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Double bass positions

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by t-bag, Mar 17, 2009.


  1. neilG

    neilG

    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    If you really want hardcore, try to find the Findeisen method. It's still available. Very strange musically which is probably why it isn't used much, if at all.
     
  2. I'm looking for my Montag right now...it's here somewhere...
     
  3. I have the Bille Book [Italian]. Is there a French method that is published? What is the name?
     
  4. I'm an already trained musician and I would be fine with more musically challenging exercises to build bow technique. Do you know where I could get a copy of this?
     
  5. neilG

    neilG

    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    The method (5 books) can be ordered through a good music purveyor. I got mine from Theodore Front here in SoCal. Tfront.com The publisher is Hofmeister. It took many weeks and about $85. It's all in German.
    The Findeisen 25 (4 books) Technical Studies are published by International and you can find that easily enough through Lemur and the like. These might be more of what you're looking for if you are somewhat advanced already, and much easier to get. They were edited by Frederick Zimmerman and the fingering is a bit old-fashioned, but that'll be the least of your worries. :)
     
  6. Fabio_MIJ

    Fabio_MIJ

    Feb 3, 2016
    back home
    Sorry to resume this old thread just for the record and the posterity, but I have to disagree with the philosophy "who cares about positions, if it's in tune it's good".
    A clear position naming system helps having 1) a reference system on the fretboard, 2) taking notes about positions on partitions so that it is easier to play long/difficult parts, 3) If you teach the instrument you can comunicate more easily.
     
    Neil Pye likes this.
  7. Neil Pye

    Neil Pye

    Apr 13, 2016
    Horsham, UK
    The Simandl system works, why try to reinvent the wheel? If we all stick to that, all the problems disappear. We only need a system so we can communicate anyway....
     
    gerry grable likes this.
  8. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Mingus talked about getting to the point where you just know where every note is like a piano. I also use first and half in my teach and none in my playing - I think about notes and groups of notes.

    Position names are useful but add a layer of thought to an already complex process. "First finger on D on the G string" is good enough in lessons and leads to quicker thinking and more efficient fingering choices.
    I am a Simandl advocate but also advocate not stopping at any method and exploring as many as possible. I still think Simanld is the best method to start on and the other ideas work best in addition not instead of.
    A thinking person should be able to study out of Simandl and still work out the most efficient fingerings for real world situations whether they are in the book on not.
    All of the accepted methods with a teacher who is enthusiastic about them. Pursuing other methods as a work around for Simandl is lazy and a huge waste of time. Simandl is clear, easy and it works.
     
    Tom Lane, gerry grable and Neil Pye like this.
  9. Neil Pye

    Neil Pye

    Apr 13, 2016
    Horsham, UK
    Exactly. There's no need to think in positions, but in my view it makes teaching and communicating fingerings easier to use a universal system, and Simandl works, so that would be my choice for a universal system. Wouldn't it be great to have one of those?
     
  10. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    I still find the naming of positions in half steps the most logical. Same as on guitar or electric bass. Never really understood the logic behind the Simandl position names and I never use them.
     
  11. Neil Pye

    Neil Pye

    Apr 13, 2016
    Horsham, UK
    The problem with that is that the vast majority of "trained" bass players do understand the logic behind the Simandl positions, and do use them. They will all understand the same thing if you say "2nd position", and it will be different to what you understand. It's not a question of right and wrong, just effective communication.
     
    Tom Lane likes this.
  12. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    How many positions are there, 15? or more, for solo playing, eg 27?
     
  13. Neil Pye

    Neil Pye

    Apr 13, 2016
    Horsham, UK
    The third finger on the octave is designated 7th position, if memory serves, and after that you're into bandit country, othwerwise known as thumb position. Lawless territory where hand shapes hold sway...
     
  14. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Simandl is fine, but if you don’t take a look at Rabbath you’re missing out on a much simpler way of understanding the instrument.
     
    the_Ryan likes this.
  15. Neil Pye

    Neil Pye

    Apr 13, 2016
    Horsham, UK
    Ok, but to me there's nothing complicated about Simandl, and I haven't got time at my age to worry about renaming things
     
  16. mingusman37

    mingusman37

    Mar 7, 2017
    My teacher has some interesting views on positioning that I'd like to share -- He says that thinking of positions, especially the normal three half note hand position is counterproductive to being able to play actual music. He essentially uses his pinky as an extension being able to reach up to five notes in one "hand position." It's an interesting way to think about it, and not the standard Simandl method.
     
  17. Neil Pye

    Neil Pye

    Apr 13, 2016
    Horsham, UK
    Each to his own, I guess, but my experience of the various "extended" hand positions, stretches etc is that they require lots and lots more work to avoid ending up with slightly sketchy intonation, and without a system to think about it's easy to get lost in passages with lots of string crossings. Plus, from what I've seen, they can do serious physical damage. Traditional technique may be boring, but it's surprising how well I manage to play actual music!
     
  18. mingusman37

    mingusman37

    Mar 7, 2017
    He tries to set a hand position for each passage, but he molds that fingering system based off of the passage. I was taught Simandl at a young age, so trying to learn his way of playing is very different but so far I've found it to help.
     
  19. Fabio_MIJ

    Fabio_MIJ

    Feb 3, 2016
    back home
    For example, "First finger on the G string" vs "III", which one is better to annotate sheet music? :D
     
  20. the_Ryan

    the_Ryan

    Jul 10, 2015
    Ithaca/Seattle
    The thing I like most about the Rabbath positions is how he actually has positions for the upper register; with more traditional methods they say that there's a nebulous thumb position, but Rabbath breaks it up as a way to orient oneself. However, I tend to not think in terms of positions when I play.
     

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