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Supporting 4th finger with 3rd

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by GutOil, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. GutOil


    Jun 3, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    I find myself having to support my 4th finger with my 3rd, especially when playing the A and E strings. In other words the string vibration stops at my 4th finger but my 3rd is actually helping hold down the string. Is this normal fingering? Should it be avoided?
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001

    Do you have a teacher?
  3. GutOil


    Jun 3, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    No. I'm looking for one around McKinney, TX (near Dallas).
  4. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    This is something one usually learns from the start...
  5. GutOil


    Jun 3, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    Right, I've been playing about 2 months on a rental. My theory is pretty good but I need help w/ technique.
  6. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    McKinney is near Denton. Lynn Seaton, Drew Phelps. I think John Adams, Ed Wise and a few others are in the Dallas area too.
  7. GutOil


    Jun 3, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    Thank you!
  8. This is standard technique. The more support you can get from neighboring fingers (eg. holding down first finger while the 2nd and/or fourth plays) will help with strength and create less wasted motion!
  9. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    When you put your fourth finger down on the string, make sure that all four fingers are pressed down.

    At least for beginning, you can pretend your third and fourth fingers are glued together. Because for your purposes, until you reach thumb position (which I am assuming you have not reached!), ALL that your third finger does is support the fourth finger.

    Try putting all four fingers down on the string. The space from 1 to 2 should be a half step. And the space from 2 to 4 should also be a half step. Make sure the third finger goes down whenever the fourth finger goes down.

    When you are playing notes with 1 or 2, be careful not to take your other fingers too far off the string. Keeping them close to the string is an extremely important habit to form.

    Why am I even telling you this? Get a teacher as soon as humanly possible -- one who will harass you until everything is ok. There are a million things you need to know, a million things to program into your fingers and your mind!
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    This is a valid method taught by some. Others use a shifting of arm weight from finger to finger, so that only the finger that is playing is actually pressed down into the fingerboard (although the lesser numbered fingers - when applicable - will still be resting on the string). I would suggest trying all of the various approaches and choosing the one that works best for your body. Under the guidance of a teacher at first, of course. :)
  11. This was/is one of my worst habits from pre-teacher time. It is something I still struggle to break.
  12. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Same here. I hate it when I catch myself doing that.
  13. Keep those sucka's cocked and ready!
  14. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I misread that first time through :eyebrow:

  15. Never a dull moment, eh Andy?? I didn't notice it either......that's one for Alexi's bottom banner!
  16. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    Duly Noted. :bag:
  17. You da MAN, Alexi!

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