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Thumb position

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by HunterBrodt, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. HunterBrodt


    Aug 24, 2009
    Are there any books that are devoted to the upper register?
  2. Franco Petracchi
  3. Jordan M

    Jordan M

    May 10, 2009
    +1, Petracchi is great.
  4. Rufus Reid - Evolving Upward.
  5. Will Yager

    Will Yager Supporting Member

    May 7, 2006
    Iowa City, IA
    Geared towards jazz, but Michael Moore's is good
  6. Blakewdm


    Jun 17, 2008
    If you are fresh to 4th position play, and want to start getting used to it, check out George Vance, then check out the 3rd rabbath book, that is a good way to get more comfy with the upper register....in the end it's just beat to pick pieces and learn them though.
  7. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    simandl new method for bass volume 2.
  8. Tom Gale

    Tom Gale

    May 16, 2009
    Yes. My "Technical Foundation Studies", vol 2. It starts with the thumb on G. The left page introduces the hand position to be learned and then the right hand page is an etude applying the same techniques in a melodic setting. There are 9 tech pages and 9 etudes and 22 more pages of symphonic applications of the techniques. The vol. 2 might still be available through Lemur or ASODB. It is now coupled into "Triangulation of Fingering Systems for Double Bass" that combines both former volumes 1 & 2 into one. Vol. 1 was introducing the open hand (1,2,3,4) technique.
    Thomas Gale
  9. HunterBrodt


    Aug 24, 2009
    Thanks for all the suggestions.

    And thanks Tom I'll check your book out
  10. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    I find books about TP like Simandl 2 pretty boring and not very musical either. You can take a few exercises from those books and focus more on practicing 'real' performance pieces with a lot of TP in it. Much more motivating and musical practice.
  11. Tom Gale

    Tom Gale

    May 16, 2009
    AMEN!! (it's Sunday). I thought the same thing while studying.
    That's the reason, when I write an exercise, I always follow it with a melodic application that uses the same technique that was just learned. Would that be a mel app??? App Mel?
    Low Tech Tom
  12. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    You guys must not be playing through the same simandl I have been playing through. Each page starts with a scale, then goes into an etude. All those etudes have the type of stuff you would find in most classical music. Simandl is the standard, has been used for years, and is the best, as far as I am concerned. I have the Moore book. It's great but everything is in the thumb position. Simandl is very good for the transition from lower to thumb positions...which is more applicable to most real playing.
  13. Anonymatt


    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Yeah, I have never really felt that Simandl was boring.
  14. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    I'd rather practice Koussevitzy or Bottesini then Simandl book 2. Much more musical and it covers the same techniques (sort of).
    Besides this I also practice some purely technical short TP exercises.
  15. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    When I've mastered both books, I'll be bored. Note that I've been working out of them for over 50 years!
    Well. . .you don't want to rush these things :D
  16. eerbrev


    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
    whether it's "money" playing or not, the classical professional needs to be able to play solidly in thumb position. for orchestral repertoire, one example off the top of my head is Shostakovich 5, where there is an extended thumb position passage.

    To even get into a professional orchestra, you need to play at least one concerto. Often in Europe, it's two. Sounds like a good defense for the use of things like Petracchi and Tom Gale's studies. Simandl's thoughts on Thumb position are valid, but they are no longer the bible the once were. People use D and A strings in thumb position, for example, and people also use the thumb below the G harmonic and the F#just below it.

    Is it playing you'll have to do every day? No. But it is certainly "real" playing.

  17. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Do you have any links to the two methods you just wrote about? I might want to check them out. Though Simandl is my bible when it comes to bass, I am always looking for new things.
  18. AdmiralScreed


    Oct 10, 2011
    While it is much more difficult than playing in the low ranges, being able to play in thumb is nonetheless a vital component to being a top notch bass player. All of the major concertos require extensive thumb playing (Vanhal, Koussevitzky Bottessini, Dittersdorf), as do certain pieces of orchestral repertoire. Shostokovich 5 was already mentioned, but a couple others you need to know are Strauss Ein Heldenleben and the bass solo from Mahler 1.
    I've been playing for several years, but I still have issues playing in thumb. Maybe it's just me, but I find it a lot harder to play in tune up there. In the low ranges I can feel where all of the notes are on my fingerboard and play almost perfectly in tune, but in the high ranges I have a more difficult time. I've actually resorted to penciling in about half a dozen marks on my fingerboard just to remind me of where certain key notes are, because if I don't then I can only play 75% in tune, and I can't stand playing out of tune. :( I probably just need to spend more time on scales and exercises.
  19. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    its actually not more difficult, just different. it may seem more difficult to you now because you probably learned, like myself, and most players, from the lower positions to the higher ones later on. this means that you have been playing in the lower positions longer and are therefore more comfortable. this method of learning also creates the perception that the upper range is more advanced and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. methods such as tom gale, and i believe gary karr seek to start the student in the upper range simutaneously with the lower ranges in order to eliminate these misconceptions. maybe tom can comment.

  20. AdmiralScreed


    Oct 10, 2011
    When I first began playing bass about six years ago my instructor had me learn the low and high ranges simultaneously , so in my first couple years of learning I played about equally in both ranges. My instructor at the time had me playing through the George Vance books. You would think that with all the time I spent in the high ranges that I would be equally skilled in both ranges, but for one reason or another I am not. One reason may be that in orchestra the majority of the playing that I do is in the low ranges, hence why I would feel more comfortable down there. I spend about 10 hours a week playing with orchestras, so that adds up to a lot of time spent in the low ranges (and a lot of time not spent in thumb).
    If anything, the fact that I feel more comfortable in the low ranges tells me that I need to practice more in the high ranges. A couple hours of scales and exercises a day should do the trick over time.

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