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Shift or pivot on Night in Tunesia?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by MartinT, Dec 25, 2003.

  1. MartinT


    Apr 16, 2003
    San Mateo CA
    When playing the bass line intro theme of 'A night in Tunesia', do you shift half positions up and down (a la Simandl) or do you pivot and stretch while keeping your left hand thumb put (a la Rabbath). I've tried both, and find that I get hopelessly lost after a few bars when shifting, but I'm not sure that I'm always in tune for the D and B of the Dmin chord when pivoting/stretching. This all assumes starting out with 1 on Eb on the A string. Any advice as to playing this theme consistently is greatly appreciated.

  2. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    It helps if you use the open D for pitch reference, and then shift or pivot a half step for the F, A and B.
  3. scott reed

    scott reed Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2002
    It's old school but after you master the
    shift/pivot I'd try the open D followed
    by the F,A B in Simandl/Montag 1st
    position to practice finding the Eb again on
    the A string. Not as efficient but
    depending on your tempo, bass and string
    choice it may sound and project better.
    You can always play it the other way if
    you prefer but I've had better luck with
    this fingering when I use gut strings.
  4. Scott, it's your PM teacher PW here...I think you're splitting hairs here. You could bring the gut strings with you, have the band call Tunisia as the first tune of the set, have the guts on your bass, play the tune and quickly, put back on your bass your regular strings. Or, simply take two basses with you!
  5. CS Bass

    CS Bass

    Feb 18, 2003
    The way I've always played it is:

    Eb on A
    Bb on D
    Db on G
    Eb on G

    Open D
    F on D
    A on G
    B on G

    BTW, there are a lot of different versions of this song...If you want to make your own, I recommend it.
  6. scott reed

    scott reed Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2002
    CS, that was my recommendation because you kept
    the 2nd, 3rd and 4th notes of each pattern on
    the same string combination.
    Paul, my bass inspiration is bassgod Dave Pomeroy
    who has been known to take up to a dozen bass guitars with him on live and studio dates so he
    could use the bass that matched perfectly with
    each song. It's too bad I haven't been able to
    convince the rest of the guys/gals in the band
    to buy into this with double basses - but then again, I'm no Dave Pomeroy either. Thanks for the suggestions!
  7. My way is to play the Eb as per CS, go to the open D but play the F on the A string and the A and B on the D string. This allows you to pivot between the two chords without moving the thumb. Going from the open string to the string below is easier on the RH too.

    I'm fingering this using 124 as per Simandal. I I didn't my intonation would wander.
  8. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    That's how I play it, too.
  9. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    i pivot.
  10. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I do it the same a Pac and Mike C.
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