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Three octave scales

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by oldsaw, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. I am looking for the correct fingerings for three octive scales. I have been told that Curtis teaches a method that does not use thumb positions when moving from F to middle G on the G string and there is a sequence of 2-3/1-3 above harmonic G.

    Thanks for your input.

  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
  3. Mark,
    I don't know what Hal Robinson teaches, but IMO opinion the correct fingering is the one that's easiest to play in tune. In your example you didn't mention what key you're in, but in G, I'd often play the E and F# below the octave harmonic with 1-4, then T-1-2-3, T-1-2-3. For me, the key plays a part in determining when I start using my thumb, but I also practice a couple of different ways of getting into and out of thumb position. I also practice lot's of different fingerings. For example going up the D string and not crossing to the G string until the last 3 or 4 notes, or whatever. Only playing scales up and down the G string would be great if you played music that could be played entirely on the G string. So given all the possibilities, I don't know how or why one would be deemed correct.
  4. David,

    I don't think that there is a right way or wrong way to play scales. My teacher was showing me how to play without having to use the thumb position by arriving at middle G with the third finger. Playing F#,G - 2,3 or F,G - 1,3 or F#,G# - 1,3. Then you move to the A,B - 1,3; C,D - 1,3 etc. I guess the object is to play scales straight up the string without ever using the thumb position.

  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Let me suggest a fingering system that fulfills a few simple requirements:

    • All scales finger the same, or at least similarly (transitions into TP and 3-finger to 4 finger being the altering factors)
    • Scales are achieved with as few shifts as possible
    • A fingering system allows you the freedom to ascend or descend instantly without awkward movement
    • A fingering system that should leave you in such a position that you have access to all elements of harmony being convenient -- arpeggios, neighboring tones, chord-scales, etc.
    • A fingering system that allows you to easily choose where on the bass you want to play what you are playing, for example balancing speed v. tone as far as string length is concerned, etc.
    • A fingering system wherein you find yourself wedged against the long side of the fingerboard as little as possible, allowing shifting 'by choice' rather than by necessity.
    • A fingering system that is based on music rather than what is based on what seems to be 'elegant' on the bass (i.e., Simandl)
    • A fingering system that won't injure you. (i.e, Rabbath)
    Now, granted, there is not a system that will cover all things all of the time, but I have a system worked out that covers most of these requirements. If there are any interested takers I would be willing to start a thread (or continue on this thread) explaining what I do.
  6. OK, Ray, lay it on us. I'm interested in seeing what your talking about. It really doesn't sound like you're doing much that the way the fingering system I use, or probably most people, doesn't accomplish, but I want to hear the differences.
  7. Same here Ray. BTW, I went to your web page and it looks great. Unfortunately on an iMac the font is very small. I will try to find the time to read it at the office on my larger monitor.
  8. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    OK. You're on. I'll start in on it tomorrow. The first bit will be some supporting arguments and the first set of fingerings that I list at the end of The Exorcises, but with the fourth crossing included, and I'll work out from there.
  9. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I checked most of the site, and I have it set up so that you are viewing pages with your own default font, so you might want to have a look at your browser settings.
  10. Mark,
    This thread made me go look at a book I haven't looked at in a very long time. Low and behold, it has a lot of thumb position fingerings without the use of the thumb, and just a lot of great fingerings for three octave scales and arpeggios. It's by one of Hal Robinsons Philly Orch. colleauges, John Hood, who teaches at Peabody. The book is called _Three Octave Tune-up_.

    Doug Mapp used to have these for sale, and probably still does. He and John are good friends.

  11. Thanks David. I'll give Doug a call tomorrow to see if he has it.
  12. dhosek


    May 25, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    My teacher has me fingering in thumb position a series of 1-3s until the last three notes of the octave which are 1-2-3.

    Fingering Ab up the G string goes:
    Ab Bb (1-4)
    C Db (1-2)
    Eb F (1-4)
    At the octave there's a shift into thumb position, with the thumb always on the last note of the last shift as follows:
    G Ab (1-2) thumb on F
    Bb C (1-2) thumb on Ab
    Db Eb (1-2) thumb on C
    F G Ab (1-2-3) thumb on Eb

    Fingerings for other scales will be similar.


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