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Thumb position collapse

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Scroller, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. Scroller


    Jul 16, 2005
    When I've been practicing lately (not enough, but better than not at all), I've been noticing the way my fingers fall on the fingerboard in thumb position. It seems somewhat more comfortable to let the tips collapse. In other words, the first knuckle (just after the fingernail on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd fingers) collapses instead of remaining curved. I've noticed master players use both methods (Rabbath for example collapses in the upper registers) so maybe it's nothing to be concerned about. Any thoughts...?
  2. this has been an ongoing question for me, so i will tell you what my teachers have told me. i always collapse my fingers in thumb position...it is just more comfortable for me. all of my teachers have said it is not a problem, but you should be able to play in thumb position without collapsing them. so they were basically saying it is something you do because you choose to collapse your fingers, not because you physically have to. playing in thumb without collapsing the fingers builds strength and stamina, and it is good to be able to do it both ways.
  3. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002
    All of my teachers have said not to collapse my fingers in any position (specifically not in thumb). I have found that fast passages with string crossings in thumb position are much, much easier with non-collapsed fingers. But if Rabbath can do it, its definitely possible. But, I would warn of citing the exception and not the rule. Good luck up there.

    Just my .02
  4. JayR


    Nov 9, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    I know this thread hasnt been touched in a month, but I notice that I can play with curved fingers in thumb position without a problem but whenever I try to play with any sort of moderatly fast vibrato my first knuckle (the one closest to the fingertip) always collapses unless I make a very concerted effort and the vibrato kind of falls apart. Thoughts?
  5. Is your thumb still down? I would think that would solve that (just rock the arm in the same motion but with the thumb anchored).
  6. JayR


    Nov 9, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    No, I've never tried that. I was taught to remove the thumb when using vibrato in thumb position. I'll go experiment with that and get back to you.