# How Would You Play...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ZenG, Jan 13, 2015.

1. ### ZenG

This:-

at the fifth fret on the E string, using the E and A strings....

A-----E---Fsharp----E

one measure would be A-E-Fsharp-E, A-E-Fsharp-E, A-E-Fsharp-E, A-E-Fsharp-E. Downbeat on every A.

What fingers would you use......?

Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
2. ### angryclown5

May 26, 2006
Nederland, Colorado
I'd use the D string for the F#. This is a situation where Malcolm Amos' box diagram would be the approach I'd use. What, are you on a two string bass or something? Why no D?

Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
3. ### ZenG

Maybe I confused the issue..

4-string bass...
The A would be fifth fret Estring......but the E and Fsharp would be on the A string.........7th and 9th frets.

For lack of a better description:- to produce a

'dum-da-dada, dum-da-dada,dum-da-dada, dum-da-dada rhythm.

It's a pretty simple rhythm.....but the finger-shift is kind of oddball...

4. ### angryclown5

May 26, 2006
Nederland, Colorado
Still makes no sense these fingering limitations. Why not play the A on the open A string then E and F# also on the A string? What is the point here?

Edit: you can do what you describe, but it requires a 5 fret stretch. Not easy.

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5. ### ZenG

Good point..........I just like that 5th fret A-tone on the E string.....

Your advice works if it's played in A for sure.......

6. ### INTP

Nov 28, 2003
Dallas, TX
root, P5, maj6th. I would play A as 5th fret on E string, E as 7th fret on A string, and F# as 4th fret on D string.

Happy trails.

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7. ### smeetGold Supporting Member

Nov 27, 2006
Woodland Hills, CA
I would do the 5 fret stretch.
1-2-4-2

If my hand got tired I would use the same fingering but I would shift from A to E instead of stretching.

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8. ### markjsmithbass

Using the notes on the strings you specified I'd use the fingering 1 2 4. 1st for the A, 2nd for E, 4th for F#. But as other people have mentioned, there are other ways of playing this. You don't need to fall into one strict way of playing anything unless a certain sound is required (different tone from different areas of the bass and techniques). You could just as easily play the F# on the D string and have a very simple line or even move the E and F# to the D string. There are loads of variations. Depends what feels right for you.

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9. ### Dweezilmeister

Jun 19, 2012
Montreal, Canada
Evolution is too slow, bass players should have wider hands and a 6th finger.

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10. ### Lobster11Supporting MemberSupporting Member

Apr 22, 2006
Williamsburg, VA
All of these are reasonable fingerings, and there are of course others, too. Now it comes down to which sounds best in light of such factors as the other instrumentation (e.g., do you want to stay in the lowest available octave), the feel of the song (e.g., do you want to emphasize the A note by using the open string), whether you want to add any articulations (e.g., slide in or out of any of the notes), and what position you're coming from or moving to next.

11. ### mambo4

Jun 9, 2006
Dallas
If I had to confine myself to the Bottom two strings, using that rhythm
I'd do 1 1 4 1, moving my left hand up from 5th to 7th fret
I'm lazy that way

12. ### Lobster11Supporting MemberSupporting Member

Apr 22, 2006
Williamsburg, VA
As I said above, I think my choice of fingering would depend in part on other aspects of the musical context. Can you tell us more about that context? Is this part of a tune that you could point us to (say, a youtube video)?

13. ### Jon MoodyCommercial User

Sep 9, 2007
Kalamazoo, MI
Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
My personal preference would be to automatically do fingering #4. Nailing the rhythm the OP described is easy, and can easily be transcribed to a different key if needed (which all other fingerings - except #3 - cannot easily do) by shifting your entire hand position up or down the fretboard.

14. ### ZenG

Lobster11:-....

This particular little riff/rhythm is a kind of a 'staple' bass line in some older common folksy/country songs.

You can hear a derivative of it on a Beachboy track......"Big Sur" I think the song is ( 'Have you ever been down Salinas way?' etc etc etc etc.)

It sounds similar in musical context.......but I'm not totally trying to emulate this track......there are other folk/pop/country tunes that use it.

If I use open strings as part of it....that's pretty comfortable and timing is good......except for where the typical chord progression is 1--4-5. Can't find open strings that do all three chords changes.
Other keys I can't use open strings at all in any part of the progression.

15. ### INTP

Nov 28, 2003
Dallas, TX
good illustration.

As a thought experiment, swing the notes and see if it changes which you prefer. Some of these fingerings sound better with different feels. Swung vs. straight. Legato vs. staccato.

16. ### INTP

Nov 28, 2003
Dallas, TX

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17. ### ZenG

That's 'bom-ba-deeda' not 'dum-da-dada'.........!!....................

Just kidding.....

Seriously...yes ...thats exactly it.......nice find.

Cheers

18. ### mdogsSupporting Member

I would play it as #3, I don't play open strings except for the E, they just sound too different to me. Yes, this makes some parts more difficult to play, but I really have never come across a part that could not be played without open strings...with a little practice (no need to challenge me, I am sure there are parts out there that I could only play if I used open strings).

19. ### AMp'D.2play

Feb 12, 2010
NJ
From 1st glance at the notes you want to play, I'd go with what Whousedtoplay wrote in post #2, and his post #11 - 2nd bar. I'd grab the A on the E string with my pinky and also use the E string for the open E and the F#. If you insisted on wanting to use the A string for the E & F#, I'd play the A with my index finger @ the 5th fret of the E string, and work my way up for the E & F# on the A string with fingers 2 & 4.

Back to my 1st sentence, your line *almost* reminds me of the bass breakdown in All Right Now. On tour with Paul Rodgers, Pino played it with his pinky on the E-5th fret for the A, open E, and then down the E string for the low F#.

Around the 3:12 mark -->

20. ### Lobster11Supporting MemberSupporting Member

Apr 22, 2006
Williamsburg, VA
I tend to follow the advice of Phil Lesh, who said that you should only play an open string if you mean it. I can imagine grooves in which the open A would be just the right thing, but many other contexts -- say, a country tune like "Happy Trails" -- where it isn't. I stand by my previous comment that context is crucial in determining which way the riff should be played.

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