Jazz Bowing Techniques for the Improvising Bassist

Jazz Bowing Techniques for the Improvising Bassist

For bassists who want to improve their jazz bowing. Learn from the masters: Paul Chambers, Jimmie Blanton, Eddie Gomez, Slam Stewart and more. Techniques and practice methods to help you swing with the bow.

Newly Revised! Includes added material and CD with exercises, play-along tunes and demos.

by John Goldsby. A complete approach to improvising arco jazz with step-by-step instructions, exercises, and diagrams. Transcriptions of Slam Stewart, Jimmy Blanton, Paul Chambers, Eddie Gomez, and John Goldsby. Includes compositions by and for famous bass players. Highly recommended!

Step-by-step instruction from beginning bowing techniques to advanced arco improvisation. The play-along CD has John on one channel with rhythm section playing examples from the book. Turn John’s channel off to practice on your own with the rhythm section.


Bowin’ The Blues
Festus Yukan
Blues For Sarka
Gotta Git
Roll Down, Roll On

Transcribed Solos:

Jimmy Blanton:

Sophisticated Lady
Mr. J.B. Blues

Leroy “Slam” Stewart:

I Got Rhythm

Paul Chambers:

Tale Of The Fingers
The Theme

Eddie Gomez:


John Goldsby:

Three Short Stories for Bass and Piano
The Cupbearers

Here is the table of contents from Jazz Bowing Techniques for the Improvising Bassist

  • Introduction
  • Learning
  • Practicing
  • Practicing Suggestions
  • Illustrations
  • Single-String Exercises
  • String Crossing
  • Long Tones
  • Vibrato
  • Bowing Jazz Rhythms
  • Slurs
  • Diatonic Scale Exercises
  • Bebop Scales
  • Chromatic Scales
  • Other Scales
  • Arpeggios
  • Thumb Position
  • Tunes (Bowin’ the Blues – Goldsby, Festus Yukan – Goldsby, Grahi – Bill Mays, Blues for Sarka – George Mraz, Roll On, Roll Down – Ted Rosenthal, Gotta’ Git – Goldsby)
  • Solo Transcriptions (Jimmy Blanton – Mr. J.B. Blues, Sophisticated Lady, Slam Stewart – I Got Rhythm, Paul Chambers – The Theme, Tale of the Fingers, Eddie Gomez – Elsa, John Goldsby – Lava)
  • Transcription of the arco solo from “Three Short Stories for Bass and Piano” (recorded on Tale of the Fingers)
  • Transcription of the arco solo from “The Cupbearers” (recorded on Viewpoint)
  • Glossary
  • Strings and Things
  • Bass Books and Methods
  • General Information
  • Improvising Bassists
  • Selected Discography

Published: 1990, revisied edition 2010