on the Double Bass – Volume 2

18 Lessons. With numerous folksongs, nursery rhymes, dance pieces and duets. Introduction of early position changing techniques and shifts up to third position.
BA 9662 (English/German edition) – 72 pages

The second volume introduces position changing techniques and includes a large and varied selection of pieces which practice shifting from the half and first positions to the second and third positions. The child’s knowledge and technique is expanded with the introduction of dotted rhythms and sixteenths notes. Familiar melodies are repeated through the progression of positions to integrate new information with established playing skills. This promotes the development of an intuitive instrumental technique. Delightful duets – amongst them some specially composed for this volume by the virtuoso bassist Boguslaw Furtok -  provide a good basis for experiencing the joys of making music together.

Music Sample

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Early Start on the Double Bass – Volume 3

13 Lessons.  Playing up to sixth position. Sections on ornaments, triplets, arpeggios, harmonics. With favorite standards from the classical bass literature, new transcriptions and pieces specially composed by Boguslaw Furtok.
BA 9663 (English/German edition) – 64 pages


The third volume builds a fluent left-hand technique for playing up to the sixth position. As always, each new position is first practiced by itself with well-known songs and exercises, then combined with familiar positions in new duets and pieces, extending the left-hand technique in a logical progression. Scales are now also played in minor keys. Varied bow strokes and patterns (legato, portato, staccato, marcato, martelé, martellato) are introduced. The third finger is used for the first time. The collection presents works by J. Eccles, M.-A. Charpentier, J. Krieger, J. S. Bach, J. B. de Boismortier, G. F. Handel, G. Ph. Telemann, Ch. Graupner, J. A. Hasse, E. Ph. Chédeville, J. Haydn, W. A. Mozart, F. A. Kummer, F. Schubert, R. Schumann, A. Diabelli, H. Ries, C. Saint-Saens, H. Schlemüller, B. Romberg, N. Baklanova, and B. Furtok. An inserted booklet offers piano accompaniments to 7 pieces.

Music Sample

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