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Fingering

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by CluelessSi, Aug 13, 2002.


  1. CluelessSi

    CluelessSi

    Aug 13, 2002
    I am a beginner bass player, I played the violin before. My teacher is an upright player so he suggested the finger of 1-23-4 with 3 and 4 down at same time and 1 and 2 seperatly... so 1....2....34

    I am wondering if that is a good method or should i try to do 1-2-3-4, my 4th finger is weak though my 3rd finger is fine in playing it's own fret. just wondienr what is better in long run, maybe if I were to play upright, but prolly not. And is it fsater one way or the other?
     
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I use 1-2-3-4 most of the time, but the best of both worlds is to use upright fingering in the lower positions and 1-2-3-4 higher up the neck.
     
  3. CluelessSi

    CluelessSi

    Aug 13, 2002
    what do u mean by lower and higher?
    (higher meaning near the other hand? cause teacher told me that he does 1-23-4 on the neck near the top, near the tuning knobs and 1-2-3-4 on bottom near the right hand) i am thinking of doing that but not sure the usage of the fourth finger strecth is used often
     
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I meant closer to the headstock (lower frets/register - DB fingering) and closer to the body (higher frets/register - 1-2-3-4 fingering).
     
  5. My teacher does that too. But thats becasue he is really a DB player. I personally think you should try and get the pinky strong enough to avoid that on BG. I would avoid avoiding things becasue they are hard in the beginning. If you learn how to play with all 4 fingers and then make an informed personal decision to play like a DB player then you should do it. But I would stay away from making that type of decision becasue your pinky is weak.

    Later -
    K.
     
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Yeah, I also prefer 1-2-3-4 fingering all over the neck - I have really short fingers, so I also have to stretch my fingers often too.
     
  7. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I normally use 1-2-4 at lower positions (towards the nut) and 1-2-3-4 (towards the bridge). I can play 1-2-3-4 lower down - I can even manage a nice stretch from first to sixth frets using 1 & 4 - but my aim is to keep my fretting hand relaxed. Rather than running my fingers about like a demented spider I just do a little more pivoting and shifting.

    This is similar to double bass technique but I'm not using the third and fourth fingers together; the third finger gets a break when I'm at that end of the neck (although I use enough different positions that there's no danger of it becoming weak).

    As an experiment, put your fingers in one finger per fret position beginning at somewhere round the ninth or tenth fret. Now, without expanding your reach, slide the hand down to start on the first fret. Where's the fourth finger? Probably somewhere over the third fret, and still nice and relaxed.

    It has been a subject of much debate in the bass playing community, but you'll find a lot of top players doing it this way (I think the original advocate was Carol Kaye); you'll also find a lot of players who break whichever rule they espouse - you'd certainly see me doing 1234 on the low notes and 124 higher up very often!

    Keep that fretting hand relaxed and grooving.:cool:

    Wulf
     
  8. can you please explain what the hell you guys are talking about with 1 23 4 and stuff like that ???
     
  9. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    IMO this is mainlya DB thing. AFAIK DBists do this for two main reasons: (1) it's just physically harder to press the strings down and get a good note on a DB, and (2) most people have less stretch between 2 and 3 than between 1 and 2 or 3 and 4 (try it if you don't believe me), so it's harder to use 3 independently on such a long scale instrument.

    Neither of these reasons constitutes a strong argument that BGists ought to automatically use this approach IMO. It may help if you have small hands, but my own bias is to use 1-2-3-4 wherever possible, because I think most BGists have or can develop strong enough 3s and 4s not to need to reinforce either one when playing a BG. At least in most cases. And all else being equal, being able to use *all* of your LH fingers independently when you want to would seem to be inherently better than having to "slave" two together, no?
     
  10. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Fingers! This is the one finger per fret vs relaxed hand position argument. You could also view it as stretch to play regular patterns up and down the neck vs use whatever finger is most convenient - as someone who does a lot of chording and such like as well as single note lines, one finger per fret just doesn't mean very much to me anymore.

    Wulf
     
  11. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I think it's simpler than that. The basic question is simply whether you use all 4 of your LH fingers, or only 3. To use all 4 would seem to give more options on the face of it, so if one uses only 3, the question is then why?

    Honestly, and no offense, those two arguments above don't make sense to me, because they're not true oppositions. In both instances I'd answer "yes" to both. For instance, for me my hand position is actually more relaxed when I use all 4 fingers. And yes, I stretch to play regular patterns and I use whatever fingering is most convenient; often the two are the same.
     
  12. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    I use whatever method I think will work best at any given time. But I'm always looking to keep the hand at rest in a gentle curve, fingers together (like my teacher showed me) whenever possible. Why? No hand cramps.
     
  13. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    My take on the original question is that I tend to use 1-2-4 around the lower frets (say 1-7) and 1-2-3-4 above that so that I minimise the amount of stretching I have to do.

    I use all ten fingers for playing but I don't subscribe to the idea that each finger should be assigned a particular fret. I have heard some people 'preach' a very strict doctrine of 'one finger per fret' - and I've also heard some very experience players warn of the dangers of this stretching when applied in lower positions. Since I can't see that 'one finger per fret' is a rule that gains me anything, I ignore it quite happily :cool:

    Wulf