Major scale

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Sumguy7787, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. Sumguy7787


    Jan 12, 2006
    I recently just got into the habitat of not using my ring finger on my left hand when I walk bass lines. One of the biggest problems I've been having is walking major chords. That major 7th just kills me and it's uncomfortable to use my pinky twice. Any suggestions on a comfortable position to walk major chords without a ring finger. Is it bad to use your ring finger when you play?
  2. One finger per fret is generally a good idea... I'm not sure why or how using your ring finger would be bad? :confused:
  3. Justin K-ski

    Justin K-ski

    May 13, 2005
    Wrong fourm. :p
  4. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I'm sure that one of the qualified bass instructors on the board will respond, but I feel comfortable stating that there are specific fingerings to be learned for everything, certainly including Major Scales and Arpeggios. You're doing yourself no favors by trying to live without learning them.

    I checked and rechecked to make sure we were on the double bass forum. I can't really conceive of using the pinky twice, so I'm having trouble picturing your pain. There is certainly an easier way. If this is a bass guitar question, then disregard. Like a lot of people, I learned bass guitar largely without troubling myself with fingerings, but it's something that I realized was not realistic on the doublebass.

    There are books with fingerings, but a teacher will save you months or years of struggling and possibly injury. Even a semi-qualified double bass teacher should be able to show you these basic fingerings. It will open your world way up.
  5. ToR-Tu-Ra


    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    Hmmm... Playing with the pinky twice? How are you fingering that Maj7 chord?
  6. Sumguy7787


    Jan 12, 2006
    I'll play the maj7th of the chord with my pinky, and move up to the root with my pinky. Thats my worst positioning possible. Usually I will play the maj7th with my index finger and position myself in the locrian mode. I would love a teacher, but I don't have the money and my parents won't pay. Finding the time too would be a hassle.
  7. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Then go to the library in your town and see if there are books on doublebass method and pay specific attention to fingerings. It's really not an instrument you can make it very far on with intuition.

    So, without really understanding what's going on, make a shift before you play that major 7th so that you're not playing it with your pinky. Depending on where you are going, you'll want to play it with either your first or second finger.

    Simandl is kind of the old standard for bass method, if your library has or can get that from another branch it might help, but I find it a little hard to work through on your own. Check out whatever bass method books you can get your hands on.
  8. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    I'm gonna assume we're talking upright bass here ... If not, please disregard I guess.

    You might want to consider getting Ray Brown's Bass Method book. I think this book is pretty widely accepted as a good entry level text, for jazzers anyway. I even remember an article where Sting talked about taking his lumps and putting in lots of time with this book, FWIW.

    Regardless (or irregardless ???), I can say with much conviction that it certainly has helped me a lot.

    Pages 11-13 contain all the major scales, including fingerings, Ray's way. Unless I'm mistaken, the ring finger is not used at all until after you get into thumb position, at least not in this book.
  9. Sumguy7787


    Jan 12, 2006
    Bolo, thanks a million. I do have that book lying around somewhere and definitly will look into it. Thanks!!