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Re: Fingering written music, on the electric...

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Posted by Xavier Padilla on February 10, 2001 at 10:19:54:

In Reply to: Re: How to finger written music, please posted by Zach on February 09, 2001 at 23:48:24:

Dear Zach,

To apply double bass fingerings on the electric bass might help, but only to a certain extent. The electric bass neck is quite different from the upright's. You are right when saying that reading on the double bass is easier. Besides being an instrument whose theory is completely laid down for you at schools, -which isn't truely the case with the electric- this big bass has features on the neck that serve the player as guiding marks in a physical way, as for example the elbow in its back side. This is a strong reference. It also helps the fact that chromatic steps are larger than in the electric, rendering hand measuring more meaninful in the space. Now, in order to be really capable at reading the electric should be treated legitimately, not just by means of borrowed technichs.
The double bass schooling certainly provides the student with a fingering system. It does so because there is an enourmous background for the instrument which is already counted in centuries, along with the importance that reading has regulatly ment to it. The electric bass is still waiting for an adecuate organization of its aproach in that specific matter, even though we usually think of this instrument as a well defined, complete institution.
What is known as "key positions" is a concept widely contradictory if intended to be used on reading situations. When you recomend looking for the key as a preventing recourse, that's certainly not the only thing that would be needed to reach the written notes on the fingerboard. In fact, this recomendation is completely irrealistic when facing atonal written material. What specific fingerings related to which scale are you going to apply here?
What in the meantime helps electric bass players get through with reading is sticking to one or two styles of music where they'll recognize all sorts of cliches and patterns. Let's admit that all of us electric bass players (by the way I'm not a double bass player) are in the need of a legitimate reading fingering system for our instrument.
A big part of my career has been devoted to that problem, and I think I have found a radical solution. Anyone interested can write to me at

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