PINNING THE BASS “D” TO THE BOARD :
With the bass “D”, we encounter the first note which can be found in THREE different places ; it is important to relate each placement to the respective open strings ; the time has come to MEMORISE just those three Bass “D” positions : the OPEN string ④, at the fifth fret on ⑤, and at the tenth fret on ⑥ ;
it can also be quite useful to visualise the fact that, on ⑥, the D is two frets away from the twelfth fret (the 12th fret being the “octave fret” of the open strings).
“Pinning the Bass “D” – relating it to the open strings ④, ⑤, and ⑥:
To reinforce the knowledge of those positions, and kill two birds with one stone, work on the following rhythmic exercise in 2/4 time, respecting the marked stresses: STRONG on the first beat, WEAK on the second one. Understanding Time signatures is a very important part of sight-reading.
Strictly keep to the given positions but not necessarily to the indicated fingerings which are those that will be needed for the “Pinning the Bass “D” (Major)” exercise below, so feel free at this stage to use any finger you like, but in the knowledge that when it comes to playing “Pinning the Bass “D” (Major)”, the “Ds” will have to be played with finger 2.
Whichever fingerings you choose for the Rhythmic exercise, work on it until these three notes have really been "hammered" home, so that the fact that the Bass “Ds” are on OPEN ④ - at Fret 5 on ⑤ - and at Fret 10 on ⑥ has been visually, mentally, and musically integrated, so that not only knowledge but also a reflex will have been created:
Since previously, exercises have established the Bass “C”, and the current exercises are establishing the Bass “D”, the opportunity is now taken to practice the C# (which sits between the two) by switching to D minor (see previous analysis of the minor scale):
In the next exercise (in D Major – 2#) one useful thing to remember is that Positions II, IV, and IX are particularly suited to D Major:
And in D minor:
At this still early stage of the course, it will be quite normal to fumble for some of the notes in the next exercise, but NOT where the three Bass “Ds” are concerned, as they now really ought to have been absorbed.
In D minor, position V gives easy access to the Bb but requires a little stretch to reach the C# on ⑥ :
Next: Pinning the Middle “E”; exercise re: Time signature.
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