Double Bass

The double bass faculty offers a world-class training programme with teachers Frans van der Hoeven, Ruud Ouwehand and Clemens van der Feen. Students are trained to become good accompanists and improvisers in any jazz style. Over the past years guest teachers have included John Clayton regular guest teacher/Artist in Residence), John Patitucci, Larry Grenadier, Jay Anderson, Joe Martin and Matt Penman.

Coordinator: Frans van der Hoeven

'This is the place to come. It’s a wonderful approach, it’s a wonderful collection of great artists who can help you achieve your goals and help you find your direction.'
John Clayton, Artist in Residence, Double bassist, Professor, Arranger and Composer

Admission requirements
Candidates will be selected beforehand by means of a recording of three pieces in the jazz idiom, to be uploaded to the application form by the candidate. If the candidate's playing on the recording does not match the required level, they will not be invited to the entrance examination.

During the entrance examination the candidate is tested on:

1. Playing skill
a. The committee will choose from three pieces (one blues or one rhythm scheme) prepared by the candidate, which show the committee that he/she both masters his/her instrument and has a reasonable rhythmic, harmonic and melodic understanding.

b. Being able to play the most important major (G, C, F, B flat, E flat, A flat) and minor (E, A, D, G, C, F) scales, preferably bowed, reasonable knowledge and command of the chords major, minor, diminished and augmented at a reasonable tempo.

The committee reserves the right to interrupt the candidate's playing as according to the committee, he/she has supplied enough information (because of the limited time of 30 minutes). Therefore it is important for the candidate to show his/her skills as quickly as possible: not too many and/or too long solos of fellow players, no unnecessary repetitions.

2. Hearing, tempo/timing and reading skills
This may consist of:

  • repeating by ear a sung or played line
  • accompanying by ear an unknown, simple piece, without any previous information
  • filling in (with a logical bass line) of a harmonic progression to given chord symbols
  • playing of a written bass line/melody

The committee supplements the examination with some exercises which must show the candidate's skills which have not been sufficiently disclosed up till then.

3. Assessment
The possibilities to follow a principal subject study will be discussed by the committee.

Important issues for the  assessment are:

  1. musicality, hearing and melodic understanding (also in bass lines)
  2. feeling for rhythm and tempo
  3. affinity with the instrument and the music styles which are directly connected with this instrument

but besides these also:

  1. harmonic understanding, reading chords
  2. technique, tone quality, playing in tune
  3. sight reading

The candidate must submit via the application form three links (YouTube, Soundlink etc). to audio or video recordings of their performances. On the basis of these materials, the committee will assess the candidate's level. If the candidate's level meets the requirements for the master's degree programme, the candidate may be invited to do a practical audition. During the audition the candidate will play three songs:

  • one original composition
  • one jazz-standard
  • one solo piece for bass

Candidates may bring their own accompaniment. It is also possible to be accompanied by CvA accompaniment, please state your preference on your application form.

Frans van der Hoeven coordinator + methodology
Ruud Ouwehand  
Clemens van der Feen
John Clayton Artist in Residence
Servaas Jessen technique