# Bille 18 Studies - #1, Fingering

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Steve Freides, Jan 3, 2015.

1. ### Steve FreidesFormer Mannes College Theory FacultySupporting Member

Dec 11, 2007
Ridgewood, NJ
I'm playing #1 of these.

The fingering seems to have 3 everywhere I play 2 - can anyone explain what's up with that?

I also completely don't get the direction about moving the hand forwards and backwards based on a line over or under the finger number - what's up with that?

Thanks.

-S-

2. ### eerbrev

Dec 6, 2009
Ottawa, ON, CAN
Re the fingering:

Bille comes out of the Italian school, which uses 3 instead of 2 for semitones. It comes out of a different, older school of bass where 1-4 was used for both semitones and whole tones.

re the shifting: I can't remember, i'd have to dig up my bille book and I'm away with family for break.

TL; DR just use 2 for 3 as you have been doing.

Steve Freides likes this.
3. ### Steve FreidesFormer Mannes College Theory FacultySupporting Member

Dec 11, 2007
Ridgewood, NJ
TL; DR - what's that?

-S-

4. ### neilG

Jun 15, 2003
Ventura, CA
The hand backwards or forwards indicated which direction to shift, back being toward the nut, forward toward the bridge. If you look at where he indicates those shifts, you'll see that you could go either way, but he wants a particular position shift to emphasize some technique or other. It's sometimes redundant because he also shows which string to play on. As an example, look at the first etude, fourth line, first measure. The first two shifts indicated could go to the D string , but he wants to shift down the G.

5. ### Steve FreidesFormer Mannes College Theory FacultySupporting Member

Dec 11, 2007
Ridgewood, NJ
neilG, as I read the fingerings and the string indications, the position shift direction indicators are completely unnecessary and I've been ignoring them since the fingerings are quite clear.

-S-

6. ### neilG

Jun 15, 2003
Ventura, CA
Not completely unnecessary. In the example I cited, you wouldn't know what string to play the fingering on without the shift signs. He could have just shown what string he wanted instead. Who knows why he did it this way? Many, if not most of the fingerings in the book are old-school and should be re-visited anyway, IMO.

7. ### Steve FreidesFormer Mannes College Theory FacultySupporting Member

Dec 11, 2007
Ridgewood, NJ
I see your point, and I see mine, too. Every place he has one of those direction indicators, that's what I was already doing, mostly because he also has a string indicator, too. In the case of the one you cite, because there's no indication to change strings, I didn't, so I ended up doing it as the direction indicator confirms. There are, of course, some string changes that aren't indicated, but they're all completely obvious ones.

-S-

8. ### eerbrev

Dec 6, 2009
Ottawa, ON, CAN
"Too Long; Didn't Read" It's short form on the internet for "I just blathered on for a bit, so here's what you need to glean from what I said."