Ask the Teacher - Tom Martin


The double bass soloist, orchestral player and conservatoire pedagogue discusses the importance of balance and freedom in the left hand

What’s the most effective way for students to develop their playing skills?

Many players are weighed down by clutter: unnecessary ideas, motions and movements. When looking at technique I find that students often know some answers, but the most important thing to understand is the questions. Once they understand what the instrument wants and what they have to do to play it, things become much simpler.

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe 

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.


* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.