12 Daily Exercises for Double Bass - David Heyes


Heyes 12 Daily Exercises for Double Bass
Heyes 12 Daily Exercises for Double Bass





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One of Recital Music's best sellers, these exercises cover many aspects of double bass technique, from left-hand shape and shifting, to thumb position, double stops and scales. Each exercise can be adapted for various standards and could be used as the basis for technical development alongside the usual scales/arpeggios and studies. Most exercises include a variety of fingering and bowing suggestions, and the book was compiled to help create a strong technique throughout the working range of the double bass. Each exercise includes a detailed description about its aims and objectives.

1) CHROMATIC POSITIONS - a simple chromatic exercise which will help to develop a strong left-hand shape and also useful for learning the geography of the fingerboard. This can be introduced for even the most basic students. Bowing and rhythmic variations included.

2) ONE OCTAVE SCALES - a useful way to build technique in the lower register of the double bass. The fingerings use the lower positions on the whole, to develop confidence with rhythmic and bowing variations to create other challenges. Other fingerings can be explored.

3) FOUR-NOTE PATTERNS - a progressing exercise which is based around the first four notes of a major scale. Covering all keys, and also playable on all strings, this is a very good exercise to consolidate a confident hand-shape and effective and accurate shifting.

4) SCALE PATTERNS - similar to 3) but remaining in one key, this teaches the bassist about the intervals and interval relationships within a scale. The exercise is playable in all keys and on all strings, and is also useful for shifting skills.

5) DIATONIC SHIFTS - a simple shifting exercise based on the intervals within a major scale, which can also be used for minors. This is effective for learning the geography of the fingerboard and for banishing a 'fear of heights'. Useful for learning about bow distribution and bow control during shifts.

6) FIFTHS - an exercise based on the interval of a 5th in D major, but it can be adapted for any key. There are some rhythmic and bowing variations to add other challenges.

7) CHROMATIC STRING CROSSINGS - an exercise which combines string crossings (G-D-A) with a rising chromatic scale on the G string. Good for bowing arm levels, string crossing and change of length of G string in the scale.

8) THIRDS - an exercise to develop the double stopped interval of a 3rd - major and minor - and an opportunity to study effective bowing skills in double stops.

9) ARTIFICIAL HARMONICS - played in thumb position, this exercise is a good introduction to the use of artificial harmonics in the higher register. Not used very often in orchestral music but a useful skill to acquire for much solo repertoire.

10) BROKEN SCALES - this exercise helps to develop a key awareness alongside shifting small distances. Written in G major it can be transposed into any key and a range of rhythmic and bowing variations can be used to vary the challenges.

11) HAMMER FINGERS - an exercise to create a strong hand shape and fingers, and can be played on all strings and in a variety of keys.

12) THUMB POSITION - this is a simple and accessible exercise which introduces three basic handshapes in thumb position. The exercise is centred around the notes available in any one handshape and will be expanded in 'Advanced Daily Exercises' which will be published in 2010.

Performance Level: 4;5;6;7;8;Advanced.

See http://contrabassconversations.com/2016/10/24/264-david-heyes-leaving-legacy/


  • Artificial harmonics
  • Broken scales
  • Chromatic Positions
  • Chromatic string crossings
  • Diatonic shifts
  • Fifths
  • Four note patterns
  • Hammer fingers
  • One octave scales
  • Scale patterns
  • Thirds
  • Thumb position











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