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Fingering Question

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Steve Freides, Oct 16, 2013.


  1. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    I'm playing a Gershwin medley in a concert band (think orchestra without strings, except me). It's pretty fast to be playing 8th note triplets like these, at least for me. Quarter is at about 132 as noted in the attached PDF example.

    For the first three notes, I'm using three different strings. I'm wondering if a barre type fingers - laying down the same finger across all three strings - might work. Seems a fine thing when done on guitar, much less so here.

    For first note of the second bar I'm staying on the A string.

    For the Ab arpeggio in the last bar, I'm using a guitar-style fingering to avoid hopping around quite so much.

    Comments and suggestions gratefully accepted.

    Edit - sysops, if there's a way to get the music excerpt to appear in the body of the message instead of as an attachment, please do that for me or tell me how to do it. Thanks.

    -S-
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Anonymatt

    Anonymatt

    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I would roll across the pickup to prevent the notes being too short.
     
  3. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    What do you mean "roll?" 3 fingers? 1 finger quasi-barred but moving the contact point?

    Thanks.

    -S-
     
  4. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    subscribing to hear opinions. ive always wondered about 4ths like these. lately ive had success using a different finger for each note. i can get more legato like that, but i dont know if that's the answer.
     
  5. mtto

    mtto Supporting Member

    May 25, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I can't barre three strings with my 4th finger. I'd play that first triplet 4 3 2.

    This is a taste thing, but I don't like sliding back with the same finger, so in bar three I would play 1 2 1 4.

    I would play the second to last note 4. Playing all three of the last notes with 1 is probably going to be a mess.
     
  6. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    mtto, playing the last three notes with 1 is easy because it's not too quick/busy right there. Looks worse on paper than it is to play, and I could just as easily take the next to the last note as 4 instead of 1 but it seemed like more work, not less, to do it that way.

    Sliding back - switching positions - with the same finger is a time-honored way to switch positions and something I've been doing forever as a guitar player, so I'm good with that.

    I haven't been barring the first three notes, just hopping from string to string really quickly, kinda, sorta making the tempo but it's ugly. I'm going to try your 4 3 2 suggestion tomorrow morning.

    -S-
     
  7. Silevesq

    Silevesq

    Oct 2, 2010
    Quebec
    Hey Steve hope that it worked but just to make sure are you playing on UB or EB?

    Cause lets be honest what that is is simply a "push". First note has to be clear but the two others it doesn't change much if it ain't clear. As long as the Rhythm is perfect and has that driving pulse your good. Even if you'd play a open G instead of and F... Leading to that Eb why not or simply ghost that last note.
    You'll be fine.

    As much as you need to worry about the note you are playing and I think you have to but if you are playing on UB you'll be raking that probably and unless you really want it to be legato and clear there is not that much purpose! Even if you'd want that result won'T be that great, nobody's will go "Yeah!"

    What I would personally do, is play the Eb Bb than I would ghost that last note and use it to switch position. so I can be sure that the low Eb is there on time cause it is my leading point. Everything that happen before that doesn't mean nothing if the Eb ain't correct.

    Hope it help, but anyway who am I to say that a note is not worth it :p
     
  8. I thought that "buc-ket-of shxt" rakes were always using open strings. ;-0 This passage would be easier in G...

    But alas..

    I'd try it this way:

    m.1: Eb-Bb-F use the index finger to barre all three notes on 3 separate strings, rake the right hand to sound them.. "buc-ket of "
    m.2: Eb use the index "shxt", rest as you wrote.
    m.3 4-1, 4-1. Play the C with the 4th finger.
    m. 4: Ab use the 4th finger on the E string. Top Ab use the index on the G string and D string and barre the Ab, Eb. Use the 2nd finger to play the C, and the 4th to play the Ab, and slide to the G, and 4th to play the C. Use the 1st to play the F. Use a right hand "rake" to get the descending Ab arpeggio. The Eb, C notes will likely be ghosted...even the 2nd low Ab. Rhythm attack with a hint of pitch.


    the other option is
    m. 4: Play two low Ab notes on the E string. (replacing the octave), rake the triplet with a muted left hand, (muted G-D-A strings "buc-ket-of"), land on the G with the 4th, C 4th, F 1st.

    The important things in m. 4, IMHO is | pa-da buc-ket-of boomm pa-da |. The Ab in pa- , the G in boomm, and the C-F pa-da are important pitches, the remaining notes have more importance in rhythm. Ditch the pitch if they get in rhythm's way.
     
  9. mtto

    mtto Supporting Member

    May 25, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    The reason I use the fingerings I mentioned is for reliable intonation: for me, and many people, shifting one finger around is less reliably in tune. Easy or hard isn't the issue. If you can jump around in tune and in time, good for you. I would like to never play out of tune again, so my fingerings are pretty conservative. Double bass being what it is, I'm still going to play out of tune occasionally.
    Edit: also, that C to F is nice and legato when played. 4 1
    Re: sliding, I only do it when I want to hear a slide. Slides can be nice and bluesy, but I want to place them on purpose, not out of necessity.
     
  10. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Thank you for the interesting replies. What I find most interesting is the common thread that the rhythm matters more than the pitch - that's food for thought for me.

    longfinger, my problem with using 1 for the first three notes is that I don't think I can get to the next note, on the downbeat of the next measure, in time. Also

    Are you taking the last two notes on the third or fourth string? I'm taking the C with 1 on the third string and the Bb with 4 on the fourth string to set myself up for the Ab arpeggio that follows.

    Your measure 4 solution - you say that the Eb and C will likely be ghosted - I get all 4 notes my way, and your way seems like a huge stretch. My way is a stretch, too, but much less of one. I think you like your way because you can rake the right hand - can't argue with you there. I use both 1 and 2 in my right hand (years of classical guitar) and can manage it my way better, I'm pretty sure, but I'll give your way a try later today.

    mtto, the hopping about with 1 at the end - it doesn't need to be legato, speaking of the importance of rhythm. The chart is swing, and there's enough time for me to get to all three of those notes - I supposed I am shortening the first two, but I don't mind that and I don't think anyone expects that. The last two notes are accented - sorry that I didn't put that into my score fragment - will fix that right now and upload a corrected version. I think legato would be more wrong than right here.

    I'm a bit of an odd bass player, I suppose - I'm still, and probably forever, getting used to the bigger spacing of an upright bass as compared to the guitars I've been playing for 50 years. My pinkie notes aren't things I consider to be terribly reliable for me - I still mess up the reach, tending to undershoot it in half and first position, and tending to overshoot a fair amount of the time. But I've got perfect pitch and I land on the right spot when I shift positions pretty reliably - I even surprise myself but that's just how it is for me.

    The main warmup my teacher now has me doing focuses on my weak point - it's basically a 1-2-4 exercise on a pair of adjacent strings that you start in half position and work up into thumb position - just what the doctor ordered for me, and even though I've only been doing it for a few weeks - just started taking lessons about a month ago - it's already really helping.

    -S-
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Anonymatt

    Anonymatt

    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Talking about rolling the finger from around the first knuckle to the tip on the target string. Intonation sense is still guiding the movement. The Ebs are the main thing.

    JUST KIDDING, I just checked and it turns out that I do something between rolling and three discrete movements during the rake. It is a rolling motion that guides the fingertips.
     

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