The Velsor Bass Method


by Thomas Velsor

(36 pages)

This is an eBook for digital download.

The purpose of this method is to provide a beginner double bass text that does not require shifting positions. By avoiding the need to shift, the student can spend their first lessons focusing on musicianship skills, and correct hand positions. This text would also be a good fit for any student performing in a concert band, as well as students who are not beginners but are new to the half position.


The Velsor Bass Method is an innovative approach to teaching beginner string bass students. By focusing on half position, this text allows the student to avoid shifting until a good technique has already been developed. Very often beginner double bassists are forced to start in D major, shifting up the neck to reach the octave D only a few weeks after learning how to hold the instrument. The logic behind avoiding this is that there are enough physical hurdles involved with mastering the double bass, especially as a beginner. This one challenge seems to be the least necessary, which is what lead to the creation of this method.

There is a great deal of emphasis placed on duets from the beginning. This is a difficult challenge for most beginners, but with the proper guidance this leads to the development of a well-rounded musician whose ears are being trained to listen across the ensemble from the beginning. These extra requirements of duet playing early on are intended to give the beginner student a more realistic feeling of what performing music will feel like in a large or small ensemble. Avoiding developing any bad habits, musical or physical, is a big part of what this text seeks to provide.

Though the intention is for this to be used with a beginner, this does also serve as an excellent guide to the half position for students who are not beginners. A student who has learned in D major, shifting from first to third positions, will often need a significant number of etudes in half position before mastering the differences between it and the first position. This text will serve such a student well, and the duets would be a welcome addition to such a student’s training regardless of their comfort in the half position.


Thomas Velsor

About the Author

Thomas Velsor is a bass player and teacher based in Long Island, New York. Studying under a wide variety of teachers such as Mike Frost, Carlos Castillo, and Martin Wind has helped him build a career as a freelance musician in a wide variety of genres. He is most known for his work on 6-string electric bass in the Jazz Fusion scene, as well as playing double bass in both jazz and classical settings. Thomas earned his Associates Degree in double bass performance from Nassau Community College, Bachelors in Music Education from Hofstra University, as well as his Masters degree in Music from SUNY Buffalo state. He is currently serving as an Orchestra director for a public school in Nassau county, and is still actively performing as both an electric and upright bass player in the New York area.


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