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"New Dutch Bass Method"

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by bdengler, Jul 22, 2005.


  1. bdengler

    bdengler

    Jan 23, 2000
    New Albany, Ohio
    Did you see the new web site that discuss the "New Dutch Bass Method" for playing? Here's the link: http://www.silviodallatorre.com/index.php?language=en. The site promotes the concept of a "four-finger" technique. The method seems to be five-fold, and I quote from Silvio Dalla Torre's site:

    "1. each finger takes up the optimal position at each time

    2. the fingers that are not stopping should always be as relaxed as possible

    3. the intonation is controlled by the idea of the note in the mind, and the "orders" sent to the fingers are based on this, and not by a fixed position span

    4. a prerequisite for this is the greatest possible flexibility of the fingers including the thumb, and of all the joints involved ("fluent mobility")

    5. the thumb plays a special role because it serves as a pivot around which wide reaches of the fingers are possible without changing position ("pivoting")."

    So, is the "New Dutch School" promoting four finger technique in which the players uses all four fingers, and "pivots" the finger into the next position? Does the thumb move at all? Have any of you tried the method?

    Brian
     
  2. Steve Bassman

    Steve Bassman Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I've seen that web site and also read the article on Silvio Dalla Torre in the new issue of Double Bassist. I'm not quite sure I grasp the fingering method he's talking about, but it sounds a lot like Rabbath with the use of all four fingers and pivoting. Of course, I'm a diehard Simandl player, so I might be missing something.

    I think the idea of a heavier bow is the exact opposite of what Rabbath advocates, however.

    - Steve

    http://kaybass.home.att.net
     
  3. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    I tried this before rehearsal this morning (around 1:20pm or so,) based on the 5 directions you quoted.

    S'not too shabby! Keeping in mind this is also the first time I've ever given 4 finger method on DB an honest shot, it was actually pretty decently comfortable in the higher positions. I'm not a fan of pivoting so much with the left hand in the lower positions, but it does seem to be an intrinsic part of using 4 fingers there. Wouldn't mind developing a fingering system that would combine the two, though. T'would certainly be pretty useful to bang out 4 fingers during a solo or particuarly swanky walking lines -- I used it a bit at practice and it definitely freed me up a bit in the upper registers, very useful "sneaking" up during walking choruses.
     
  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    #3 is what it's all about, no matter the approach. This has a lot to do with with my 'Chaotic Fingering' stuff that I'm working on...
     
  5. bdengler

    bdengler

    Jan 23, 2000
    New Albany, Ohio
    Actually, there is a method that combines both "closed hand" (the Simandl 1-2-4 method) with the "open hand" 1-2-3-4 method. I think it's called the "Simandl Plus" method promoted by Mark Morton of the American School of Double Bass and Thomas Gale, who has method books on the subject. In the lower registers you play pretty much 1-2-4 but once you start moving up the neck, you use all 4 fingers and thumb positions more aggressively.

    Brian :hyper:
     
  6. Where's Savino when you need him. He explaned alternative fingeriings so neatly. Having looked at all these 'new' methods and gone back to the bass I reach the following conclussions:

    1) nothing is new
    2) 124 works best for me (well it would - I practise that way but my aching hands tell me 124 will last me the distance and 1234 will hurt more and more until...)
    3) keeping the hand relaxed rather than hovering over each individual note in a position makes sense to me
    4) after having a go at 'new' methods what comes out that works for me personally is 124 but not hovering each over eah note in a position and using 124 indiviually up or down a string rather than fingering say 114 or 441
    5) I always pivot on the thumb anyway if doing 114 or 441 or even wider so no change there
    6) I am attached to trad Simandl and notions of doing things properly (lets not debate what propoerly is please - I'm sure you get the idea) and trad Simandl has the advantge that when either my ear or the cacophony around me in the band requires a note to be hit out of sheer technique by habit of knowing exactly where it is, Simandl will work and will find all the related notes without stress, panic, looking at the fingerboard or yelling at the drummer to STFU.

    I do a bit of BG and have now moved into the Carol Kaye camp from being exclusively 1234. This experience also tells me 1234 won't do for me.

    Each to his own, YMMV and etc and I hope to keep an open mind and carry on trying things out. However, at the moment I don't think my hands could successfully cope with the re-built technique and produce improvement and some of the playing stiuations wouldn't help either. If I would I could but something tells me this isn't for everyone. Any comments anyone?
     
  7. Savino

    Savino

    Jun 2, 2004
    nyc
    Aside from the fingerings. . . . What I'm most interested in, about this New Dutch Thang is the section on "practicing in flow" They go to great lengths to explain the benefits of it but don't mention any exercises or even how it is accomplished.
    i believe that I employ a similar principle to my practise and am curious if it is close to this idea. Anyone have any more info on this.
     
  8. neilG

    neilG

    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA

    It is, in my opinion, metaphysical, candy-a**, new-age bull. Shave your head, lock the door and practice. In a happy-happy joy-joy sort of way, of course.
     
  9. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    It's a flowery way to describe 'The Zone'. The AT stuff (Quickening of the Mind, specifically) has proven to be a very effective tool for me in achieving this with some consistency.
     
  10. Steve Bassman

    Steve Bassman Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Definitely Ira Gershwin's best couplet :)

    - Steve

    http://kaybass.home.att.net
     
  11. bdengler

    bdengler

    Jan 23, 2000
    New Albany, Ohio
    I disagree; Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's concept of "flow" is not some form of "metaphysical new-age stuff" but his way of describing a psychological state in which a person is so engrossed, concentrated and focused on a task that the person is in a state of "flow." The key to being in flow is that the task offers enough challenge to sustain interest and concentration but is not so difficult that it results in frustration. You've probably experienced it while practicing it or even in performing. It's not a "high" or something exotic, just a state of concentration in one's activity.

    Regards, Brian
     
  12. neilG

    neilG

    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    Being in the groove, by any other name.......If the good professor needs to rename it and claim it as his own, I don't care. I daresay you have explained it as clearly as anyone could hope to :) . Peace,
    Neil
     
  13. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Happily for me, I spend quite a bit of time in that zone every night. I attribute a lot of it to the high quality of musicians that I get to work with.

    The thing that often amazes me is how quickly a four hour gig can pass in that situation. It's like you open your eyes at the end and think "how did we get here?"
     
  14. mister_k

    mister_k

    Jul 27, 2004
    Los Angeles
    i went through a seven hour recording session that was just like that on Sunday. We recorded some somgs for a compiation or tribute or something, and the leader just called the arrangements and the engineer yelled rolling, and the next thing you know it was time to go home.

    the only thing better than being in the zone, is being in a band in the zone.

    .02
     
  15. bdengler

    bdengler

    Jan 23, 2000
    New Albany, Ohio
    I tried. :) You're right, it's being "in the groove." You're version sounds a lot better than "being in the flow."

    Brian
     
  16. neilG

    neilG

    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    Brian,
    You know, honestly, I wasn't trying to be deliberately argumentative. It's just that I get so frustrated with the state of bass pedagogy and when some professor comes up with something new that isn't new, renames and repackages it, it makes me cringe. Everyone is looking for something innovative and magic, but the tools for success have been there for a long time. I didn't mean to come off sounding like too much of an a** :)
     
  17. When I read this Dutch guy talking about "flow," it made me think about flow in yoga, where poses are done in a continuous sequence to increase their effectiveness (Yes, I live in LA. Why do you ask?).
    Like most of y'all, I suspect, when I practice, I organize things by musical criteria, like (micro-level) playing a scale with a series of bowings, in various intervals, in 1, 2, and 3 octaves, etc, or (macro-level) having a plan like scales, etudes, walking lines, improvising on chord changes, free improvisation, transcribing, etc.
    It could make sense, at least some of the time, to follow a sequence of practice activities based instead on the physical demands of playing, focusing on the relevant body parts in a logical order.
    If this isn't what the Dutch are doing, then someone should do it...
     
  18. 4x4Given

    4x4Given

    Jul 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I *had* to check out this thread, because my (real) name is Dutch. :D