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Simandl Method and extended techniques discussion


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Posted by KPO on February 21, 2000 at 14:06:07:

In Reply to: Re: Simandl Method - not the right method either posted by Carol Kaye on January 16, 2000 at 11:55:22:

The Simandl Method is decent method. The fact that it gave a clear codification of "how to play the bass", along with having a very good publisher and distributer, has made it a long lasting and sucessful method book.
HOWEVER, it is not a very good way to start learning the bass "from scratch."
There are so many modern methods that start a bassist with a much more "open mind" to playing the bass, especially including starting the beginning upright bassist in different areas of the bass.
The 1-2-4 fingering pattern is very successful way to learn the fingerboard, but the time comes when you must branch out from that basic pattern.
For learning the double bass, I recommend mixing methods, and including books like Gary Karr's Double Bass Books (which focus on tone production through conscientous bow use and hormonics, while learning the *whole* fignerboard form the get-go) , and using the Suzuki Method books (which start the young player out at the neck-block area rather than the lower positions). Be aware that using the Suzuki Method Books DOES NOT constitute using "The Suzuki Method."
For "continuing students," I recommend finding places where four-finger technique works (certainly not an everyday technique), and incorporating the use of the thumb throughout the length of the finger board. YES, the whole finger board. Dragonetti did it three hundred years ago on gut strings with up to an inch-high action, we can certainly use it today!
Sticking to 1-2-4 only may work perfectly well, but all the notable double bassists I can think of do use extended techniques. In fact, I can think of four particular performers who are major principals, recording artists or soloists who have been playing with extended techniques over very long careers, do well and are healthy with the techniques, and recommend them to students to use where they are practical.
KEEP IN MIND, also that these techniques work on double bass, which is usually a 41 to 43 inch string length. The techniques, then, certainly will work on electric bass guitar.
Keep and open mind to expand your techniques when it's needed, and keep the body in good shape at the same time.
Find what works for you, but don't stick to one side or the other without exploring for your SELF, no matter what any celebrity or whomever says whatever.





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