Chroms in Ab (1/2) & A (I) pos.

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by TomGale, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. TomGale


    Jul 31, 2005
    American School of Double Bass
    I hope this will save some players a few years of frustration. I learned
    chromatics in the low positions like everyone else did. Lets use the first 10 notes of a D chromatic scale starting on open D and using an open G. Everyone learned 0, 1-1, 2, 4 open D, 1-1, 2, 4, etc. This went on happily for decades and I taught it as well as played it that way. Then came the day. I forget the name of the orchestral piece but I remember it was a one octave chromatic passage start on open A - only it went like a bat!
    The whole section - including me - sounded a little messy and blury. I went home and actually started to play and think about the problem. All the problems came right back to that 1-1. The whole passage could only as fast and clean as that 1-1 could be played. So, I tried the unthinkable - 1,2,1,2 instead of 1-1, 2, 4. Now, if you lock down the 1st finger while you are play the 2nd, there is no difference BUT if that 1st finger is already starting to move while you are playing the 2nd - what a difference!! Speed to burn and clean as a whistle! So - the first 10 notes of the D chrom now becomes 0, 1, 2, 1, 2, 0 (G), 1, 2, 1, 2,
    Does this go against the ancient Holy Grail of Bassdom?? Sure, but it works. So, when I got around to writing the "Practical Studies", this is how I wrote the low positions starting on pg. 14. Try it.
    Tom Gale
  2. TomGale


    Jul 31, 2005
    American School of Double Bass
    make that -' Everyone learned 0, 1-1, 2, 4 open G,'
  3. neilG


    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    Not everyone. The problem occurs when that is the ONLY fingering taught. Limiting that scale to 0-1-2-1-2-0 etc. only shows, in my opinion, a diminished scope of what's possible. It works, and may indeed work great for YOU, but I wouldn't put that forth as any kind of fundamental, only one of several possibilities.
  4. TomGale


    Jul 31, 2005
    American School of Double Bass
  5. As you progress up the G string in 1/2 tone steps would you adopt the following fingerings ?

    G - Bflat 1 2 4
    G - B 1 2 1 2
    G - C 1 2 1 2 4
    G - Dflat 1 2 4 1 2 4
    G - D 1 2 1 2 1 2 4

    In other words, making the fingering adjustment early in "home base" positions to finish each time on 1 2 4 (or 1 2 3 in Thumb Position)? Coming down, just reverse the same fingering?

  6. anonymous12251111

    anonymous12251111 Inactive

    Apr 6, 2007
    Fluid, I like it. I use such fingerings often.