What are the “Rabbath Positions” anyway?

There are six positions in the Rabbath system. Here's how they work.

With Jason Heath · San Francisco, CA

One of the most popular position systems on the double bass these days is the Rabbath position system.

I think the Rabbath system is brilliant.

I think of these not only as positions, but regions on the bass. That seems to help well when explaining this to people.

Here’s a quick breakdown and what notes you’re covering on the G string:

  • first position – first finger on the note A
  • second position – between C and D, over the “tuning harmonics”
  • third position – first finger on D – using pivoting, we can get all the way from D to G
  • fourth position – thumb on G octave harmonic
  • fifth position – thumb on D above the octave harmonic
  • sixth position – thumb on the second G octave harmonic

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