Date of Award

Spring 5-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Committee Chair

Marcos Machado

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Christopher Goertzen

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Joseph Brumbeloe

Committee Member 3 Department


Committee Member 4

Alexander Russakovsky

Committee Member 4 Department



The uses of contemporary left hand techniques are related to solo playing in many ways. In fact, most of these techniques were arguably developed for this kind of repertoire. Generally the original solo repertoire is idiomatic for the double bass. The same cannot be said for the orchestral repertoire, which presents many technical problems too difficult to solve using the traditional technique. Historically, the double bass passed through several transformations in its shape, structure, and tuning system. Only in the late 19th century did the instrument begin to have its own standard pedagogy and experiments with the tuning system diminished. Consequently, the orchestra literature is challenging to master, since many works were composed during this transition period. This research will discuss the use of modern approaches of double bass pedagogues, especially those used by François Rabbath. Techniques such as pivot, four-finger, low-thumb, and crab will be demonstrated using orchestral excerpts. A further objective of this investigation is to demonstrate the possible advantages and disadvantages of the modern approaches to traditional techniques. Consequently, a study and analysis of the traditional left-hand technique will be important in order to provide evidence of the benefits of contemporary techniques. This investigation will also provide contemporary solutions for the most famous excerpts, often requested in auditions.