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Andy Moritz

Andy Moritz: Scale Skills: A Systematic Approach to Skills Development for the Double Bass

Andy Moritz: Scale Skills: A Systematic Approach to Skills Development for the Double Bass

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About the Book

A how-to manual for using major scales to teach the skills of double bass playing and provide the player with a kind of "Bass Playing Operating System" that codifies most of the mechanics needed to play the instrument.

"Orchestra directors would often assign me the task of teaching scales to students who were either inexperienced or in need of remedial help. The goal was merely for the student to pass off a graded assignment. There was no plan or reasoning behind why particular scales were being chosen or assigned. It was just a case of “ticking the box” in the curriculum. The typical way to look at scales was, “let’s just make sure they have the fingerings so they can do the test.”

But I was increasingly bothered by a noticeable trend. Simply giving them fingerings wasn’t helping them improve because they didn’t understand how to move their hands to those spots while producing a good sound in the first place. 

Over time, I developed a sequence of scale studies that very efficiently cataloged and presented the mechanical skills needed to play the bass at a very high level. I found that the system was almost entirely repeatable. It worked every time I tried it, and it worked for every kind of student I encountered. It worked so well that orchestra directors regularly asked for my fingerings to give to their students. I was happy to oblige, but always in the back of my mind was the knowledge that it is not as simple as just giving your bass players the fingerings:

"They must learn and understand how to move their hands correctly to play them at all."

How Kate Jones uses Scale Skills

This is a wonderful guide for teachers of bassists to hone their craft in helping students to understand how scales and arpeggios unlock the instrument. A more experienced player might also use the end of the book to add Andy's 7-minute scale warmup to their own practice.

About the Author

Andy Moritz is an active professional bassist and music educator in the Greater Houston area, as well as the director of The Bass Studio, an intensive double bass instruction program.

Andy holds a Master's Degree in Double Bass Performance & Pedagogy and a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education, both from the University of Houston, holds a Texas teaching certificate from TEA, and has registered Suzuki Bass training with the Suzuki Association of the Americas. 

He has studied with such bassists as Dennis Whittaker, Owen Lee, Ken Harper, David Murray, William Black, and Dr. Kate Jones. 

Andy’s students have a tradition of excellence, having been chosen for the Texas All-State orchestras for over 20 consecutive years. Many of his former students have become fellow music educators or are members of major orchestras throughout the country. As a highly sought out clinician for teacher in-services covering all facets of double bass pedagogy, he is also a regular presenter and clinician with the Texas Music Educators and Texas Orchestra Directors Associations.

In addition to The Bass Studio, Andy is the faculty bass instructor for the American Festival of the Arts High School Summer Music Festival.

Creatively, Andy has always been involved with numerous projects. In addition to being the bassist for the bluegrass/Americana group Cadillac Sky, Andy was a founding member and lead bass for the innovative bluegrass fusion band Classical Grass.

Currently, Andy plays bass guitar with the Courts Worship Band at Kingsland Baptist Church, and is also a longtime player with the Encore Strings chamber groups. He has previously performed with such varied groups and artists as the Charlie Prause Trio, Encore Jazz, The Blue Monks, the Ed Gerlach and Ronnie Renfrow Big Bands, Sugar Bayou, Brazos River Turnaround, Brent Ward, the Houston Mountain boys, Bo Levi and the Untamed Ponies, and the Apache Relay.

Andy was a member of The Woodlands Symphony Orchestra for over 10 years and performs as a substitute bassist with other regional orchestras.

Andy lives in Richmond, TX with his wife Donna, their 2 teenage daughters (a vocalist and a percussionist/cellist), 2 spoiled dogs and a giant tortoise.

This is a Digital Copy delivered as a PDF

For a physical copy, you can purchase it from Andy's Website.

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