1-2-4 & Simandl
Back at the end of March 2011, I wrote a blog entry called BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS!?!?!?! I had just received the Hal Leonard Bass Method by Ed Friedland. In the entry, I was confused by Ed’s initial use of a 1-2-4 finger position for the fretting hand, instead of one-finger-per-fret, which I was used to seeing.
After all this time, I think I know where 1-2-4 comes from: a double-bassist, and writer of New Method for the Double Bass, Franz Simandl (1840 – 1912). Here’s the opener from his Wikipedia entry:
“Franz Simandl (August 1, 1840 – December 15, 1912) was a double-bassist and pedagogue most remembered for his book New Method for the Double Bass, known as the Simandl book, which is to this day used as a standard study of double bass technique and hand positions.”
I knew learning how to read and use the internet would pay off someday!
Here are a few links for those of you interested in learning more about Simandl. Bear in mind, his materials are written for the double bass (upright bass). Some of it, maybe even much of it, is bound to be applicable to electric bass (at least in terms of theory, if not technique), but it opens a can of worms about whether the electric bass is a descendent of the guitar or double bass. Also, remember that this was written pre-rock and pre-jazz… back when the only outlet for double bass players was likely the orchestra, so a different kind of sensibility is probably at play here than what electric bass players are used to.
- Wikipedia – Franz Simandl
- Rabbath versus Simandl – a comparative study
- Amazon – New Method for the Double Bass (Book 1)
- BassBooks – New Method for the Double Bass (Book 1)