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fingering

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by ade, Mar 9, 2001.


  1. ade

    ade

    Aug 3, 2000
    I've been playing jazz on the double bass on and off for many years, self taught. I can't keep up with the fluid technique that has been developed in the upper register above G. The use of the thumb and pointing the fingers downward and across the strings... I point my fingers across the strings and have trouble sustaining notes as I reach across the D string. Aside from going to a qualified instructor can anyone out there teach an old dog some new tricks.
    ade
     
  2. dhosek

    dhosek

    May 25, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    Spending some time with a teacher will help.

    Another thing that I've found that's helped me really develop strength (and intonation) in thumb position is to play two octave scales up each of the strings (use a drone, as discussed in the intonation while descending thread).

    There are thumb position exercises in Simandl 2 along with bunches of classical repertoire, although I've not particularly felt compelled to pick it up myself.

    -dh
     
  3. acousticdave

    acousticdave

    Dec 29, 2000
    starting with thumb position, just do long tones on that area at the g octave, work on 3 and 4 note phases between g and c on g string. you have to work from your shoulder- just like the lower positions. then you can work on the d string and combine. the a etc. you have to build the muscle and the muscle memory so relax and try to get each note to sound GOOD. then you connect it by doing arpeggios and scales up down and all around.
     
  4. ade

    ade

    Aug 3, 2000
    Maybe I didn't make my self clear. I have no trouble using my thumb to go up a fourth, but I have seen players use the thumb and the first two fingers (I think) pointing downwards to play rapidly across the strings. I think the idea is to avoid twisting the hand and crossing the fingers over to get lower intervals by using half and full tone shifts.
    In short I'd like to know how these guys play so rapidly and smoothly in the higher register. (without paying them for lessons... I'm poor).
    ade
     
  5. This may sound strange, but it's in your stance. My teacher used to call it the "Big Hug" position. You
    need to stand (or sit) in a position where you can comfortably reach from the nut to the top of the fingerboard. To play in those higher registers, you need to be able to reach your arm around the bass. it's almost impossible to explain without showing you,but you should watch somebody do it and then imitate it. Get some transcribed solos that go into the stratosphere, and try to work them out. I can recommend either the Eddie Gomez solos, or the scott la Faro solos. For some new concepts, (assuming you already know what your'e doing) get
    the book Modern Concepts for Bass Soloing by Chuck Sher and Marc Johnson, and try to work with the thumb position excersises in there. Keep working on it, it will come.
     
  6. I agree with the above posts wholeheartedly