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More than a minor 3rd in thumb position ?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Garagiste, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. Garagiste


    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    Had a lesson with a guy recently who was advocating maintaining the minor third hand shape in TP. Either chromatic or semi-chromatic, but no more than a minor third between thumb and middle or ring finger. My question is doesn’t that require more shifts? Say you want to play a G major scale starting on the octave on the G string. I would normally play thumb on G, index on A, ring on B, index on C, ring on D, index on E, middle on F# and ring on G. And the same coming back down. How do you do it?
  2. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    My thumb doesn’t work. I’m glad you shared your fingering because that’s what I’d do to avoid using it.

    Wouldn’t you also shift with the thumb to the C and play say hammer on triplets?
  3. Just for the slight chance you haven't seen it yet, Chris Fitzgerald has a nice video about basics of thumb; it fits together with his awesome posture variations, my all time favourite reference.

    I personally prefer Rabbath's open hand fingering, where you can anchor d thumb on D, d' ring on G, using index, middle and ring fingers for notes in between according to scale used. (Same trick on other strings of course.) I played through George Vance book and am sure there's more to it, which frankly I know nothing about. This technique seems harder to instantly get your note in tune, whereas the advantage is that you can anchor your d and d' exactly using natural harmonics, gaining exact limits for a wide range of notes. For me, this technique favours hearing over a muscle memory training, which I believe should be preferred option whenever appliable.
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  4. Thomas Allin

    Thomas Allin

    Dec 30, 2017
    Even Petracchi (father of the chromatic-semichromatic-diatonic-thing) suggests using crabbing (expanding and contracting) in his book "Simplified higher technique". It is hard to see how "always" and "never" can improve your playing.
  5. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    If you are new to the upper register, having a solid shape which you can rely upon is not a bad thing. Maybe your teacher is trying to give you a solid foundation from which to expand further down the line. The semi-chromatic shape is an excellent tool to learn how arm weight and hand shape work in the upper register and in all thumb position shapes.
  6. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    You can try using T123 T123 for that G scale. First thumb on the G and second thumb on D harmonic. This requires only one shift. I think it is more easy than the traditional fingering that you describe. Although it is good to practice both.

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