Improve Fingering?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by matt_BBb_bass, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. matt_BBb_bass

    matt_BBb_bass Member

    Hi all!

    Rescently been given a solo to play (Largo Al Factotum) and having a slight problem! Thing is i can play it at the correct speed like tonguing etc im just finding that i can't move my fingers fast enough is the problem! Anyone got anyway you could improve this? Make your finger work a bit faster?!

    Thanks in advance all :D

     
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  3. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    I used to practice chromatic scales from bottom "c" below stave up to 3rd space "c" and down again.
    I'd do it alternately in groups of three and four.
    Do it slurring and then tonguing to get tongue and valves in sync.
    Just do it over and over again trying to increase the speed but maintaining accuracy.
    It made my fingers ache on an Eb Bass, so you may suffer a little more, but it works.

    - Mr Wilx
     
  4. defnotsimon

    defnotsimon Member

    The only real way is to do it! Take your time and dont accept any mistakes as you increase the tempo. If you do you'll just find that its so much harder at the faster tempos.
     
  5. jim

    jim Member

    Nigel Seaman, ex tuba of BBC WELSH used to get his pupils to do 'spiders' on the table so you could be in work on the desk and building up your muscles, I can remember bob childs saying in a master class that on the way to a concert he would do this on the dash bourd.
     
  6. Di B

    Di B Member

    Odd one - check your springs are comfy! Even a technical player gets hand cramps If springs are too tight!

    Apart from that... Chromatics. Never underestimate alternative fingering either :)
     
  7. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    Sounds interesting - but what do you mean 'spiders'? :confused: Probably really obvious once you've told me.. :oops:
     
  8. Splitzer

    Splitzer Member

    You are like me a Bb bass player for many reasons. None of these are likely to be an athletic frame or fingers. Get back to playing the Ploughboy or have a go on a cornet/euph if you want to play fast stuff.
     
  9. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    If the biggest problem is with lack of strength in your ring finger, you can practice it with your middle finger on first valve, ring finger on valve two and pinky on valve three.

    Also, if you are playing a 3+1 tuba, I always use my middle finger on the 4th valve as it is much stronger.
     
  10. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  11. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    Same here, I'm glad someone else does this.
    I've always have done since being a lad - seemed sensible to use the strongest finger.
    I think some folk thought I was a bit weird !!

    - Mr Wilx
     
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  13. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    I would do same as above. also do some normal scale exersizes. particularly in the key the solo is written in. I used to do this preparing for difficult parts in test pieces.
     
  14. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Active Member

    Herbert L. Clarke - Technical Studies for Cornet

    If you can make your way through this book, there is nothing wrong with your fingering technique.

    For further advice, seek out a lesson with a good teacher and see what they say. I doubt it is anything you are doing wrong, but without seeing you in person I wouldn't like to comment for certain - it is possible that you are not striking the valves as cleanly as you might, which could make life more difficult for you. Generally, though, I would recommend the Clarke.
     
  15. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    Finger Speed

    You're probably being hard on yourself and can play the whole solo correctly apart from a few bits.

    The problem probably arises from incorrect synchronisation between valves/tongue/breath. See if you can isolate the problem sections - glitches usually occur on tricky valve transitions - say from 1+2+3 to 1+2

    Once you've isolated the tricky transitions, work on them in isolation, using a metronome to ensure you do it rhythmically. For instance, if I notate the lower note as 'd' and the upper note as 'P', I'd practice PdPdPdPd in quavers and semiquavers, and PdPdPd in triplet quavers and semiquavers. You can do this slurred to start with, to ensure that all you're working on is the fingering itself. When you're sure the finger transitions are rhythmic you can put the tongue back in.

    Also imagine that the metronome is ticking on the 'and' rather than on the 'beat' - that way you have to mentally construct where the beat actually is.

    There's no magic bullet here - but systematic practice will improve your playing, guaranteed!
     
  16. floppymute

    floppymute Member

    Simple point, but one often overlooked by bass players (& I might be teaching Grandma to suck eggs here, but hey..) ..are you working from above the valves. i.e. with the wrist (and probably the elbow) raised?
    Always bear in mind, valves are designed to be pushed down, not pulled. Pulling slows down your own action, because you're not getting leverage, and the response of the valves themselves.
     
  17. Scongie

    Scongie Member

    Don't know if this explanation will make sense but I'll give it a go.
    the way I used to practise the tricky bits was to play the notes firstly in a dotted crotchet/semi-quaver-dotted/crotched rythem for the whole passage then reverse it to semi quaver-dotted/ crotchet/semi-quaver. Start slow and get faser and in theory it gets you practising moving from one note to the other. Won't help your overall technique but may help for the odd tricky run/interval bits.
     
  18. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Thread Summary ;-)

    BELOW ARE ALL DIRECT QUOTES FROM THIS THREAD
    *im just finding that i can't move my fingers fast enough...
    *Pulling slows down your own action, because you're not getting leverage
    *Using a metronome to ensure you do it rhythmically
    *ensure that all you're working on is the fingering itself. When you're sure the finger transitions are rhythmic you can put the tongue back in.
    *Never underestimate alternative fingering either
    *The only real way is to do it! Take your time and dont accept any mistakes as you increase the tempo. If you do you'll just find that its so much harder at the faster tempos.
    *I'd do it alternately in groups of three and four.
    *Just do it over and over again trying to increase the speed

    THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!

    (I'll get me coat)
     

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