Vertical fretless BG, NHOP right hand technique

Discussion in 'Double Bass Pedagogy [DB]' started by Mustafa Umut Sa, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. Mustafa Umut Sa

    Mustafa Umut Sa

    Oct 20, 2007
    I am 47 years old and started to music playing.

    Should I use my 4 string fretless like a DB and play like NHOP right hand technique for

    - using whole finger for more control

    - less right hand wrist twist,

    and faster , healtier playing with 3 fingers ?

    Anyone tried this before ?


    mustafa umut sarac
  2. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I'm having trouble picturing that. I would love to see a photo.
  3. Mustafa Umut Sa

    Mustafa Umut Sa

    Oct 20, 2007
    I was trying to picture , holding a fretless bass guitar vertical not as usual as horizontal and play like a cello or double bass with the three fingers style of NHOP and left hand technic.

    There are few classical guitar players like that.

    I wish I am clear now
  4. IamGroot

    IamGroot Inactive

    Jan 18, 2018

    I play fretted and fretless BG and am getting back to DB.

    If you play BG vertical, it will not balance by itself so your left hand will be balancing it. This will interfere with proper intonation. I have played fretted BG vertical, resting on stool. It can be done.

    Suggest you play fretless BG in conventional seated or standing position with strap.
  5. DrayMiles

    DrayMiles Suspended

    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    In my humble opinion, these ideas sound great, but my experience tends to believe that you are going to injure yourself. NHOP’s technique isn’t something you just pick up. I seem to remember someone here that studied with him(?) and discussed the intricacies. I play electric and decided to study upright properly. I applaud originality, but a tendon is a tendon. Pain hurts... I hope you will be able to show us the benefits of learning this technique... After some thorough vetting of course.
  6. DrayMiles

    DrayMiles Suspended

    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    By the way, Istanbul is beautiful and the food is my favorite...
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I experimented with this a couple of years ago when I went on an international trip and could only take a fretless BG. I had about 4 months to relearn how to play BG before the trip, and I’ve been playing DB for so long that the vertical technique was by far my native tongue. I tried everything - traditional BG technique, classical guitar position, and even upright technique. As mentioned above, there was just no way that I could find to make it comfortable.

    In addition, an essential part of DB technique is the rest stroke that grazes the fingerboard throughout the stroke. Without the fingerboard to calibrate the finger to the string, it’s an entirely different animal. I cam to the conclusion that the only way to make it work would be to install a ramp on the BG and come up with some sort of stand to hold it in place. In the end, I made the concerts work but vowed to not be in that position again. In the future, I willl travel with a removable neck travel DB since that is the primary physical language that my technique speaks.
  8. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    My son plays BG and has a fretless that I've played with. Vertically, balance is totally off. The only way it could work for me is with a really really long endpin, and even then, as Chris has said, the neck setup is completely different.

    For me, required parts of the DB setup are a heavily radiused fingerboard, the long scale length, the thick strings, the distance between the strings and the relatively high string action; without those DB components, it just doesn't feel right. Trying to pretend I'm playing DB with a vertical BG is like trying to pretend I'm riding a Harley while peddling a beach cruiser. I can get from point A to point B, but it is distractingly not as fun.
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  9. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    As others have said, vertical on an electric bass is less than ideal.
    As far as right hand technique - I'm not familiar enough with NHOP's to comment.
    Gary Willis has exceptional RH technique on fretless electric bass, and you might want to look into that.
    Les Fret likes this.
  10. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    I have no idea why you want to play a BG vertical? Doesn’t make sense. I suggest starting with a normal playing position and basic two finger right hand technique. After a while you can always adjust and change some things but first learn the conventional way.
    gebass6 likes this.
  11. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

  12. Thomas Allin

    Thomas Allin

    Dec 30, 2017
    NHOP on the electric:
    Joshua Pickenpaugh likes this.