In Simandl's system, one position (below thumb position) encompasses only a whole step. In Rabbath's method, the entire fingerboard is divided into only six positions, defined by the location of natural harmonics on the strings. This is done by using extension fingerings, in which the thumb remains in one place but the hand shifts up and down, and by playing across the strings. Passages that would be quite difficult and require large amounts of shifting using traditional fingering are made much easier by using this method.
Though Rabbath's method is progressive, some argue that Simandl's method should be the first taught to beginning students because the rigid position system gives them a very good idea of where they are on the fingerboard, and it is easier to play in tune. Rabbath's system also uses extensive scale repetition for study. He writes out a two-octave scale, for example F major, then writes every fingering variation within his system. He has also developed a number of bowing variations, from whole notes to sixteenthth notes to even faster, all to be performed at the frog, middle, tip, and then middle parts of the bow. This method is different from Simandl's who focus on certain segments of the bass instead of the entire finger board in one study.
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