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Jazz Bass Lessons: Moveable Thumb Position

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You can also move the thumb around,
and move it higher up the neck.
And use it as a sort of an anchor like
we did at the octave we had it on, G.
You can start on A flat.
I have sheets for you, that you can
download, starting on A flat, A, B flat,
B, C, C sharp, and D,
even, all the way up there.
Now, I'm just gonna show you briefly,
cuz once I show you this little
thing starting for when you have
the thumb in a closed position.
You see,
the thumb is in a closed position now,
because it's not over a harmonic or
an open string anymore.
When you put this down on A flat,
we're a half step up from the G,
which was our marker harmonics-wise.
You can play a harmonic there and
and it's easy.
When you're doing it from there with
A flat, it becomes,
there's more pressure involved, and
you have to get used to that and
build up your callous.
So, I'm just show you briefly what
the major setup would sound like.
You're going
That's the A flat, B flat, C, and D flat.
And then, let's do the major set-up
on the D string, starting on E flat.
And then B flat.
And then,
starting on F.
So, on the lower strings,
I think they become less
practical cuz of the sound.
I think the bass, sometimes if you have a
rapid passage you can play down there and
move across.
But for sustain and melodic things,
I think the A string and up sounds better,
especially the D and the G strings,
as you moveable thumb yourself around.
Unless you have your action
set up really low, and
then you can use all of it,
but then you sacrifice sound.
And some people, you know,
you have all different kinds of
schools of thought with the bass.
The people that are playing
the Bach suites on the base,
they have their action quite low up here,
and with the bow it's a little easier.
When you're playing pizzicato, you know,
you don't have the bow to sustain.
So that it's kind of
a finesse game up here
with making the bass ring, cuz you don't
have a bow to just sustain everything.
[NOISE] Okay, so,
I've given you the sheets for
all the different intervals,
whether it be a chromatic,
the phrygian harmonic minor,
whole step, half step, major, and
some different intervals in the hand,
like I showed you from the G.
I gave you sheet now that
has from the A flat, the A,
B flat, B, C, C sharp,
and D, even up here.
[SOUND] So, all the way up there.
So, you'll have your moveable
thumb all over the place.
Obviously, when you get up to the D,
it's a lot better in one respect,
the notes are close together and you have
a harmonic anchor again like you had at G.
So, now you should have a basic
idea of how to set your hand for
the intervals in your hand in positions.
You know, starting from the G, and then
the A flat, the A, and on up the neck,
to starting from the D, and even the G.
But, we're gonna wrap this right now,
because I think you need to go and
look at the sheets that I've given you,
and practice these things slowly.
And this is one aspect of thumb position.
I'm gonna show you some scales
in thumb position, as well.
But these are just, you know,
just to get the intervals that are right
inside your hand without any shifts.
To get you used to tuning them up and
holding your hands in good position.
Having the straight line again, of the
elbow out, so that you can play in tune
and have enough of your fingers rounded so
that you can get these intervals in tune.
So you're not all sideways and
out of balance.