Fretboard fingering Diagrams

I was playing around with making a chart for 1, 3, 5 fingering patterns and was wondering what the best one would be. Here are six that I plotted out for the key of C Major. There are others moving up the fretboard.

This brought up several questions:

1 - Tonally in the second diagram the ovals listed as 1 and 2 should be the same but would there be a preference between the two and why?

2 - What would be the problem with using oval 3 in the second diagram, other than the fact we would be using the open G string, and, 3 should be tonally the same as 1 and 4.

It couldn’t get simpler than that but raises the question does a fretted string sound better than an open string for the same note?

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That depends on what type of sound you’re looking for, and how much easier it is to play it one way or the other, @Celticstar

As with so many other things, it all comes down to what YOU think is best . . . there is no absolute stock answer :slight_smile:

Cheers
Joe

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Don’t forget about open strings as well for this type of thing. The old upright players were much better at making use of them, than most of us today when we tend to grab a fret. It can change the timbre, but in a positive way. You do show it in this case with C E G, but I often forget when doing something like say a Bb Major scale…

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Tonally they’re not the same, they have a different timbre. On my 5 string, I don’t like the sound of notes above the 5th fret. YMMV, it’s all personal taste. My preference often comes from being able to play a full octave across the neck. Playing at the 8th fret is easier to reach all the notes in one position vs the 3rd fret.

I like using open strings but I find that when Im playing from standard notation, i never use open strings. I use shapes a lot, open strings screw up the shapes and make me have to think more :smiley: using open strings also makes it more difficult to change key.

I like the sound of open strings but it depends what I’m playing. Open strings take more effort for muting and playing staccato notes, it’s also difficult to bend or do vibrato on open strings. If you’re going to solo much, you end up playing above the 12 fret for the most part and playing down the neck or playing open strings is awkward and can have a very different timbre.

Mark Smith already has all that in his FREE OF CHARGE downloadable guides on his site. No sense trying to reinvent the wheel.
Library – TalkingBass

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While I generally agree with this statement, I think the process of re-discovering something for yourself, rather than consuming something someone else has prepared, has a lot of meaning and usually provides for some deeper learning and a bunch of “eureka” moments :grinning:

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True that :arrow_double_up: @joergkutter

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What I meant is that they are the same note but you answered my question about picking one fingering over the other. The timbre is different even though they are the same note.

So like others stated is is all down to personal preference.

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There are some songs where the “correct” note seems like an odd choice as it requires a lot of movement up/down the neck so i assume the choice either was that they liked the tone or it was difficult but they could do it :slight_smile: There’s a chord in the guitar part of shape of my heart where the original song uses 5th fret on the E and and i just play and open A because it’s way easier. Same with Portrait of Tracy where the D# harp harmonic requires a stretch from the 2nd to 6th fret for the harmonic which i can’t reach so i play a pinch harmonic.

Sometimes when playing a cover I’m really torn between playing a note in the “correct” place or playing an equivalent that’s easy and good enough :slight_smile: Some stuff bugs me when almost everyone plays it wrong, like the toms in the beginning of “Come Together”.

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I’m not sure what you mean by, the “correct” place.
The “correct” place is wherever you play the note that’s on the stave, in the most efficient manner possible.

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I’ve noticed a lot of old blues artists moved up and down the neck. I’ve seen a tab for Hound Dog on a couple of strings and wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how it was played.

It’s the same note, no correct or incorrect to me.

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Here are three fingerings for the Bâ™­ Major scale I put in my chart.:

I wouldn’t say timbre is the primary consideration here. It’s more about what is going on in the song and which fingering is more convenient - is the song going to stay around the root on the neck? Is it moving up or down the neck? These things might influence your choice.

timbre is there too but it would not likely be my main consideration.

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Here is one way DannyMo taught me and he learned from Ron Carter.

Play the Bb as you do on 6th fret of the E, open D string, then the F on the 8th of the A for that second position.

Try the whole Bb major scale, but use the open D and open G (again starting in the second position in your diagram). You can just move vertically on the fret board and only actually fret the 6th and 8th frets using those two open strings. Gives you some nice movement. Then go right from the octave into your third position fingering and get some horizontal movement.

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That makes sense.

I did not mention the octave because I did not want to confuse the issue but I do what you mentioned a lot when playing. I find it breaks up the monotony of staying in the same octave and adds flavor, after all we don’t want listeners getting bored and falling asleep. :slightly_smiling_face: :slightly_smiling_face: :slightly_smiling_face:

It just proves that there are so many ways of approaching something like this.
And, as has been said so many times, if it sounds good to you just go for it.

I really appreciate your input on this. :+1:

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To anyone reading this topic that wonder if they need to know basic music theory, this should help answer that question for you. Just don’t let theory bog you down and frustrate you.

This whole discussion is all based on pretty basic Major and minor chord triad construction theory and then applying it to the Bass fretboard.

Keep on chuggin’

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All of this is covered in the B2B course and more.

In fact I’d argue that the only music theory you need to set yourself up for success is the Beginner to Badass course. Just enough to point you in the right direction without being overwhelming.

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:+1: :+1: :+1:

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The “correct” place is where the original artist played it in a certain version of the music… and often, that isn’t the most efficient manner possible.

Like ACDC - Back In Black that a lot of people play “wrong” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4ZerETLoEU

Playing notes in different places does have a subtle effect on the tonality of a note, either darker or brighter. Like i said, why choose to play something in a manner that’s more difficult? Either because it sounds the way you want it to or because you like to show off that you can play it in a more difficult manner. Sometimes an artist will play the notes in different places in different versions of the song. If one doesn’t care, then it doesn’t matter.

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I see. You must be referring to playing by tab.