DB techniques on BG

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by asglkjreio bill, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. hey, not to change the current subject (the "newbies vs. forums" type posting that seems to be so hot right now) but im thinking of getting a fretless electric to gig with, as the gigs around here would be more appropriate for an electric bass. i was just wondering if its practical to apply left hand double bass techniques (simandl in particular) to electric bass. as far as the aural results, i know what to expect. any one have any hand probloms after playing strictly DB and then starting up on BG? in theory it would work, but in reality simandl fingerings may be to ackward for left hand electric bass techniques. No matter what, i wont go into the store and buy a fretless before trying it out, probobly a couple times. but since its 3:38 in the morning, and i dont have the money handy right now anyway, i was just wondering about others expierence.

    oh yeah, before i get any flack (good natured flack, i do acknowledge) The DB is still my main area of focus. : ) thanks for readin!

  2. Hi Bill,

    I've just posted a thread asking people here to help me with my first DB experience. And I'm an electric player...well I must say playing DB is hard!! Very hard! I can't give any tips, just wanna share that...hehehe:D
  3. i remember years ago studying with my teacher (who is awesome on upright btw) and we discussed this very issue, but not only for fretless electric, for fretted as well. he felt it was best to have a consistent system to work in. from what i remember, he felt with electric, it came down to the scale of the bass (34", 35", ...) and the size of my hands. my hands are fairly large and my fingers are pretty long, and i was playing 34" scale basses at the time (still am) so we ultimately decided that a one finger per fret system was the best for me. i'm still able to employ the 1, 2, 4 type of system on upright with no problems.

    just to contrast, i read an interview with John Pattituci where he said he uses the Simandl fingerings in the lower positions on his 6 string electric and then switches to the one finger per fret thing around the 9th position or so. YMMV...
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    asdcgbslzdrtfzxhcbvkzxcg bill,

    Simandl will work, but in using it you won't get the full benefit of the shorter scale. When I play plank, I like to go one finger per half-step and pivot with my wrist to make it comfortable. BOCEPHAS' story of Pattituci's solution to this might also be useful. But considering that there are very few advantages in playing a fretless slab over a DB, you might as well take advantage of the ones that do exist. Good luck.
  5. I would also like to add that after my recent encounter with DB, the most difficult transition is the "fret" length difference from EB to DB. The right hand plucking technique is also very challenging. I kept playing it with my finger tip. However, the easy part is that playing DB, I find it not as noticable in terms of intonation inaccuracy as compared to fretless EB. Unless of course the DB has a Pick up...am i wrong??:p
  6. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I would say yes, you're wrong. You probably weren't pulling a whole lot of sound out of the bass on your first time out, and there was probably a fair amount of Ambient Wedding Noise going on, but once you start digging in and projecting more sound, the same rules of intonation that exist on the slab will also apply to DB. My hat's off to you for trying that gig with such short warning; it's good to get the first one out of the way.
  7. :p You're probably right. There wasn't too much tone coming out anyways...I was pretty much in pain after playin about 30 mins. Hehe...yup that one's out of the way....I mean far away!!
  8. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    Take advantage of the shorter scale length. I have very small hands and can still use the one finger per fret plan on EB. If your playing requires you to play scales 'horizontally' your DB habits may kick into action and help out. Really though, fingerings on an EB have much more in common w/ electric guitar than with DB in my opinion. If you're playing fretless bass a subdued DB vibrato should sound excellent. If you're playing fretted prepare to start vibrating the 'wrong' way hehe.
  9. I started playing on upright, and when I started playing EB, my Simandl fingers came right along for the ride, and it has worked well for me for better than 20 years. In fact, I played the Simandl book to get my electric chops in shape.

    I also follow the Pattitucci paradigm, switching to one-finger-per-fret at about #9.

    However, if I find myself playing in flat-heavy key sigs, I will take advantage of the third finger, especially if I'm stranded in half position.
  10. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    When I play DB, I find that the distance is too great to reach with my 3rd finger. Also, the pinky is kind of weak, so it is easier to use the ring finger to help the pinky push down the string. That is how it works with me.
  11. Good afternoon, DB.

    I might just get slated for this, but here goes.....

    Fretless BG is now my first instrument so I thought I pop over to DB to see if there are any hints and tips to be had for me to improve.

    May I respectfully ask, therefore, what is Simandl / where can I find out what it means?


  12. OK, Arto, that's fine. But this gentleman apparently perfected a fingering technique for the DB, and I now wonder what resource I can consult to see whether or not it's applicable to BG.

    Thanks in advance.

  13. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Simandl would be a fine method to work from for fretless, but you'll probably want to make some adjustments to the fingering system in light of the Slab's shorter scale length (DB: 41-42"; Plank: 34-35"). What this means for you is that you can start using all four fingers of your left hand in lower positions on a Toybass than would normally be recommended on a Doghouse. Other than that, it should be a good match, as Simandl is very dogmatic about the relationship of fingerings and intonation.

    As a former fretless Pork Choppist, I'd probably recommend trying both Simandl and Rabbath, since the latter's "pivoting technique" translates very naturally to the Slab. Good luck.
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    What's the recommended starting book for Rabbath - I was recommended a CD-ROM but it turned out to be ridiculously expensive to buy in the UK?
  15. Thanks Chris.

    Hmmm. Perhaps I need to go get a book from the library on this?

    I've already trained myself to use all 4 fingers on L/H from the nut going higher, @ 1 finger per fret. Hmmm. Yes. Perhaps off to the library unless there's a description of Simandl on TB?


  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    I recommend Book 1. :)
    What´s your source and how much was you asked for the cd?
    I´m interested in getting the Rabbit cd, too...

  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Do you know any online places to buy it - Lemur says out of stock - Sheetmusicplus has books 2 and 3 in French only!!

    Any ideas?