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How will you fret this?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by kiwlm, Mar 14, 2004.


  1. There is this song (chinese song) with a very basic bass line, slow rock song, the bass notes played goes like
    Code:
    G G G G G G G G
    D D D D D D D D
    E E E E E E E E
    B B B B B B B B
    C C C C C C C C
    A A A A A A A A
    D D D D D D D D
    D D D D D D D D
    So I transcribed it playing in the following positions:
    Code:
    -------------
    -2-----------
    -2-3---5-----
    ---3---5-----
    But after I have watched the band performed live, the bassist (who sang the song also) played in the following positions:
    Code:
    -----------------
    -----------------
    -------5---7-----
    ---3---5---7-8---
    I am a beginner, so I hope that you guys can point out something that I have missed here! Issit for sympathetic noise? Or issit just for showmanship (as my guitarist friend told me)?

    Thanks in advance! :hyper:
     
  2. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    dont understand that first picture but realize the B and E on the seventh frets of the E & A strings are the same pitch as the B an E on the second frets of the A & D strings.

    maybe that helped... probably knew that already though
     
  3. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Thinnner strings tend to give a thinner sound. I would tend to use the lower strings if I wanted a fatter, thicker sound. That might be why this other player used those neck positions?

    Or, as might also be the case, perhaps he doesnt knwo his note positions on anything but the E and A string (as some don't!)
     
  4. hmm, after I got my accustomed to the bass sound, realized that the positions that the original bassist played in is most probably for the sound.

    Another question, if you are to play that simple boring bass line, will you always use your index finger? or will you still use other fingers depending on fret positions? I find it a bit tiring to hold the not for so long (1 bar) using my pinky.
     
  5. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I don't know the song - I presume that each bar has eight quavers (eighth notes) and that you change note at the start of each bar.

    Without knowing the sound of the song (where you play a note on the neck is an important choice in terms of the sound you get) I think the latter fingering looks easier. I'd play:

    G - First finger at third fret on E string
    D - Fourth finger at fifth fret on A string
    E - Slide fourth finger up to seventh fret on A string
    B - Third finger at seventh fret on E string
    C - Fourth finger at eighth fret on E string (keep third finger pressed down as well
    A - Slide third finger down to fifth fret on E string
    D - Fourth finger at fifth fret on A string, which leaves me set up to loop back to the top of the sequence.

    There are a few slides in there although these should be audible as you play the line. It allows your hand to stay relaxed throughout the whole line (the biggest span is third to fifth fret on two adjacent strings using first and fourth fingers) and the forth finger can be supporting by also using other fingers to press the string down behind it. Work through it step by step and see if that approach works for you.

    Wulf
     
  6. Wow, thanks wolf, can tell that you have put in a lot of effort to answer my question, let me clarify, here's how you fret it

    Code:
    -----------------------------------
    -----------------------------------
    -------5---7---------------5---5---
    ---3-----------7---8---5-----------
    
       i   p   p   r   p   r   p   p
    
    i=index,m=middle,r=ring,p=pinky
    Here's how I fret this previously

    Code:
    -----------------------------------
    -----------------------------------
    -------5---7---------------5---5---
    ---3-----------7---8---5-----------
    
       i   r   r   r   p   i   i   i
    
    i=index,m=middle,r=ring,p=pinky
    Just realized that your way is smoother, especially when required to dig the same fret on adjacent strings... :hyper:
     
  7. ole Jason

    ole Jason Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Louisville, KY
    I do...

    i - m - p - r - p - i - m - m
     
  8. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    You've got my suggested fingering spot on. Here it is with the slides noted as well, using underscores - one shift up and then back down again:
    Code:
    -----------------------------------
    -----------------------------------
    -------5---7---------------5---5---
    ---3-----------7---8---5-----------
    
       i   p___p   r   p___r   p   p
    Rather than following 'one finger per fret' it is adapted for comfort, so adjacent strings are played with adjacent fingers rather than trying to hold both strings down with one finger or jumping from one to the other.

    Wulf
     
  9. yeah, at first I thought of fretting everything with my index and middle fingers, coz of the long duration that the notes have to be held. Its a bit different than the standard fast-lick-one-finger-per-fret style...

    Thanks for the help! I will try to post some shots of how the bassist fret it, I would say its not very economical!
     
  10. hi, just managed to do a screen shot on one of the concert vcds that I have, I have posted 5 screenshots, for the following notes:

    1. G on E string
    2. D on A string
    3. E on A string
    4. B on E string
    5. C on E string

    The bassist will then slide down the the same position in "2".

    I have also found the midi file (mp3 will be too big!), of the song, so you guys get a good feel on the tempo of the song.

    The bassist seemed to use one left hand position to fret all the notes, as from what I see, he is mainly using his ring/pinky fingers. Well, this bassist have like 20 years of experience, and is from one of the Legendary band from HK, so I would assume that he used such positions for some reasons.

    From a wild guest, the left hand shape used utilize the least energy from the hand, and easy to navigate for singing and not looking at the fretboard. Left index and middle fingers used for muting lower strings?
     
  11. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Probably because it's a simple song played at a medium pace and so isn't too demanding of careful positioning. If you had a video of me singing and playing you'd probably see most of my careful positioning going to pot as I keep each note under control and put most of the concentration on the singing. :D

    I looked at the midi file, but it uses a different bassline - a higher G and then A C D rather than C A D at the end. I was playing it:
    Code:
    ---------------------------------
    --5------------------------------
    ------5---7---2-------3---5 --5--
    ------------------5--------------
    
    __i   i   p___i   p   i   p   p__
    That's not the only possibility but it keeps it down to a couple of position shifts and lets me do everything with either index or pinky.

    Wulf
     
  12. Wow, you actually listened! Hehe...
    Funny stuffs abuot that song, when its released in album in 1991, the progression was G D E B A C D, but then in their concerts in 93, 96, and 2003, the progression was G D E B C A D, which I felt suits the song more. This is the only song which I think that they might have realized that they have used the wrong chords! :D

    The High root G will be too high pitch in my opinion...
    :cool:
     
  13. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    The lesson is that any song is open to interpretation, even by the original artist! When you're asking for help with a song, it can be a good idea to either mention the specific recording you're working with or, as you've done, provide some source material to work from.

    The fact that musicians often change the way they approach things is also a good excuse to exercise a lot of creativity in your own approach. If it sounds good to you, then go for it :D

    Wulf