Mr. Karr, Would You Teach Me How to Drive a Double Bass?
second Edition

Mr. Karr, Would You Teach Me How to Drive a Double Bass?

by Michael Klinghoffer

Learn how to play the double bass with “Mr. Karr, Would You Teach Me How to Drive a Double Bass?”


This book is devoted to the technique and philosophy of Michael Klinghoffer’s mentor and double bass teacher, Gary Karr. This glimpse into Karr’s magical legacy is meticulously laid out in a comprehensive yet playful manner. You will learn many valuable tricks that teachers have only verbalized until now.

For any double bass player looking for innovative, practical, and inspiring advice on how to approach the double bass both technically and musically, this book along with its notated examples, pictures, and instructional videos will offer many valuable lessons and will be a great resource for teachers, students, and performers alike. 

The idea to write this book came to Professor Michael Klinghoffer when he was at Karr camp in 2006.


One day, in Maestro Karr’s master class, his mentor tried to explain something to a student. He tried a few times but it didn't really work. Finally, he took the student's bass and bow and started playing. He wasn’t explaining or demonstrating. He just played the entire movement. It was like a prayer or a similar experience.


From the very first time he heard Gary Karr in concert his life changed. Studying for four years with Karr changed his views about playing, about music and about teaching. It inspired him and gave him the strength to follow his beliefs and listen to his heart even when he was sailing against the wind.


There was something so unique, almost mystical about that moment at Karr camp, that Michael decided he had to write this book so that more people would know about Gary Karr's special technique and musicality. Since the book and the videos were released, he has learned that there is a continuous interest in Gary Karr and his legendary contribution to the world of music.


This book is his little tribute to this great man and he hopes it will help people in their quest of finding their own voice.

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Mr. Karr, Would You Teach Me How to Drive a Double Bass?
Preface by Gary Karr
1. Neutral Gear
2. Swing Low Sweet Chariot
3. The Sound of the Pendulum
4. Shifting Gears
5. Road Maps
6. Slalom Driving
7. Crossing Safely
8. Shock absorbers
9. Radar Detectors
10. The Timing Belt
11. Cruise Control
12. “Ten books to a desert island” - Selected Bibliography
13. Appendix I - Scales with fingerings by Gary Karr
14. Appendix II - Excellence in the Age of Ratings
15. The Author

Michael Klinghoffer is an Israeli double bass musician, conductor, author, and educator. He is the author of “Mr. Karr, Would You Teach Me How to Drive a Double Bass?”, dean of performing arts, and senior lecturer of double bass at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Currently he also serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

His repertoire ranges from contemporary music (much of it composed for him) to his own transcriptions that have been published in print and recorded on four CDs. He has also conducted several orchestras, coached chamber music and has taught classes on Music History, Aesthetics and Pedagogy.

© Copyright by Michael Klinghoffer