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Re: Simandl Method

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Posted by David on January 05, 2000 at 12:04:38:

In Reply to: Re: Simandl Method posted by Paige on January 05, 2000 at 00:04:02:

Yikes, I see where this is going. In music, as in life, there is more than one path. Good arguments will prevail for both methods. It would seem that different people adhere to different methodologies and probably each person gets good results if they stick to a method. During my studies on the trumpet, I studied with some of the greatest trumpet teachers. Each brought something new to the table and had developed there own methodology and as i evolved as a musician and just got more mature, i took what worked for me and threw out the rest.

In the end, It looks like the only way I'm going to find out what works is to practice and try things out. My bass teacher is a tall, lanky person so I donít think he ever gave thought to the inherent problems that occurr when a player has smaller hands. He kept insisting that I keep my first 3 fingers down when playing and not lift them up when fretting w/ the 4th finger. His response to me when I told him that my hands were too short was that my hands would stretch. Somehow I wasnít comforted with that response.

Right now what is attractive about the Simandl Method is the fact that it seems to work for smaller hands and will possibly help prevent injury/strain/fatigue however it also seems like a less used and known method by electric bass players also VERY FEW of the electric bass methods/books/videos/articles even consider it or mention it. It is somewhat discouraging, especially when youíre just learning, to learn a method that is not discussed in the bass literature and I am somewhat hesitant to embark on something that Iím not sure is a path to making great music on the bass. Obviously somebody demonstrating this method by showing how it can be musical and fluid would be very helpful

It would seem that playing a half step with the third finger than the fourth finger would be cleaner and clearer sounding than alternating between two notes with the pinky (the smallest weakest finger) but then again maybe it is possible to gain great strength and dexterity with the pinky alone.

My initial frustration wasnít the stretch between the 3rd and 4th finger but trying to keep my fingers on the strings and get a good sound (w/out buzz) while fretting with the 1st finger and 4th finger simultaneously. However, pivoting the thumb or slightly adjusting the position of the thumb on the back of the neck seems like a reasonable thing to do and Iím not convinced that I necessary have to injure myself by using the one finger per fret method if I exercise my hands and maintain good preventive care. But initially my hands are sore.

So I remain open to both possibilities and would love to hear anymore thoughts on the subject. Rob: you mentioned exercises that you give your students. Iíd love to hear them if you wish to share. You can send them to me at my email

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