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thumb basics

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by menoluv, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. menoluv


    Jun 24, 2009
    Hi guys,

    I'm starting to have interests for thumb positions right now, however I'm not sure what to prepare for it and what to expect, what to do, what to practice other than scales.

    Any pointers and suggestions?

    Many Thanks!
    Happy New Year!!!!
  2. Tom Gale

    Tom Gale

    May 16, 2009
    You might want to look at my "Triangulation of Fingering Systems". It covers the Open Hand - 1,2,3,4, Closed Hand - 1,2,4 and the Thumb Positions both above and below the octave. It's my most advanced book. Take a look if you can find a copy.
    Tom Gale asodb.org
  3. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    As always, get a teacher.

    There's a famous Hurst exercise called the bloody thumb. :bawl:

    The Petracchi book is excellent for developing precision and strength. Rabbath 3 is great too, for just about everything.
  4. Yes, the third Rabbath book is great for everything. Very sensible and liberating thumb position concept.
  5. Ryker_M


    May 10, 2012
    London, Ontario
    Maybe not quite as advanced as the ones previously mentioned, but a good beginner book is George Vance's. I can't recall which exact volume it is, so I'll get back to you on that. But it covers the introductory basics to thumb position.
  6. JPHYeoh


    Jan 22, 2013
    I started out with the George Vance books and Simandl.. The George Vance has a very easy to learn concept with it's explanations, and after my first lesson ever I was playing an out of tune Twinkle! I second this recommendation.

    Could someone explain to me what this Hurst bloody thumb exercise is?
  7. Find a teacher. In the meantime:

  8. "Could someone explain to me what this Hurst bloody thumb exercise is? "

    I was wondering the same thing. Vomits on the thumb can be pretty painful. Maybe something like that.

    I like Bradetich's explanation of thumb position concepts in Double Bass: the Ultimate Challenge.

    I would start working scales (fingered and vomits) and arpeggios, along with some melodic material, accumulate some of the material mentioned in the thread and fine tune it as you find out what is all about.
  9. I wanted to note about the 3rd video...notice how he has a hand posture that almost seems to be pulling back toward the scroll while in thumb position. This leaned back posture is discussed in Bradetich's book, and is one thing that I missed in my early years, but it is something that can really aid in thumb position finger posture, intonation and in vibrato for thumb position.
  10. rebassca92


    Dec 19, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    Bloody thumbs are essentially one fingered scales on the thumb haha. Do them really slowly and use the down bow to audibly shift from one note to the next. Hold that note on the up bow and try to use vibrato. I would start on A in thumb position and play a major scale up and down, then go down to the lower octave if you can. Hurst had me practice it on all four strings haha. Good luck!
  11. Blood is an excellent lubricant.
  12. So are sweat and tears as you deliberately (ha ha) lose half your thumb!!


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