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Playing double stops on the G and E string

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Joroan, Mar 31, 2005.


  1. I'm curious how people approach this. I've been trying to emulate some Brian Bromberg pieces (All Blues, Come Together - off of Wood) and I notice that he often plays as melody note on the G string and a bass note on the E string. For example, a low C on the E string and an E (octave and a third higher) on the G string.

    My left hand works just fine - I can comfortably fret both strings in tune. What I'm having trouble with is my right hand. What two fingers do you guys use to do this? I've been trying two ways: middle finger on G, thumb on E; and index finger on G, ring finger on E. Both ways, I have trouble getting the E string to resonate nicely.

    I'd appreciate any advice people could give
    - And if anyone has any tips on playing either All Blues or Come Together, I'd like to hear them too :)

    Thanks
     
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I don't know what Brian does fingering-wise, but for me, the trick is to make sure both fingers (in my case, T-1 or T-2) draw across the fingerboard and stop on the next string when playing a double stop the same way they do when playing a single note. For double stops, this means the thumb on the E drawing upward through the E and stopping by hitting the A while the first or second finger draws downward through the G and stops by resting on the D. Sigi Busch showed me this in a lesson a few years back, and 10 seconds later, my double stops sounded about 10 times stronger.

    I'm beginning a transcription of Brian's solo on "Dolphin Dance" from that recording, so I'll check in on those two tunes this weekend. I remember thinking that "Come Together" was great fun. Avishai Cohen does an arco version of the tune with a really dragging beat which is also fun to see live, although I don't dig it so much on the record.
     
  3. No you can't! Nobody can!
    Please refrain from using the word fret when talking about the double bass!
    I'm not being cold hearted....this is just something that rankles double bassists.
    Also, on the double stop question.....don't forget to squeeze in, toward the fingerboard with your finger and thumb (or whatever digit you're using for the lower note on the E string.)
    The more strength you use to pull those notes out of your bass, the more clarity and ring you'll get.
    This, of course, is also true when playing octaves using the thumb on the A string and the middle finger on the G string.
     
  4. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Now wait a minute, Paul, maybe he's got fret gut from a viol shop tied around his fingerboard...

    I play 10ths with my middle finger on the G and my thumb on the E, but when I really want 'em to come out I finger them like a double stop but play them separately (with "normal" jazz pizz technique) but very very quickly so it kind of sounds like one attack.
    BTW, I used to think it was quite interesting that Red Mitchell used 10ths so often in his later years, and then I tuned my bass in fifths (for about two days--ugh) and realized that, in that tuning, the major 10th is the same hand position as a regular old octave when tuned in fourths (first finger on low string, fourth finger on string one string away i.e. E and D, A and G).
     
  5. Thanks to everyone - it really helped and the notes are ringing clearly :) I'm having fun discovering the interesting possibilities.


    I suspected "fret" was the wrong word... but what is the right word to describe pushing the string to the neck?
     
  6. Joroan, the one missing part is the fingerboard.
    I'm known around here for ragging on folks about ths 'F' word....please don't think I was singling you out. This is more of a put-on than anything. but still, there are no frets.
    Hope we helped you with your question.
    Thanks Man!
     
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    The most common word I hear for this is "stop", as in "double stop".
     
  8. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    I think you're right, Chris...when I play, people often tell me to just stop.
     
  9. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    I wouldn't fret about it if I were you...
     
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Careful, or I'll sic PULL on you... :eyebrow: