Originally Posted by SlapPopBass
Hi, I just recently started bass and have been wondering for quite some time. When playing an octave note, is it necessary to use my pinky? I find by moving my hand slightly and using my ring finger instead I can play most riffs smoother.
By "moving your hand slightly"...does the angle of your wrist change? That is, does the angle of your wrist resemble that of a guitarist? Ideally, you want all 4 fingers on the neck...looking down, you should be able to see the backside of your wrist (the side where the wrist bends in)...not the side of your wrist.
By playing the octave with your ring finger...what happens to the pinky? Does it disappear?
BTW, the ring finger is the weakest finger on your hand. That's science & anatomy.
You also want to work on finger independence.
In short, finger-per-fret (somewhere up where it's more comfortable, for now)...then try moving only the index finger
...up-down, up-down...move down or up to the adjacent string & back...the other fingers are to remain still
Then do the same with middle...then the ring...then the pinky.
Use your plucking hand to assist (holds down the fingers that should not be moving) because it will not be easy.
What is the proper method? Or are both acceptable?
I have seen a few things that "work"...in the long run, though...things that "feel best" now are easier but technique is training your body to go outside what "feels" best. Unless you're a natural, it takes time...what is difficult now becomes easier later once muscle memory kicks in.