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Salsa fingering and technique

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by aizen, Dec 22, 2017.


  1. aizen

    aizen

    Dec 22, 2017
    Hello all! I'm new to the world of bass. I just got my first EUB for the specific purpose of learning to play salsa. I started lessons with a local double bass instructor a couple of weeks ago, and though he's familiar with salsa; it's not his specialty. Anyway, I've seen several videos of people playing salsa on an EUB, and they don't seem to use the same playing technique we've been working on. It seems a lot of people don't use the 'claw' hand shape with the left hand and they don't seem to use the same plucking method with the straightened index finger (as I see with jazz players) either. I'm wondering if this is due to these players maybe carrying over their fingerings from playing bass guitar first or if there's a specific technique used for playing salsa.

    I can't seem to find any solid info on this, so I've come here in hopes that someone can explain it to me.

    Here's an example of a guy playing with the same bass I have:
     
  2. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    Listen to your teacher, and strive for something more like this:



    The technique displayed in the video you posted are wrist and finger injuries waiting to happen.
     
    Joshua, bass12 and lurk like this.
  3. aizen

    aizen

    Dec 22, 2017

    Thank you, that video is reassuring for the left hand technique. His right hand technique is different from what I'm being taught though.

    I'm being taught to keep the thumb parallel to the floor and press the side of the thumb (not the pad) against the fingerboard. Also keep the space between the thumb and forefinger against the strings to help with muting.

    I see other players (including the guy in your video) pressing the pad of their thumb against the fingerboard and moving their fingers away from the strings at times. Is there technique behind that or is it more of a personal preference/comfort thing? It seems like players are using the left hand to do all of the muting.. My teacher mentioned that he's noticed things like that as well.

    I'm just really trying to confirm that there are no specific hand techniques for playing this style of music. If not I'll just continue to do what I've been working on so far and having good form.

    Thanks again for your reply
     
  4. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    The guy in the first video looks self-taught to me. I would not be using that approach as any kind of reference. I would encourage you to look up some NYC salsa players who might be able to give you a Skype lesson and answer some of your questions.
     
  5. aizen

    aizen

    Dec 22, 2017
    Thank you that's a very good idea
     

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