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"So What" LH on BG, what fingering works best?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by BrassedOn, Dec 17, 2018.


  1. BrassedOn

    BrassedOn

    Oct 11, 2018
    Howdy,
    On Bass Guitar, what fingering works best for you on Miles Davis's "So What" melody?

    Do you play all in one position with the jump from the E to the D string, use the open D or not, or do other position changes? Basically the same for the D and Eb riff? I'm interested in which digit, not just tab/fret. Any advantage to your way in terms of the sound, swing, or facility at slightly higher tempos, etc?
     
  2. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I use the original Paul Chambers double-bass fingering; anything else sounds wrong, to my ear, like the phrasing is off and the line doesn't "swing" properly.

    How about you? What fingering do you use and prefer?
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
    HateyMcAmp likes this.
  3. twinjet

    twinjet AJ, you're the MAN! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    49
    If you're alluding to E2 on the A string, hitting E3 on the way up, this is what I do as well. I start on the first finger.
     
  4. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I don't think P.C. used the A string at all. I think the original fingering is only on the D and G strings.
     
  5. twinjet

    twinjet AJ, you're the MAN! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    49
    From what I can tell, I'd guess he did. The consistency in his intonation is spot-on. I would think large shifts in fingerboard positioning would result in minor, but noticeable tonal inaccuracies. But again, just a guess.
     
  6. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    From what I can see on Youtube, it looks like he makes 3 small shifts.
     
  7. twinjet

    twinjet AJ, you're the MAN! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    49
    Looks like you're right, assuming we're on the same vid.
    Screenshot_20181217-105844_YouTube.
     
    Mushroo likes this.
  8. White Beard

    White Beard

    Feb 12, 2013
    Hmmm... Looks like I have some practicing to do. What always seemed natural to me was play the open D and then hit A-B-C on the same string in third position. Then on the change hit Eb on the A string and proceed likewise half a step up.

    It just seemed like too much shifting to me. I had to work really hard to break my bad habit of walking up to 3rd or 4th position on only the G string.
     
  9. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    I always started with the D on the 10th fret of the E string staying in position across the whole neck. When it goes up to E I just move up 2 frets. It just fits naturally under the hand in with that fingering.

    C/S,
    Rev J
     
  10. InhumanResource

    InhumanResource

    Dec 28, 2012
    I always played it starting at D2 on the A string. Open D feels good too, but my teacher was pretty firm on playing electric like electric and upright like upright. Today I can see doing it either way.
     
  11. jasonrp

    jasonrp

    Feb 19, 2015
    vt
    Funny, I thought you meant that old punk song that metallica covered. I was like "fingering....for that?"
     
  12. rogerb

    rogerb

    Aug 31, 2010
    I tend to do the D on the A string and then just up a fret, but I've tried 'em all. I notice M Miller does the jump from the E, whatever works.

    Of note, I find on the album, playing along, that it isn't up a half step, the Eb line has the natural D in it, not the melodically correct Db! Maybe my ears deceiving me...
     
    squidtastic likes this.
  13. BrassedOn

    BrassedOn

    Oct 11, 2018
    Well it seems y’all articulate many of the thoughts I’ve had. I’d not tried the pivot on this riff. The single position starting on the E string has the potential to be smooth, and very BG in nature. But it’s been clumsy for me so I’ve not been sure whether to stay the course and improve that aspect of technique
    Or double down on my shift. I’m heartened to hear I’m not the only one trying to get the DB feel that should come with the shift. But you’ve given me a couple of ideas. Of course faking a note on the Eb riff has always been in my playbook!

    Thanks all for your thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
    Mushroo likes this.
  14. BrassedOn

    BrassedOn

    Oct 11, 2018
    Maybe I’ll post a question in the DB forum, LH for Metallica on DB! And ask about bowing!
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
  15. nilorius

    nilorius

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    I think the partiture ir ok from the originale upright, also for the e-bass. As to finger technique - everything will do, slap will not.
     

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