I interviewed two Jazz bass teachers with apparently very different approaches. Hein van de Geyn who has written the most elaborate method available for Jazz double bass, and John Clayton, who has been teaching for over 40 years and is considered to be one of the best educators for bass (as is Hein van de Geyn) and never wrote a method of his own. For the interviews I selected some questions. During the interviews some question were already answered before I asked them, or they were of no added value to the interview. So, the summary of the interviews are not necessarily answering all of the question or not in the order of the question. 


Even if the approaches seem to differ a lot at first sight, in the interviews it became apparent that they are both much more in agreement with each other than one would think. Hein van de Geyn stated that he doesn’t consider his book a method but more like an exercise book. John Clayton had changed his opinion on method books over the years and found them a good resource of practice material.




  • How did you learn to play the bass?
  • Which methods where used?
  • What is your opinion about the available methods for Jazz double bass?
  • Can you reflect on the changes in teaching over the past 50 years?
  • Who do you consider to be important educators in the field of Jazz bass?
  • Did you ever consider writing a method of your own?
  • How do you value the influence on internet and online teaching?
  • Which method and or methodology do you use in your teaching practice?
  • How do you value the use of apps, YouTube, social media?
  • What are the main learning topics for Jazz double bass education?


jazz double bass

in the

21st century

By Tony Overwater