Who said you have to be tall to play the bass?At the South Pasadena Strings Program, bass studies begin as young as 4 1/2 in our KinderBass program. Starting them this young is quite unusual, we admit, but our small players are accomplishing big things.
Is there an advantage to starting bass at such a young age?We think so. With a qualified teacher, a young bass student will learn proper form including body and hand position, from the beginning. This will quickly lead to the student feeling comfortable relating to such a large instrument.
What kind of a youngster plays bass?Most often, we've found that three kinds of children are motivated to learn this unique instrument:
- Children who, for unknown reasons, are just passionate about the bass! They've always wanted to play the bass, and often can't explain why!
- Children who have a strong interest in jazz. Bass is a uniquely versatile, and more often used in jazz music than other stringed instruments.
- Children who already play the piano. Piano students miss the social aspect of playing music, and often wish they could be in an orchestra. And piano students are already trained to read the bass clef, plus they have a strong sense of rhythm and note-reading, so they can pick up the bass relatively quickly.
Contrary to what one might think, children do not have to be tall to succeed on the bass. We have found that even average-sized preschoolers can succeed. However, owning a larger car is definitely helpful! While our smallest basses (1/10th size) is about as large as a cello, they quickly increase in size as the child grows.
As with all our stringed instruments, the Strings Program offers a holistic environment, which includes lessons, chamber music participation, and orchestra. As soon as the student can hold the bass and has basic music-reading skills, they are invited to participate in the Training Orchestra, which then feeds into the renowned Los Angeles Children's Orchestra. Bass players are also encouraged to participate in our Chamber Music program. Playing in ensembles, and our exciting performance opportunities, helps motivate children to practice.
We rent high-quality, child-sized basses, as small as 1/10th and up.