This is a post continuing the discussion of various double bass fingering methods. You can read the complete conversation here. Feel free to add your comments to any of these posts. If you have more extended thoughts or additional methods that you would like me to include as a separate post feel free to e-mail them to me. Fingerings are a complicated and highly opinionated topic on the double bass, and it is great to get different perspectives. I will also include a fingering styles poll at the end of this post (I love polls).
I have been checking out Mark Morton’s Simandl-Plus® technique recently, and I thought readers would be interested in checking it out as a third alternative to Simandl and Rabbath fingering styles. Mark Morton serves as Principal Bass of the Columbus Symphony as well as the Artistic Director of the American School of Double Bass. He also teaches at Lynn University Conservatory of Music and Capital University, and he was previously the assistant double bass instructor for Gary Karr at the Hartt School of Music.
I won’t try to describe all of the elements of this technique here, but one could generalize it as a combination of traditional Simandl fingerings (1-2-4), an “open-hand” equidistant four finger technique, and thumb position. Check out the ASODB website for more information.
This approach seems to be to be quite different to the Rabbath system of fingering. It uses the Simandl “closed” hand position and expands it with these other techniques (hence the Simandl-Plus® moniker) to cover a minor third. This is actually very similar to the left hand technique I learned at Northwestern University and is a real contrast to the six harmonic-based positions of Rabbath/Vance.