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The Fingering meth. to choose???

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by tommythomas, Mar 27, 2003.


  1. I am a brand new URB player but long time EB player. I knew fingerings would be different but didn't realize that there would be so many choices. Simandl, Modified Simandl, Bille, our own Ray Parker and so on.

    What factors should go into deciding on which method to choose? Style of music? I wll play mostly jazz and a little bluegrass. Previous experience? I've played EB for 30 years and will continue. Size of hands? I have big hands and can do a half step per finger with minimum rocking on my thumb at the E string low G position.

    And in regard to playing a typical EB 4 finger fingering for a G maj scale off low G on the E string, I can reach the DB D on the E string with my little finger but.. it seems to make more sense to play the open D string instead and save the stretch which I think I heard that open strings on DB are desireable anyways unlike on EB where open strings are usually avoided. Any comments? Thanks
     
  2. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Whichever method you pick, you are probably going to have to get used to only covering three semitones per string in a given position, instead of the "one finger per fret" method used for EB. This is for a lot of reasons, and I am sure you can find some threads that deal with by searching.

    As far as which method to pick, most people advised me to learn Simandl first when I started. Some might advise otherwise. I've been pleased with it, although as I got higher on the neck I started making more and more exceptions to the rule. Back when Simandl was invented, bass strings were as thick as trees and action was higher than a tree. Since the mechanical situation of the bass had improved since then, liberties can be taken with certain Simandl advice and fingerings, but its always good to know a rule before you break it...
     
  3. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I played BG for many years, using one finger per fret. When I started UB I went with Simandl and found it was a tremendous help in developing ta feel for navigating the neck. As I developed a little familiarity with the fingerboard and got more comfortable, I started doing more shifts and pivots in the upper positions. I'm still finding my way around. But Simandl gave me that base.

    YMMV, of course.
     
  4. Yes, I think.
    I'm reading Pops Foster's autobiography. In the introduction Bertram Turetzky analyzes Foster's left hand technique and attributes his tonal power and rhythmic drive to Foster's use of large shifts to position strong fingers over notes.
    It reminds me of a discussion I'm having with a violinist, where he observed Florin Nicolescu use unconventional fingering to produce strong notes. He said that this lesson produced an unexpected understanding of the melody as well.
     
  5. Simandl will do no harm and is an excellent basic system. IF, and ONLY if you have a teacher who knows Streicher, it's a very efficient and non-tiring system. Without a teacher, DO NOT try to learn it yourself.
    There's a reason Simandl prevails. It is eminently sensible.