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Playing/Fingering positions for reading

Discussion in 'Ask Janek Gwizdala' started by mastersrhythm, Mar 14, 2008.


  1. mastersrhythm

    mastersrhythm

    Aug 28, 2006
    MastersRhythm
    When you were taught to read(school or private instruction), were you taught hand positions for the bass guitar with relation to note positions on the staff with ledger lines,etc.?

    I know it is all about economy of motion with regard to shifting or lack there of.

    Can you please recommend positions for the most economic playing while sight reading for bass? Is there a chart that pictures this somewhere on the internet?

    Thank you in advance!!!!!
     
  2. adri24an

    adri24an

    Nov 2, 2007
    Madrid, Spain
    Endorsing Artist: TC Electronic Amps, Ernie Ball Strings, Monocases
    very very good question!!
     
  3. janekbass

    janekbass

    Jan 28, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Founder and CEO of http://janeksbassstudio.com
    I'm not sure if there's a chart that shows this, maybe so... I know Gary Willis has a whole concept about the fretboard and how you should go about learning it and being most comfortable with it.

    I know that for me it just came from spending so long with my instrument. It's such a natural thing for me to play the bass that I no longer have to think about where my hands are moving. This came from just being conscious of what felt good when I was practicing exercises and working on my technique. I would always try and let things come to me rather than forcing them, and as soon as I would force something it wouldn't work, and I would have to figure out what the easier way of playing that particular thing was. That built up muscle memory as to what feels most comfortable on the instrument, and today after years of shedding it's very natural to play most things.

    Easy,

    Janek
     
  4. mastersrhythm

    mastersrhythm

    Aug 28, 2006
    MastersRhythm


    Thank you so much for the response! I do understand what you are saying. My problem is that I have spent a very large amount of time wood shedding (scales, modes, patterns, etc.) and not reading. I can play just about any technique fast or slow I hear anyone out there doing, but it is just that when reading I find it difficult to decide where and when to shift up or shift back when I see large jumps or patterns that sequentially go way above or below the staff into ledger lines, i.e. out of first position. Is there no helpful rule of thumb about when to shift into another position or is that just something everyone does differently and each person has to struggle to find the most ergonomic way to do it. I’m sure that I will eventually figure it out and decipher this on my own, but if some bass player that has already been through it (which is every bass player that can read well) spent the time to figure out best practices concerning shifting/fingering/hand position in relation to the notes on the staff it would truly benefit all who are learning to read and all who are learning to play the bass for that matter. I believe that through classical studies with the double bass one would learn this. Maybe it is that classical educators have been anal enough to put it into pedagogy. I think the electric bass must have so much further to go with regard to efficient learning.
     

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