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Left hand advice for transition from BG

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by ToneRanger, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. I've been playing BG since about 1970; I also studied some classical guitar and have always used 'finger to a fret' left hand technique. I've developed a wide span (my left hand can stretch about 1 1/2" wider than my right) and fluid technique using all four fingers.
    Recently I've acquired a nice EUB and have become familiar enough with the long neck to start gigging with it. My pinky copes OK with BG, but playing double bass strings has resulted in painful swelling in the last joint.
    Obviously I need to dump my guitar technique and work on URB fingering. Does anyone have tips on the best way to start this process? Or any other suggestions on how to avoid arthritis in my left hand fingers?

    (So far I've been working through the Rufus Reid book to familiarise myself with DB)
  2. ToR-Tu-Ra


    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    Hey! I think I get to go first! :D

    I'll just say what I think many others in this forum would:


    Rufus' is a good book too. You may also find along the way that your right hand pizzicato technique will most likely need adjustments too.

    Good luck and welcome to the dark side!
  3. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    *BUZZ* wrong answer! The first word you should think of is TEACHER.... TEACHER TEACHER TEACHER!!!! Or better yet, GET A TEACHER!
  4. Kam


    Feb 12, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
  5. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    +2. Get a teacher.

    I made the switch too. Its easy to kill yourself without help. Carpal Tunnell and other performance related injuries are quick to show up when you make the mistake of applying BG technique to the DB.

    It's really a whole nuther thing to play the DB and you're BG craft is more of a hurdle to get past then an assist.

    Look at is as switching to a different instrument, like going from the trumpet to the piano and you'll fare better.

    There are many threads about this. Do some searching, read the discussions and come back with any specific questions left unanswered.

    And find a teacher. There are many who ask this question and get annoyed with the answer but it's the right one.
  6. ToR-Tu-Ra


    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    Darn! My first time and I screw up :crying:

    Well, that's the way you learn I suppose...

    Yup, get a teacher.

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