Alternate Fingering

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
This seems to be something of a dark art, with several people saying several (occasionally contradictory) things.

I know there are various fingerings that can be used to make notes sharper or flatter when it's too far to just lip them, or to make tricky runs easier, but I'm having a devil of a job finding a definitive guide.

Since the modern brass player sometimes has four valves, (I do, so including a fourth would help!) sometimes goes down into pedals and occasionally up above top C, is there anywhere I can find a guide with all this information on?

Tried my local music shop. No joy I'm afraid.
 

McEuphie

Member
Don't know of a definintive listing but here is general list of alternate fingerings:

F# and above as before or anything your lip will let you do
F - 1/3 (not easyest)
E - 1/2, 3
D - 1/3, 4
C# - 1/2/3, 3
C (MIDDLE) - 2/3
B - 1/3
A#(Bb) - 1/2/3 (it does work!) - haven't tried 2/4 yet
A - 3
G# - none
G - 1/3, 4
F# - 1/2/3, 2/4
F - none
E - 3
D# - none
D - 4th
C# - 2/4
C - Open

With 4th valve - any not played 1/3 use 4th

If I've missed any, then I haven't come across them yet - I live to learn

Hope this helps.
 

PeterBale

Moderator
Staff member
McEuphie said:
Don't know of a definintive listing but here is general list of alternate fingerings:

F# and above as before or anything your lip will let you do
F - 1/3 (not easyest)
E - 1/2, 3
D - 1/3, 4
C# - 1/2/3, 3
C (MIDDLE) - 2/3 or 1/4
B - 1/3 or 4
A#(Bb) - 1/2/3 (it does work!) - haven't tried 2/4 yet
A - 3 or 1/4
G# - none or 1/2/4 or 3/4
G - 1/3, 4 or 2/3/4
F# - 1/2/3, 2/4
F - none or 1/4
E - 3
D# - none or 2/3/4
D - 4th
C# - 2/4
C - Open or 1/4 (often produces a gentler attack than open)

With 4th valve - any not played 1/3 use 4th

If I've missed any, then I haven't come across them yet - I live to learn

Hope this helps.
I've added a few that have come in useful from time to time, but the list is by no means complete, and it will depend on the intonation of your instrument how useful any of them are for adjusting tuning. Some of the above I first discovered out of necessity when finding myself carolling on an EEb bass without a 2nd slide - don't ask :oops: :!: :wink:
 

MoominDave

Well-Known Member

D - (0), 1, 13, 4, 124, 34, 1234
C# - 12, 123, 24, 234, 1234
top C - 1, 23, 14, 134
B - 12, 3, 13, 4, 124, 34, 1234
Bb - 23, 123, 24, 234
A - 2, 3, 13, 4, 14, 134
G# - 1, 23, 123, 24, 124, 34, 1234
G - 12, 13, 4, 14, 234
F# - 123, 24, 23, 124, 34, 134

F - 1/3 (not easyest) 14, 234, 1234
E - 1/2, 3 123, 24, 124, 34, 134
Eb - 2, 23, 14, 234, 1234
D - 1/3, 4 124, 34, 134
C# - 1/2/3, 3 24, 234, 1234
C (MIDDLE) - 2/3 or 1/4 14, 134
B - 1/3 or 4 124, 34, 1234
A#(Bb) - 1/2/3 (it does work!) - 2/4 234
A - 3 or 1/4 134
G# - none or 1/2/4 or 3/4 1234
G - 1/3, 4 or 2/3/4
F# - 1/2/3, 2/4
F - none or 1/4
E - 3 124, 34
D# - none or 2/3/4
D - 4th 134
C# - 2/4 1234
C - Open or 1/4 (often produces a gentler attack than open)


B - 124, 34
Bb - 234
A - 134
G# - 1234
Filled in more.
 

ScrapingtheBottom

Active Member
PeterBale said:
Steve said:
Play trombone :wink:
You're only saying that so you can add in all the short and long positions to the list :shock: :wink: :lol:
No! Please not the positions!!!!! I try not to remember positions, I just try and play in tune. I think bass trom has at least 18 or something like that.
 

Steve

Active Member
You mean there are more than the 7 normal positions :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

LOL :wink:
 

Nuke

Active Member
7 Normal positions but with a bass trom theres loads of combinations for the triggers that are stupid and mind bogling.
 

George BB

Member
Found out last evening that if you press all three valves down a little bit you can play any note you like and gliss from one end to the other.
Why bother with the combinations?
 

tim

Member
MoominDave said:

C - 0
B - 2
Bb - 1
A - 12
Ab - 23
G - 0
F - 1 0
D - (0), 1, 13, 4, 124, 34, 1234, 3
C# - 12, 123, 24, 234, 1234
top C - 1, 23, 14, 134
B - 12, 3, 13, 4, 124, 34, 1234
Bb - 23, 123, 24, 234
A - 2, 3, 13, 4, 14, 134
G# - 1, 23, 123, 24, 124, 34, 1234
G - 12, 13, 4, 14, 234
F# - 123, 24, 23, 124, 34, 134

F - 1/3 (not easyest) 14, 234, 1234
E - 1/2, 3 123, 24, 124, 34, 134
Eb - 2, 23, 14, 234, 1234
D - 1/3, 4 124, 34, 134
C# - 1/2/3, 3 24, 234, 1234
C (MIDDLE) - 2/3 or 1/4 14, 134
B - 1/3 or 4 124, 34, 1234
A#(Bb) - 1/2/3 (it does work!) - 2/4 234
A - 3 or 1/4 134
G# - none or 1/2/4 or 3/4 1234
G - 1/3, 4 or 2/3/4
F# - 1/2/3, 2/4
F - none or 1/4
E - 3 124, 34
D# - none or 2/3/4
D - 4th 134
C# - 2/4 1234
C - Open or 1/4 (often produces a gentler attack than open)


B - 124, 34
Bb - 234
A - 134
G# - 1234
Filled in more.
 

drunkandy

New Member
We used to have an EEb bass player who invented alternate fingering! Indeed, he could play ANY note on Any valve (3rd valve being his favourite option). However, none of the notes came out right anyway and he's since moved on to pastures new...... :roll:
 

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
Blimey, I created a monster! Didn't even know there were that many notes, let alone that many alternatives!

Thanks y'all. Big help. Especially those on the fourth valve. Only used it for D, G and silly pedal stuff before. I've gotta do some serious homework to remember that lot, but I'll get em eventually. (Or enough to confuse myself completely anyway!)

Since I've just moved from Eb to BBb bass the hardest thing is pitching the f...f...flippin thing right! I go flat from middle D to middle C and I've no Idea why! (And I'm fine above OR below that. :shock: :? )
 

Darth_Tuba

Active Member
Thirteen Ball said:
Thanks y'all. Big help. Especially those on the fourth valve. Only used it for D, G and silly pedal stuff before. I've gotta do some serious homework to remember that lot, but I'll get em eventually. (Or enough to confuse myself completely anyway!)
If it helps, all you are doing when using the fourth valve is effectively putting yourself in Bb, so if you're ok with transposing between BBb and Eb bass then you can figure out what combinations should work (although some of them do sound naff!). E.g. C on Eb is the same as F on BBb, hence why C is playable on first and fourth.
 
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