About London Basses
Founded in July 2015, London Basses runs three workshops a year in London. These are open to double bass players of all ages and ability from grade 3 to post Diploma and beyond and provide a friendly fun day for bass players.
Now directed by Eloise Riddell, London Basses was first created as a one off workshop but its immediate success meant that there are now workshops at Easter, Summer and October half term. The workshops offer bass players an opportunity of playing in a group of ‘massed’ basses, smaller ensembles, technique sessions, a masterclass with solo opportunities and much more! We have split groups to allow for bassists of all levels to be challenged in a friendly environment. Bassists are split into smaller ensembles, depending on level and age, giving everyone the opportunity to perform music suitable for their ability and meet new people. The final informal concert for family and friends is a highlight at the end of the day.
Our last two workshops had up to 25 bass players from all across England taking part, making it an encouraging and sociable event for all ages. For each workshop, Eloise is joined by experienced guest tutors, who bring in a new and varied dimension to each day, such as orchestral sessions, jazz sessions and more, adding to the already successful structure and unique focus on solo and chamber playing. Stay tuned for more exciting developments. We hope to see many of you in 2019.
Many adults and children come alone and make friends during the day. You will be made welcome as the atmosphere is very friendly.
We cater for all ages and abilities from ages 6/7 upwards and grade 3 to post Diploma and beyond. Throughout the day we split you into groups suitable for your age and ability.
There will be at least two tutors. There should also be a third person present for most or all of the day.
We are happy to receive a cheque or payment via Pay Pal, with the completed form scanned and emailed to me.
We are able to cater for dyslexia and with students who struggle to focus for long periods of time as the course tutors are experienced teachers. Most music is sight read on the day of the workshop, though we are happy to send music in advance, print it off on different colour paper or send to participants/parents to enlarge. We may also be able to offer extra breaks in the day as long as this has been discussed and agreed in advance.
The participant plays to the group and receives feedback on the piece. Playing in a Masterclass is optional and those who wish to take part should have their piece nearly or performance ready to gain the most from the session.
Yes, please bring a stool (if you use one to play) and bring a music stand.
No, you should bring a packed lunch. We provide tea, coffee, soft drinks and biscuits at break times.
Most parents and friends leave and come back for the concert at 4pm. However, there is plenty of space for those who have a long journey and wish to stay.
“As a newcomer to the bass, I learned a lot of new techniques and discovered plenty of things I could improve upon in practice”
“The ensemble pieces were great and I was pleased I could choose to play at a level at which I felt confident but challenged”
“Such a friendly atmosphere. It was brilliant to meet other bass players, and share our enthusiasm for the instrument”
“I really enjoyed it, particularly the masterclass”
“I really recommend this course to all bass players regardless of ability. My son doesn’t sight read very well but was given a lot of support and encouragement throughout the day and really enjoyed just playing good music with other bass players from children to adults.”
“It was wonderful”
“Massive bassy fun, and it’s legal. Yay!”
“I was totally thrilled that my c# harmonic worked in the concert!”
“Thank you for a great workshop and concert – we really enjoyed it a lot”
“Nate had a great day and I will certainly be passing the details of your next course on to other bass players I know”
“Just another fabulous day of finding dizzy heights on my double bass I have not explored before”
“Such fun and love the quartets and massed bass pieces”
“It was such a good experience for Oliver – he had a wonderful time”
Thwaites Fine Stringed Instruments
London Basses workshops are kindly sponsored by Thwaites Fine Stringed Instruments who provide a fascinating Q and A session for each workshop. Thwaites are a long established family run luthier business and Double Bass, Cello, Viola and Violin are all catered for. Services include full restorations to changing a set of strings, bow repairs and rehair in a selection of prices. Personal set ups to get the most from your instrument and expertise with specialist requirements for Baroque, Classical, Jazz and Folk instruments.
Spartan Press Publishing Company supply us with music for our workshops. This includes music from Yorke Edition, Recital Music, Mctier Music, Four Bass Music and Vamoosh Music to name but a few. There is music on sale during each workshop and participants can request individual sheet music or tutor books before the workshop date which will be ready on the day.
Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra
Wimbledon-based Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra has more than 170 players aged 8-18 in its two orchestras. The Training Orchestra caters for players who are Grade 4-6, while the Main Orchestra comprises players who are Grade 7+. It rehearses on Sunday afternoons during school term time and performs three concerts a year in some of London’s leading venues. The Main Orchestra also undertakes a European tour each July. Auditions are held in September, January and April. Please contact Julian Hardwick for further details or click here.