Ready, Steady, Go!


A first book for young double bass players

Composer: Cathy Elliott

Instrumentation: Double bass and piano

Difficulty: Suitable for beginner players
Exam syllabus: Initial – Grade 1

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Ready, Steady, Go! starts with a few short open string tunes to develop some initial bowing movements and then introduces the left hand without assuming the student can read music. Left hand technique, bowing technique and music reading skills are developed simultaneously. Relative solfa is recommended for establishing a sense of pitch and rhythm and in developing note reading skills. Technical skills are introduced one at a time to ensure solid technical development.

By the end of the book students have learned to read and play in first position while playing by ear in other positions. They have explored key signatures up to two sharps plus simple and compound time signatures. Minims, crotchets, quavers and semiquavers have been encountered along with crotchet rests. (Half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes plus quarter note rests). Simple two note slurs on one string or changing strings have been introduced. There are opportunities to develop various bow strokes.

A number of tunes have piano accompaniments.

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Ready, Steady, Go! (bass) ISMN: 979-0-708191-00-1
Ready, Steady, Go! (piano) ISMN: 979-0-708191-01-8



Contents of publication

An asterisk * indicates the tune has a piano accompaniment

Open Strings

  • G is for ….
  • D is for ….
  • A is for ….
  • E is for ….
  • Bass Boogie *
  • Roller-blade *
  • Apple Pie and Custard
  • Aeroplanes *
  • Hot mug of Tea
  • Down bows and Up bows

Introducing the Left Hand

  • The Hare
  • Look at Me!

First Position

  • Mirror Mirror
  • Pancake Song *
  • Let’s Have Fun (reduced stave)

Tunes for the D string

  • Let’s Have Fun (full stave)
  • Hear Me Play the Bass *
  • Mary had a Little Lamb
  • The Gingerbread Man *
  • Running Down the Stairs

Tunes for the G string

  • Moving On
  • In a Hurry! *
  • Topsy Turvey
  • Mal, mal, mal
  • Echoes *

More Strings for Your Bow

  • Woodpecker
  • Down by the Station *
  • Old MacDonald *
  • The Jolly Miller *
  • Moving On Again
  • Peeling Grapes
  • Through the Telescope
  • Frère Jacques
  • Hello
  • The Dinosaurs Come to Town
  • Make a Tunnel
  • Rain Rain
  • Two Soldiers
  • Lightly Row *

Compound Time

  • Ring a Rong 0’Roses
  • Robin and Sparrow
  • The Mulberry Bush

Introducing Slurs

  • Notes Slurred Together
  • Mattachins *
  • Au Clair de La Lune *
  • Stomping Song *
  • Swinging in the Park
  • Long, Long Ago *

Tunes for the Second Finger

  • Name this Tune ….
  • Pease Pudding Hot
  • See the Little Tadpole
  • Crab Walk *
  • Bells in the Steeple
  • The Tortoise *
  • Fanfare
  • Bouncing Bass *
  • Skip to my Lou *
  • Birds of a Feather *
  • Jingle Bells *

Papa Haydn Variations *

  • Papa Haydn goes Walking *
  • Papa Haydn’s Cat goes Prowling *
  • Papa Haydn’s Kangaroo goes Jumping *
  • Papa Haydn’s Dog goes Walking *
  • Papa Haydn goes Skipping *
  • Papa Haydn Bangs his Head *
  • Papa Haydn’s Dog Wags his Tail *
  • The More the Merrier*
  • A Baby Elephant *

Performance videos

Links to performances and download editions

No.44 Mattachins

No.48 Long, Long Ago

Nos.60-66 Papa Haydn Variations

No.67 The More the Merrier

No.68 A Baby Elephant

Exam syllabus

ABRSM (2020-2023 and from 2024)

  • No.27 Down by the Station (Initial)
  • No.29 The Jolly Miller (Initial)
  • No.48 Long, Long Ago (Gd 1)
  • No.67 The More the Merrier (Gd 1)

MTB (since 2019)

  • No.44 Mattachins (Gd 1)
  • No.48 Long, Long Ago (Gd 1)
  • No.67 The More the Merrier (Gd 1)
  • No.68 A Baby Elephant (Gd 1)

Trinity (2020-2023)

  • No.27 Down by the Station (Initial)
  • No.28 Old MacDonald (Initial)
  • No.29 The Jolly Miller (Initial)
  • No.46 Stomping Song (Initial)
  • No.44 Mattachins (Gd 1)
  • No.48 Long, Long Ago (Gd 1)
  • Nos.60-66 Papa Haydn Variations (Gd 1)
  • No.68 A Baby Elephant (Gd 1)

Tutorial videos

External links to tutorial videos hosted by String Virtuoso

No.44 Mattachins

No.48 Long, Long Ago

Nos.60-66 Papa Haydn Variations

No.67 The More the Merrier

No.68 A Baby Elephant

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