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Posted by ROB PERL on January 05, 2000 at 14:15:58:
In Reply to: Re: Simandl Method posted by paige on January 05, 2000 at 12:38:01:
: : David,
: : I originally started out using the Simandl Method for both Upright and Electric
: : Bass. I found that I could do much better using one finger per fret on the Electric.
: : I teach quite a few students in Junior High who have small hands. While it's definitely
: : true that your third and fourth fingers share a tendon, there is a method of stretching this
: : tendon, along with the rest of your embrouchure which will allow you to easily play with one
: : finger per fret. All my students use this method successfully.
: : I would strongly urge you not to use the "three finger" (Simandl) method of fingering. It's
: : meant to be used with open strings on an upright bass. The Simandl Method requires much more
: : shifting which cause much more fret and string noise, and makes it harder to achieve fluidity.
: : In my years of teaching, I've yet to find a student incapable of playing one finger per fret. It's
: : a question of doing the proper excercises.
: : Good Luck,
: : Rob
: Sure wish I could have found you when I started playing 30 years ago! I went from classical to bass guitar, taking the same exercises from one to the other. The problem is that at the age of 40 I developed serious inflammatory issues in my left hand, requiring me to take lotsa pills! yuk.
: For me, I have found that I had to change the way I was playing below the 7th fret in order to keep playing at all. I play a long scale (35") bass - I actually have three of them - and I discovered that playing one finger one fret below the 7th fret causes me no end of grief. I regularly use stretching exercises before and after I play and throughout the day during my day job... what do you teach your students in regards to stretching? Maybe there is something I am missing, here.
Basically, you need to make sure your fingers are parallel to the frets and your thumb lines up with your middle finger; additionally, your thumb should stay in the center of the neck, and should be flat. This will maximize your reach.
The stretching excercises consist of one octave arpeggios - major, minor, dominant, and half diminshed - thses all are done with the left hand position remaining stationary. Also, we do all possible combinations of the left hand - 1234, 1324,etc.
on all strings with a metronome. You start slowly, then increase speed as your embrouchure widens. I caution everyone to take a break if there's any discomfort
in the left wrist. I also have some excercises to stretch out the tendon between the ring and fourth fingers. I've had students with tendonitis caused by years of playing with improper
technique, but the tendons still do stretch, and they've been able to play comfortsbly with the four finger method. There are a few other techniques we use. but I can't really show you over the net.
By the way, I also have 35" scale electrics - they're both 6 string basses.
Let me know if you're ever planning to come to Manhattan. I'll be glad to introduce you to the regimen.
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