best in different circumstances.
Again, it's about giving ourselves
different options rather than
always using a default fingering
assumption in every situation.
One situation where the use
of open strings are extremely
useful to us is in order to
facilitate position shifts and I
have demonstrated this usage
on a 12-bar blues in F in the
fourth example, a walking bass-
line played pretty much as an
acoustic bass player would most
likely play it, using double bass
fingering throughout and open
strings. Much of this idea can be
played in 'half-position' as per the
first example, but we will need
to make some position shifts to
access the higher register. In each
case, when shifting up and back
down again, I have used an open
string to facilitate this, as per
the tab, and I have also indicated
the double bass fingering in the
higher positions under the stave.
As you can see, this certainly
helps when making use of the
range of the instrument, a
judicious use of an open string
helping us change position and
register with comparative ease.
The extent to which we
make use of open strings is a
personal choice and, as I have
said, I present these ideas
to demonstrate possibilities
without wishing to suggest that
this is the 'correct' approach.
Tempo, note duration, tone
and other considerations will
all have a bearing on what
we think sounds best in any
given situation. Certainly, these
options are worth exploring
and can be very useful as an
alternative to standard bass
guitar fingering and the notion
that we should avoid the use of
open strings. On the contrary,
they can be very useful in many
situations and we can learn a
lot by noting how double bass
players approach these technical
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