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Recommended: 1-2-4 or 1-2-3-4 fingering system?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by SilentSteps, Aug 8, 2005.


  1. SilentSteps

    SilentSteps

    Aug 8, 2005
    The book I got states I should use the 1-2-4 fingering, but my bass teacher tells me to use all four fingers. I'm talking about my left hand, btw. ;) So what do you guys recommend? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. all 4 (or more if you have more fingers)
     
  3. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    IMO, do what's comfortable. You'll find your fingerings change as you become more experienced with the instrument, and if you take up other instruments additionally.

    I find I tended to use all four fingers more when I started, but when I started upright, I tended to use 1-2-4 more all over the neck, especially in the lower positions -- and with by no means a lack of dexterity. In fact, I daresay I have more facility than when I started on the instrument ;).
     
  4. bassist4christ

    bassist4christ Banned

    May 26, 2005
    I play with 1-2-3 but I've always been told to use all four, but I can't do it.
     
  5. 1-2-4 is traditionally used with the upright bass, I believe, where fretting is harder and stretches are a bit longer. But on an electric bass with lower tension strings and a 34" scale, I think it's definitely more viable to use all 4 to be able to play scales (especially chromatic jumps) more comfortably - 1 finger per fret is the way for me.
     
  6. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    I use both. I am a double bassist and an electric bassist. I feel comfortable using 1-2-4 in the lower register and 1-2-3-4 in the upper register on the electric.

    Joe
     
  7. I agree with what the guy said above my post. Excpet I usually use 1-2-3 in the lower registers and 1-2-3-4 in the upper. It also depends on where you have your bass hung on you. Some jazz bassist play really high up(on the chest) so its easier to use all 4 fingers all over the neck, Some people say its bad to have your bass hung low. I find this somewhat true, Because you have to work harder to fret. I play with the top of my bass right at my waste and I have no problem playing chord and using all 4 fingers, But again, As you progress you will find whats best for you.
     
  8. Why to let go your third finger? Yes it's harder to use it first but it's like to drive your car with only one rearview mirror instead of using three (I mean two at the sides and one inside the car, in the middle) you can still drive your car but it's better to use all. And believe me there are songs that is almost impossible to play with 1-2-4 (Dream Theater's songs come to mind first, for example Eurotomania).

    I use all four and sometimes if the song fits I use my pinky instead of ring when playing perfect fifths, but it's just to relax..

    And OK this is not "the Way", it's "my way" of playing things.
     
  9. rx jr.

    rx jr.

    May 10, 2004
    Brooklyn
    sorry about my n00bness but what are you guys talking aboot?
     
  10. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Sweden
    +1

    You cant let any finger out...

    how the hell do you play a minor scale without your ring?

    Also, not using pinky finger sound just as bad, i have a friend who play guitar this way and it looks SOO WEIRD when he's trying to stretch and jump and keep his pinky behind the neck...
     
  11. subject: fretting hand fingers
    question: which ones should I use when fretting?
    additional info: 1.index finger, 2. middle finger, 3.ring finger, 4.pinky :hyper:
     
  12. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Sweden
    Well, the proper technique is to use all 4fingers.

    What kind of stupid book tells you to only use these 3fingers?
     
  13. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    It's the Simandl technique, which is used for upright bass. It can be useful for fretless.
     
  14. seanlava

    seanlava

    Apr 14, 2005
    it's also recommended in the Hal Leonard Bass Method. My beginning students don't have the left hand reach to use 1-2-3-4 fingering at the start, so they use 1-2-4 fingering to avoid hurting the muscles in their hand, until the hand develops the proper stretch. To accomplish this, I have my students play a chromatic warmup (1-2-3-4 on each string ascending, then 4-3-2-1 descending) as high up the fingerboard as they need for the reach to feel natural. When the exercise becomes habit, say, after a week or so, they move the starting note down one half step. Continuing this progression down the fingerboard over a long period of time gradually increases the reach of the left hand fingers naturally, without the risk of damage to the muscles that stretching exercises present.
     
  15. You can play a minor scale without the ring, Suckbird - Start on the Pinky

    bu anyways, I use 1234, even on my fretless 35inch which makes the 1-4 a huge stretch. When playing octaves sometimes its easier for me to use the pinky instead of the ring.

    Once i'm indexing the f3rd fret i'm good to go with 1234
     
  16. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Suckbird,

    There are 2 schools for fingering. 1-2-4, and 1-2-3-4.

    The 1-2-4 is a more condensed hand position commonly used on double bass; however, it translates very well to the electric bass (in the lower register). When you're laying down a groove for a couple of hours, the 1-2-4 is going to serve you well. If you're playing some fast virtuosic run in the lower register, then perhaps a 1-2-3-4 system would be more called for; however, you could pivot to keep the 1-2-4 going.

    To clear up any confusion here, 1-2-4 does not exclude the 3rd finger. In 1-2-4 the 3rd and 4th fingers go down as a unit.

    Joe
     
  17. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Yep, using the 3rd finger on a doghouse just makes things harder.
     
  18. pauljacksonfan

    pauljacksonfan

    Jun 14, 2005
    The 1-2-4 technique is mos def for upright. The 1-2-3 style is one I've only seen guitar players use, but they usually use the pinky to add notes that are out of reach otherwise.
    Myself, I use all four; always on electric, during fast passages on upright.
     
  19. hello!

    hello!

    Aug 7, 2005
    w would say get used to using all your four finger it defintely help so 1-2-3-4 would be the best! :hyper:
     
  20. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Yep...conversely, there are schools of thought on DB that use the 1-2-3-4 fingering system on several ranges of the bass (Rabbath, Dr. Morton, some random swedish school.) I think only one or two actually reccomend it on the WHOLE neck, whereas most people only start using it somewhere around the range of the D on the G string, so up by the heel of the neck (depending on what kind of neck you have, mine is an Eb.)