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Thumb position--Scales

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by mikejdexter, Feb 13, 2019.


  1. mikejdexter

    mikejdexter

    Jul 9, 2009
    UK
    When in thumb position playing scales--any scales--would you use the same fingering ascending the scale and the same fingering descending the scale? Learn that fingering thoroughly? Or play any fingering depending where the music takes you?

    (Hope the question makes sense).
     
  2. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    What @wathaet says above. Also, depending on what your set up is, what you practice and what you play are a different story. I recommend working all the way up all four strings even though arco on the E, even with solos doesn't sound great.
    In a jazz or improv setting pizz up high on the E can work fine and come in handy. There are New Music scores that call for high arco on the E.
     
    wathaet likes this.
  3. neilG

    neilG

    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    You should definitely learn the many combinations of fingerings for scales. That alone won't teach you musical fingerings. Learn some real music and you'll see how fingerings work. Frankly, I think two hours of scales a day is nuts, but if you like it.....
     
  4. neilG

    neilG

    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    If you mean it works for you, then read my comment again.
     
  5. neilG

    neilG

    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    "I think 2 hours of scales is nuts" is an opinion, not a personal insult. Enjoy your practice time.
     
  6. I see scale practice as the end of warming up, both mentally and physically, before making advances in other music that may (or may not) be in the same key. As a first teacher of bass neither my students or I are trying to reach or maintain an extremely high level of proficiency with scales and broken chords in the top half of the fingerboard, our needs being driven mainly by the repertoire that we are learning/playing. I do ask them to develop all scales,etc for two octaves (E up to Eflat) once they have reached Thumb Position. I have written them out as twelve work sheets. Each page has the Major and two minor scales for a key as well as the Major, minor, Dominant 7th and Diminished 7th broken chords. So that, starting with E and going up in 1/2 steps chromatically, they have at least two good overlapping fingerings for everything. If they practice two adjacent keys (eg E and F) they become used to moving the structures between keys sideways confidently. Bowings can be added later to further demonstrate the need for versatility with fingerings. Going on into the third octave scales is again driven by the needs of repertoire.

    IMO more can be achieved in less time with clear goals and good concentration. Why are you practicing this key, scale and broken chords? For learning the notes, playing them in tune, developing dexterity and strength of fingers (no fumbles), shifting technique position-to-position, maintaining clear articulation, building speed and endurance, etc, etc...?

    Two hours a day of scales is surely some form of sadism unless you are buried under six feet of snow for winter. Here in Australia the north has had terrible flooding with enormous stock losses, most of the rest of the continent is in extended severe drought with huge stock losses, and there have been bad bush fires. Driving back cross-country to Sydney recently from South Australia the air temperature outside my car was 47 degrees Celsius (116 degrees F). Not good weather for practicing scales........?
     
    neilG likes this.
  7. mikejdexter

    mikejdexter

    Jul 9, 2009
    UK
    Great replies guys. Many thanks. Mike.
     
  8. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    I spent my formative years in (Snowy) Upstate New York.
    I can get around in Thumb Position fairly well, and I know a whole bunch of Scales, too!
    Thank You!
     
  9. Check out Michael Moore's Book. Great approach! You can achieve amazing results (if you truly want to) IMHO.
     

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