Fingering question

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Ed S, Jun 11, 2020.

  1. Ed S

    Ed S

    Nov 14, 2019
    I'm wondering how you folk would recommend fingering a specific passage. Piece is in 2/4. The measure consists of 4 16th notes followed by a qtr. First note is high D at the heel. Notes are D-C-B-C-D. So it descends 3 notes and then ascends back up. ba-ba-ba-ba-baaa. The measure repeats twice. A very simple passage. But I'm having a heck of a time figuring out the best fingering.

    My inclination is to play it all on the G string, playing the D with my 4th finger, C with the 1, shifting 1/2 step to play the B w/ my 1, then shifting back. But that seems awkward as I increase my speed.

    An alternative - playing the D with my 1st finger on the G, then shifting to play the C and B on the D, impresses me as no more fluid/efficient.

    I'd appreciate any thoughts.
     
  2. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    Tennessee
    A possibility would be 4-2-1-2-4 (or ...1-1-4) on the G. Essentially the same as your 1st option, but eliminating a shift (or with that 2nd ending, using a stronger fingering for the shift).
     
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  3. Ed S

    Ed S

    Nov 14, 2019
    Yeah - that feels better/quicker immediately. Thanks.

    I'm a bluegrass thumper, working on improving my shifts and work up the neck, as well as working hard on keeping a nice LH shape. Some stretches feel better to me than others - I'm not sure why that stretch from 4 to 2 struck me as a little uncomfortable, and then I felt uncomfortable getting back to end the phrase solidly on the D w/ the 4. I think I've trained myself to almost slavishly rely on shifts.

    I'm not yet at the point where I'm confident enough w/ CORRECT technique, that I am comfortable that my deviations aren't improper shortcuts. And (no surprise) my little finger generally needs the most work.
     
    Lee Moses likes this.
  4. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    Yes, Lee's suggestion is completely appropriate.
     
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  5. garrett2

    garrett2

    May 15, 2017
    If the stretch is too much D harmonic on the D string with 4, then 2 -1 on the D string. One problem is that you will be in tune by virtue of the D harmonic, so it might be a problem for the banjos. ;). [I play banjo, so I can make these jokes]
     
  6. Ed S

    Ed S

    Nov 14, 2019
    Ha! - I picked up clawhammer a year ago as second instrument! :D
     
    garrett2 likes this.
  7. On the G string, try 4-2-1-1-4

    Another option. G string 1, (D string) 4, 2, 4, G string 1

    Preference depends one what notes come before and after this lick.

    Also experiment with hammer ons and pull offs for the 16th notes.
     
  8. This sequence is a great place to employ a pivot ('-'). For example all on G-string:

    4 -2 1 2 -4

    or on upper two strings:

    1(G) -4(D) 2(D) 4(D) -1(G)

    last note could also be played with 3(D) as a harmonic.
     
  9. Dogfightgiggle

    Dogfightgiggle

    Mar 4, 2020
    Context?
     
  10. Neil Pye

    Neil Pye

    Apr 13, 2016
    Horsham, UK
    I would be more inclined to the string crossing route, particularly if it's a fairly fast 2/4 and not slurred, but whatever you can make work will be fine. If your bass has a nice even tone across G and D strings there is no reason not to cross to the D string. If not, you may find it's better musically to play it all on one string
     
    AGCurry likes this.
  11. Ed S

    Ed S

    Nov 14, 2019
    Thanks, guys. So far, it is working well on the G string, but I'll try the version on both the G and D.

    Getting more comfortable figuring out fingerings on new pieces.

    You ever experience the thing where your mind just isn't "in it", such that you look at a piece and it just doesn't look like anything you can play. I felt that way when my wife suggested a couple of new pieces on Sunday. Then today, I looked at the same pieces, and just played them (slowly, and w/ plenty of mistakes, but still...) Fun to experience your mind and fingers responding differently at different times and in different situations.

    I wish I had the dedication of so many of you true musicians. But even at my low level, I can tell I'm becoming less of a hack!

    I need to work more on learning the notes/scales up near the heel. I'm really getting a kick out of playing more orchestral ensemble arrangements, bowing, and working on my shifting. I'm sure I'll drive my BG friends MAD when we ever get back together! :D
     
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  12. BarfanyShart

    BarfanyShart

    Sep 19, 2019
    DC Metro
    I would do 4-2-1-1-4. That feels best for me, but it's kind of one of those simple things that's just always a little awkward on bass.
     
  13. Ed S

    Ed S

    Nov 14, 2019
    BTW - I googled the pieces we are playing that I've been feeling a sense of accomplishment at - well, I won't say MASTERING. Let's just say improving! ;)

    At age 59, you guys are apparently looking at the oldest middle schooler in history! :D (Of course, now that I'm into Book 3, I'm apparently an ACCOMPLISHED middle schooler! Come to think of it, my wife DOES regularly describe me as immature... I prefer "youthful!"