124 FINGERING

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by lasdisc, Jan 18, 2014.


  1. lasdisc

    lasdisc

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    I don't understand the 124 fingering it's a big leap from the F on the E string first fret to the G third fret then on to the A How can you use the 124 fingering I can't reach it. I'm relatively new and use the 24 124 134 fingering I just can't see those fingering. Can anybody explain that to me in easy terms I'd really appreciate it. Thanks
     
  2. FretlessMainly

    FretlessMainly

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    You finger low F with your index (1st) finger and low G with your pinky (4th). The second finger is used for the half steps in between the full steps. As a result, you shift positions more with 1, 2, 4 relative to the one finger per fret method. While this may seem a disadvantage, I've found over the years that it's actually an advantage. You are forced to become more familiar with your fingerboard and the movement keeps you ready to make even larger intervallic movements which creates (potentially) more innovative and interesting bass lines.
     
  3. Schlyder

    Schlyder

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    that fingering's roots are from Double Bass technique. In half and first position, when you are playing F with your index finger, and G with your pinky finger, the F#/Gb note falls almost right under your 2nd finger. It is just more ergonomic, and functional for good intonation.

    Learn it, as it is just another tool in the toolbox. And that is good. In the end it is just another fingering pattern. But there is a reason for it.... it works better with the distances between notes in 1/2 and 1st position on a double bass.
     
  4. FretlessMainly

    FretlessMainly

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    "Almost" being the key here. On fretted bass, it doesn't matter much, but on FL or DB, I rotate my wrist slightly (facing my palm slightly toward the higher positions on the board) so that the second finger drops to the properly intonated spot.
     
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  6. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    Yes to it being a double bass fingering - not to say it can not be used on an electric bass. The double bass or a fretless electric will not have frets, thus the finger spacing becomes important to the pattern.

    I have frets and relate to the major scale patterns found in Bass for Dummies. http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/bass-guitar-for-dummies-cheat-sheet.html Scroll down a page.....

    The major scale pattern found in Dummies is the one I use for everything. It's my go to pattern and I then adjust for minor b3 or b7, etc.

    Bass Patterns based upon the Major Scale box.

    Major Scale Box.

    G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
    D|---6---|-------|---7---|---8---|
    A|---3---|---4---|-------|---5---|
    E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---|4th string

    Basic Chords
    • Major Triad = R-3-5
    • Minor Triad = R-b3-5
    • Diminished Chord = R-b3-b5

    7th Chords
    • Maj7 = R-3-5-7
    • Minor 7 = R-b3-5-b7
    • Dominant 7 = R-3-5-b7
    • ½ diminished = R-b3-b5-b7
    • Full diminished = R-b3-b5-bb7

    See a chord and play it's chord tones. As every key will have three major, three minor and one diminished chord it's a good idea to get your major, minor and diminished bass line chord tones into muscle memory so when you see a chord your fingers just know what will work. Now the song may only give you enough room for the root, or root five - adapt and get as many chord tones into your bass line as needed. Root on 1 and a steady groove from the other chord tones plus something to call attention to the chord change is what we do.

    Scales
    • Major Scale = R-2-3-4-5-6-7 Home base
    • Major Pentatonic = R-2-3-5-6 Leave out the 4 & 7
    • Natural Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 Major scale with the 3, 6 & 7 flatted.
    • Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 Leave out the 2 & 6.
    • Blues = R-b3-4-b5-5-b7 Minor pentatonic with the blue note b5 added.
    • Harmonic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 Natural minor with a natural 7.
    • Melodic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-6-7 Major scale with a b3.

    Let the major scale be your home base then change a few notes and you have something different. No need to memorize a zillion patterns. Let the major scale pattern be your go to pattern - then adapt/adjust from there.

    Works for me, offered for what it is worth.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Schlyder

    Schlyder

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    yup, it is more about ergonomics and intonation as it relates to double bass and fretless. But it is a valid technique for electric too. It is just another tool in the toolbox.
    You will not be persecuted for not using it. (Not that much anyway :D)
     
  8. markjsmithbass

    markjsmithbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Location:
    Leeds & Isle Of Wight, UK
    If you're having problems with any big stretches, I did a video earlier this year showing you how to cope with them and use pivoting to cover an octave on one string. Sort of ;)

    The two big things to keep in check are your thumb position in the back of the neck and keeping your fingers flat. I show you why in the vid. Then keep the thumb in one position and just pivot to the side to make the stretches that are just too big for the span of your hand.
     
  9. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2006
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Mark, I think you got it, but to everyone else - I believe OP is talking about a five fret stretch - fingers 124 for frets 1, 3, and 5. Not the DB 124 for three frets.
     
  10. markjsmithbass

    markjsmithbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Location:
    Leeds & Isle Of Wight, UK
    Yeah. I need to start using two cameras for quite a few of the vids. It'd make things like this stretch explanation seem a lot clearer.

    And also, to the OP regarding this 1,2,4 stretch: It can help in that lower position to keep the hand roughly over the 2nd to 5th fret area and reach down for the 1st fret when needed. This kind of depends on the key. If you're in a key with lots of flats then stay over the 1st to 4th fret area.

    In terms of the 124 stretch for a moveable major scale pattern, just use the pivot I mention in the vid. Thumb goes roughly behind the 2nd finger and pivot the hand left (looking down at the bass) to get the 1st finger, back to parallel/home/rested position for 2nd finger and pivot slightly right for the 4th finger. This all means you don't have to move your hand position. The thumb is staying anchored in it's spot (Billy Sheehan would love that phrase) and the hand pivots or rocks from side to side to make the jumps. Make sure you have your hand fully stretched out while doing this, finger flat and bring the thumb further into the back of the neck (round to G string rather than near the E string) to get more stretch if you need it. If you get any pain (other than basic muscle pulls) then stop and check that you're not twisting yourself into a weird, hurtful or damaging position. It's hard to indicate all of this kind of thing in a forum post. Much easier when you're in a room with someone. Using the pivot motion you shouldn't have to hurt yourself.

    Mark
     
  11. pfox14

    pfox14

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    124 fingerings is standard for the first 4-5 positions. Can't figure out why you're having trouble with it. Do you have a short-scale bass perhaps? If you do, then you don't need to do 124, but use 1234.
     
  12. FretlessMainly

    FretlessMainly

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    My sense is that the OP thinks that the low F to low G has to be played with 1 and 2, not 1 and 4. Once that little hurdle is cleared, it becomes rather simple.
     
  13. Zephrant

    Zephrant

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2013
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Mark- I like your videos but have two suggestions. Your bright white background is hard on the eyes. It causes the eye to close down the iris, which makes it harder to watch. I believe that photography standard is to use a 70% grey (or equivilent) for backgrounds. Your super-white gives you an "afterlife" glow that is unnerving. :)

    The other suggestion is about your fretting- when you are showing beginners, don't use all four fingers and keep your fingers millimeters above the strings. It makes it hard to tell what string you hit on which fret. Please over-emphasize which fret/string you are on, such that a beginner across the room from you can easily tell.

    I do like the crisp focus of the videos, and the resolution. You have a good speaking voice, and the videos are easy to follow.

    Thanks!
     
  14. JoeWPgh

    JoeWPgh

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    On a regular scale bass, I find 124 to be much easier to employ in the low positions - the move can be easier than the stretch. On shorter scale basses? I probably still use it in the first position, but change to 1234 much sooner. The ergonomics do enter into it. When your hand becomes fatigued, your technique will suffer.
     
  15. mambo4

    mambo4

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle
    Simple, no stretching is required.

    F: finger 1
    G: finger 4
    A: no fingers, play the open A string.

    Alternatively:

    F: finger 1
    G: finger 4
    A: Shift position. Move your left hand and use 1 or 2 or 4, depending on what comes next.

    Moving your left hand is allowed for any kind of fingering.
    It amazes me how reluctant some are to do it.
    Anchoring your thumb in one spot like it was glued there
    and spidering your fingers uncomfortably across too many frets is pretty much unnecessary.
     
  16. Mushroo

    Mushroo

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    When in doubt, study the technique of successful players.

    Here are a couple of Youtube videos I found helpful in fine-tuning the left-hand techniques my teachers have taught me through the years.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwhkPSEXs1Q
    (notice how he switches between 1-2-4 and 1-2-3-4 fingerings as necessary)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1i1RJeUw70
    (check out how how econonical and accurate his 1 and 2-fret position shifts are)
     

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