Hi, it’s Geoff here from Discover Double Bass.
I’ve got another lesson for you. This one’s following on from the initial
left-hand lesson. We’re going to be looking at the six most common problems
that I see with left-hand technique. Of course I’ll show you how to
put them right. Let’s start straight in and look at the six problems. The first problem that I see is when people
are playing a note that they bunch up the other fingers. I think they’re
doing it to kind of support the hand by moving the fingers across. If it was
the last note that you’re going to play of the piece that’s fine. The
problem comes that when you want to play another note you have to separate
the fingers back out and you may or may not now be in tune. So problem number one is bunching up the fingers
and not maintaining hand shape. Have a look and make sure that you’re
not doing that yourself. Number two. This is to do with the little
finger. It’s a failure to maintain an arch on the little finger. If
you just let me explain a little bit more. If you stretch out and you’re struggling
with the stretch you might make the first, the little finger, sorry,
flat. You play using the pad rather than the finger tip. You can see there’s one movement coming from
the first knuckle there. That’s not what we’re trying to do. We want
a gentle arch. Now, I know you won’t be able to arch as much as in the other
fingers because of the stretch. Try to just have a gentle arch and
play through into the finger tip. This also applies in the first finger as well.
Sometimes I see people kind of doing this. Try to just keep the arch in
the fingers. The third problem is one that you will have
heard before. I just want to look in a bit more detail of that problem.
That’s to do with collapsing at the knuckle. I think you’ll be aware about
not collapsing at the first knuckle. That’s got to be obvious. Just check
by using the mirror that you’re not collapsing at the second or even
at the third, the larger knuckle. That your whole hand isn’t collapsing. It’s really important just to keep an eye
on that. Use the mirror. Look and see what’s happening. You’ll make some really
good progress with that. Number four is related to the previous one.
This is about collapsing the whole hand. A really good way to check this
is play the open G. Play the low G on the E string. Play them both together.
You should be able to keep the G ringing. The problem is, if you’re doing this, where
you collapse the kind of third knuckle, the whole hand down. Occasionally
I see this. The gap, there is no gap here. It needs to be a natural arch all
the way from the shoulder, through the hand, into the finger tip. Be careful that you’re not collapsing at that
part of the hand and choking off those notes. You may need to play those.
You need to maintain a hand shape as well. Problem number five is with the first finger.
It’s that sometimes people seem to be, instead of stretching out from
the middle of the hand in the two different directions. They start with
the first finger kind of angled so you approach it from above rather than
from this direction. You can see I’m pointing up from below. Now I’m pointing
down from above. It moves the finger round so you’re kind of like this.
Almost that you’re in line with the string rather than playing across them. When you do that you end up reducing the span
of the hand. You’re unable to play a three notes in tune. Just check that
you’re not doing that. If you need a bit of help think about this finger
extending up in this direction away from you. Maybe towards your own head
or to the scroll. The final problem is raising the fingers away
from the finger board whilst you’re playing a note. If you do this, I’m
putting the pressure into my little finger. Pushing down. I’m pushing away
at the same time. It is really common. Now if you’re using a heavy vibrato by this
[for instance] you may choose to make that choice. In regular playing you
keep your other fingers down. Don’t push in two different directions. Try
and be relaxed. Try and use your arm weight and your hand weight. Then
you’ll be able to keep the tension out of your hand and hopefully maintain
the correct hand shape. I hope you’ve enjoyed the lesson today. Don’t
forget to rate, comment or subscribe if you want to on YouTube. If you’d
like some more double bass lessons head on over to discoverdoublebass.com.