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Posted by Karel Kerstiens on February 29, 2000 at 01:42:22:
In Reply to: Left-hand method not up to par posted by Jared on February 28, 2000 at 19:50:27:
: Okay I have a problem with my left hand method. I don't do 1-2-3-4 or 1-2-4 I find myself using 1-2-3. I just dont have the control needed over my pinky finger to be able to use it. What is the best way to develop the muscle in that area? Or is there really any reason to change if 1-2-3 works for me?
What helped me in training my fingers for the Semandl Method (i.e. the "1-2-4" LH "double-bass" fingering method you've described) was to start fretting my pinky and ring fingers in the same fret until I built up the muscle control in the pinky. Eventually, my pinky finger became more coordinated and stronger, allowing me to "spider" (i.e. the "1-2-3-4" LH fingering method ONLY in "MUST DO" circumstances - and GRUDGINGLY, at that!).
You'll probably find that when you force yourself to use a 1-2-4 type of double-bass fingering method, the ring finger will naturally "hover" or even fret with the pinky. This is not all bad. Practice, practice, practice. Here's something annoying you can practice that should help you develop the proper LH technique within a few short weeks:
Set a metronome at a slow setting (VERY slow) and using only your 1-2 and 4 fingers (with the 3rd & 4th fingers consiously acting as one finger in the same fret - the second half-step note) -
Starting at the lowest "F" note on your E-string, paying close attention to your tone (finger right next to the fret), pluck 2 half-steps in a row (in other words: F-F#-G), then move down to the "A" string (B Flat-B-C), then the "D", then the "G", using the same intervals -
When completed the interval on your G-String (i.e. G#-A-B Flat notes), move back up to the "A" note on the G-String and repeat the same half-step/half-step interval, using the same fingering pattern, then work your way down to the D-String, the A-String, the E-String, then repeat -
Do this again and again, up to about the 7th fret, then you may properly use the 1-2 & 3 fingers the rest of the way up the neck -
Move back down the neck in the same intervals, dropping a half-step lower on the neck after each position, until you find yourself back at the first position again (the lowest "F" note on the E-String), then repeat, repeat, repeat, etc., etc., etc. -
Increase the speed of the metronome ONLY after you have satisfactorily acheived a nice tone on every note of the fretboard at each speed, utilizing this fingering method -
Hope that helps. If I've only served to confuse you, don't hesitate to email me at "firstname.lastname@example.org". Rock on -
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