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What kinds of fingering do you use?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by lownotes02, Jan 26, 2005.


  1. lownotes02

    lownotes02

    Jan 19, 2005
    Melbourne, Fl
    Hello,
    Ive just started on DB after 20 years on the slab. Im starting lessons with a teacher this week. One area that seems to be subjective is the simandl vs "one finger per half-step" technique. I wanted to know, if one is playing, say a Gb minor sixth arpeggio (starting on the Estring, second "fret", so to speak) you would obviously have a pretty big "stretch" or "shift" (depending on your method) between the root and the minor third, and would then have to shift (or stretch) again to hit the minor sixth. This would cover a "five fret" span on the slab, but given the distance on the DB, how do you overcome that? Especially if its a faster passage?
    Is there a certain point where you go from simandal 1-2-4 fingering to a 1-2-3-4 fingering, and if so, where is that "cutoff" point? I realize everybody's physiology is different, so here's my details.
    Im 6'2", and have rather long fingers, I can play from the low F on the E string to the A on the same string (this is on the slab, a distance of five frets) quite comfortably. Obviously, in most cases, I only need to cover a four fret span, but can stretch to five if need be. According to what Ive read about choosing bass height (I read somewhere, I believe it was Gary Karr's book) that the bass should be a few inches taller than the player with the endpin all the way in. I play a 3/4 Chinese (I know, I bought it BEFORE I discovered this forum, so when it blows up, it wont be a surprise) and Im taller than the bass is, so Im guessing I could play a 7/8 or 4/4.
    Anyway, sorry to get off track here. My point is, what fingerings do YOU use, and if you are a "one-finger-per-half-step" type, do you use that in all positions, or do you incorporate that, say, in fifth position? (Simandl in the lower ones?) If you are able to stretch more than the average player, are you on the taller side, have longer than average fingers, but play a 3/4 bass, allowing you to make that stretch? Finally, if you have to play a passage that alternates from the low F to the minor third (on the E string) or Bb to Db on the A string (rapidly) how do you do it?
    Im sure my instructor will shed some light on this, but since it seems there's different schools of thought on this, how do you approach it?
    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I would finger that 1 -> 2 (A) 1 -4 -- with the Gb played first finger, Bbb played with the second finger and then Db and Eb played with the 1st and 4th fingers on the A string.

    Check this out: http://paperthecity.com/RayParker/TheExorcises.html

    Ignore that bit selecting the bass based on height with the peg all the way in. Sounds like BS to me.
     
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I've never heard that before. A 3/4 will do you fine. Besides, if Gary Karr used that rule, he'd be playing a cello. :)

    In the example you suggested if were rapidly moving from the 1st to 4th stop, you'd finger it differently depending on the next note in the passage.

    You might shift or pivot (depending on your choice of method) from the first to fourth fingers or you may shift so that you could finger the 4th stop with 2 to continue the ascent up the fb or cross the strings.

    If you are staying down there (Ex: playing F ->Ab-> Bb->Db) the fingers would be the same 1,4,1,4 but with Simandl you'd shift hP,1st,hP,1st. With Rabbath, you might pivot on the thumb.

    Like you, I have big mitts, I can actually make the stretch mentioned above fairly easily without shifting or pivoting, but I don't. I allow the hand to pivot for comfort and fluidity.

    Traditionally, you don't use the 3rd finger until to shift to thumb position (Rabbath's 4th) That is, the thumb rest on the octave harmonic. The idea is that when you rotate your hand more vertically in thumb, the natural shape of the hand and length of the fingers is such that you actually can reach farther with the 3rd finger than the 4th.

    Although, there are plenty of folks out there who use the 3rd finger in the lower positions. I am prone to do it, especially to finger fourths across strings (3-4). Pizz I often Barre, but arco, it makes a better stop.
     
  4. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    I stick pretty close to simandl. I started on Simandl. I tried, because I too have big hands, the Dr. Morton's Fast Fingerings and found that I had a hard time with good intonation. My first teacher was really into fast fingerings, so I worked on them. My second teacher was a Simandl guy. I found more success with the Simandl approach. The goal is to be able to get your ideas out. Whatever works.