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Moving hand VS stretching fingers when playing with Simandl (1-2-4) positioning


bass2345
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Hi. I wrote a similar post last week about playing octaves. This is a bit different as it doesn’t, as far as I can tell, require the one-finger-per-fret position, whereas it is possible that the kind songs I mentioned last week might, at least in some instances.

I’ve been playing bass for about ten-and-a-half months on and off. I have disability called cerebral palsy in my left side which makes it harder to increase independence of fingers and dexterity in the left hand. When playing the verses of “Porcelain” by Red Hot Chili Peppers I find it difficult to fret the notes properly if I keep my hand more still than I do if I move it more often. The notes on the sixth or seventh fret keep buzzing or being muted unintentionally. I think this is because I cannot seem to spread my fingers out well enough.

I think this is the tab that I am using to play the song:
[url="http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/r/red_hot_chili_peppers/porcelain_ver2_btab.htm"]http://tabs.ultimate...n_ver2_btab.htm[/url]

Is it better to try really hard to play with as little movement as possible – and perhaps, in doing this, increase independence of the fingers – even if this harder and less efficient, at least in the short term? Or is it best to play more ‘naturally’ with more hand movement? I think that at least a few will probably say ‘Do what seems/feels best for you’ but I’m pretty sure that, when I started, playing with one finger was easier than using all fingers but that’s probably less efficient/more difficult in the long term. What is best in life is not always the easiest option, and what is easiest in the long term is not always the same as that which is easiest in the short term.

Edited by bass2345
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I have a similar, but not as bad a problem as you. I have a deformed finger, which meant i couldn`t use the finger properly. I have been trying to play for about the same time as you. I can only suggest this, as i really don`t know how much dexterity you have in your left hand. If your index and ring fingers have a decent strength on the left hand, could you try playing left handed. I did, and i can play better and have more movement over the fret board. Other than that, the only other thing i can suggest is learning Scales and arrpegios. They are a good way to get your fingers stretching.
Not sure if that has helped, but hopefully someone will come along with more experience with better suggestions . It gets lonely this far down the topic board, you sometimes have a bit of a wait for answers. Although it is Basschat, most people prefer the off topic, topic it would seem.

Edited by timmo
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[quote name='bass2345' timestamp='1391705654' post='2360457']

I think that at least a few will probably say ‘Do what seems/feels best for you’ [/quote]

IMO they would be giving you good advice. The only thing I would add is..."provided it is
safe"....i.e. it is not going to cause injury. There is no one- size -fits- all, when it comes to technique.
It is up to each person to find the technique that works for them (again provided it does not cause injury
problems).

Having said the above, it is generally accepted that minimal movement of the hand is the most
beneficial way to play. Using the thumb as a pivot instead of stretching the fingers is the way to go.
As with learning anything, this will probably seem hard to do in the beginning, but worth it in the long term.


You could try doing finger independence exercises like in the link below.
There are others on You Tube too.

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg4vZvwyaaI"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg4vZvwyaaI[/url]

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It doesn't matter nearly as much as you think. I have been playing for 34 years and rarely see any parts that require either technique as an absolute requirement. It is the sound of the phrases that matters not the means by which you achieve them. As for disabilities, look up som youtube videos od Django Reihnardt. He only had two fingers on his left hand (the other two were fused together in a fire and were useless) and he ripped s*** out of his jazz guitar, defining a genre in the process. Your disabilities shoudl not define your ability to enjoy playing, they just change the nature of the problems you have to solve when learning how to make the noises we call music!! When I taught, I used to show people who were agonising over this how fast they could play with just one left hand finger and most people are surprised at how sophisticated your lines can be with only one digit.

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[quote name='Bilbo' timestamp='1391764674' post='2360960']
It doesn't matter nearly as much as you think. I have been playing for 34 years and rarely see any parts that require either technique as an absolute requirement. It is the sound of the phrases that matters not the means by which you achieve them. As for disabilities, look up som youtube videos od Django Reihnardt. He only had two fingers on his left hand (the other two were fused together in a fire and were useless) and he ripped s*** out of his jazz guitar, defining a genre in the process. Your disabilities shoudl not define your ability to enjoy playing, they just change the nature of the problems you have to solve when learning how to make the noises we call music!! When I taught, I used to show people who were agonising over this how fast they could play with just one left hand finger and most people are surprised at how sophisticated your lines can be with only one digit.
[/quote]
verbatim!

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