1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Dr.Morton's stuff

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by altugbas, Apr 16, 2001.

  1. altugbas


    Jul 24, 2000
    Does any body have any idea about Dr.Morton's books?
  2. Ah Yes, Dr. Morton's Torturous Excercises. Those are a good workout and very systematic in isolating the areas they are designed to improve. Also the Miraculous Arpeggio fingerings are not really so miraculous, but they are good too. For the Miraculous scale fingerings, you could get about the same info from any other book,i.e Simandl or Barry Greens method books. But overall, I think they are a good supplementary text to your regular Method Books. If you want to try a slightly different approach, then go for it!
  3. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Apparently, reedo feels strongly about this
  4. Sorry, I didn't realize I had double posted it.
  5. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    I just received Dr Morton's Miraculous Scale Fingerings book. My teacher thought it might be a better choice for jazz players than the Levinson book because it's organized by key center and harmony.

    I have a major gripe with the text. I have found pentatonic scales to be useful for jazz soloing. One of the reasons I purchased the book was because it advertised fingerings for pentatonic scales. The benefit of pentatonic scales for soloing is their applicability. The major pentatonic scale consists of the triad tones and the second and ninth degrees of the scale. This makes the scale work over all major scales (dominant, 6, maj7). The scales identified as pentatonic are not. They've simply taken a minor pentatonic, raised the minor third and called it a major pentatonic. This scale necessarily includes the dominant 7 rendering it useless for playing over anything but major dominant chords.

    I do like the four finger system utilized for the 'fast' fingerings and there are plenty of other good things in the text, but it's of limited value to me.
  6. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    I have this scale book. I just don't think it is intended to be a jazz book at all but I did use many of his ideas when I was heavily shedding major and several types of minor scales two octave scales and playing them fast. All this, of course, can be applied to both jazz and classical.

    It is a good resource for ideas. I like the fast fingering/slow fingering concepts. I went to a workshop with Dr. Morton and he is a wonderful solo classical player and clinician who studied at Julliard, possibly other conservatories, and I think the scale fingerings were part of his dissertation.
  7. brianh


    Aug 19, 2005
    Endorsing: Epifani Amplification
    I have Morton's scale book and it's pretty cool. I'm not sure if it is necessary to go through the whole book, but checking it out can give you some ideas on stuff you might want to work on. For me it just kind of showed me I should be trying to play scales in all areas of the bass and using different things for different tempos/sounds. The 4 finger stuff is cool too and can open you up to some new things.

    However I spent so much time studying with a fairly 'traditional' classical teacher that I don't to abandon what I know and use the book as a new approach to fingerings; just a option to stretch out.
  8. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    As always, this being in the jazz section, I would say to use caution when combining extended fingerings with a big pizz sound.
    As always I would say the above statement is no reason to be ignorant of of all the modern fingering systems - learn them all you never know when they will come in handy.

    I also would use caution using scales to make solos, too, you won't hurt yourself, but you will likely sound like you are just running scales!
  9. Nils Ö

    Nils Ö

    Nov 11, 2007
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Hmm, why do you say extended fingerings would be more problematic with a "big" pizz sound? Would the sound diminish?
  10. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    It probably would, but you can also just hurt yourself. A quick run could work, but I wouldn't over do it.
  11. Nils Ö

    Nils Ö

    Nov 11, 2007
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Sorry for asking stupid questions, but why would the risk of hurting your left hand be bigger just because you play pizz with your right hand?
  12. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Because to get a strong sound with the right hand depends on how strong your left hand can hold down the string. Pizz sound is all in the left hand.
  13. Nils Ö

    Nils Ö

    Nov 11, 2007
    Stockholm, Sweden
    In my opinion pizz sound is definitely both in the left and the right hand (as is arco sound). I see no reason why more pressure would be required to get a good pizz sound than a good arco sound. Also, the amount of pressure is not as important as how you press down the string (or, rather, if you press down the string correctly you can use less force). This may be harder (or, in some cases, easier) when more stretching is involved, but I don't think it has to do with playing arco or pizz.

    But this is perhaps a subject for another thread.
  14. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA

    I didn't say good, I said strong. I am talking about a nice, strong unamplified Jazz bass sound that can cut through a full band.
    Maybe you have never made that sound but I can promise you it takes more power than for a nice, clean arco sound.
    The best way to get that sound is the use the left shoulder and not squeeze in the hand, but having your hand extended with that much pressure on it does not seem like a great idea.

    I say it is a big risk to use extended left hand fingerings while doing that.
    If you don't think so then have at it, and hopefully you won't develop any serious physical problems.
  15. Nils Ö

    Nils Ö

    Nov 11, 2007
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I must say I think what may lead to physical problems is the idea that more force by itself leads to a more powerful sound, at least more than to a certain degree. Sound (quality and/or loudness) is more about technique than the amount of energy pounded into the bass on each stroke.
    Also, that a softer right-hand technique would require less force in the left hand is not at all obvious.
    To put it another way, if the left hand technique a bassist uses is already at the limit so he/she can't use some stretches now and then without hurting him/herself, he/she should probably resort to something less straining anyway.
  16. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    What I know is that I have a sound strong enough not to use an amp most of the time.
    As long as I use a comfortable, solid left hand it is no strain, with pivots and 4 fingers there is a bit of a strain, arco those things are no problem.

    You can go ahead and do what you do if it seems to work for you.
    BTW, I loved Per Henrik Wallin's playing.

Share This Page