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Callous causing different tone?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Jazzkuma, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Jazzkuma

    Jazzkuma

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    Sep 12, 2008
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    First of all, this post isn't an excuse to bad tone, I'm not trying to find an easy fast way to good tone here.

    I have started practicing using thumb and also ring finger (sort of classical guitar technique) and I noticed that the tone on my ring finger is much more mellow while playing with my index and middle produce a brighter sound. Then I figured its because I don't have callous in the ring finger yet so its gotta be that, its "fleshier" and not tough like a callous.

    Sometimes I want that mellower tone so Ill play a line with only my ring finger (if the baseline isn't too fast or much cross string). Im just wondering if anyone has gotten rid of their callous just to get a specific tone? Because as i get more dexterity with my ring finger I am favoring that tone for the stuff I play.
  2. matti777

    matti777 Supporting Member

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    Dec 13, 2007
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    I was envious of my bass instructors tone because he had callouses giving him a more staccato like percussive attack. Many bass players use their thumb when they are looking for a softer fuller tone.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Loud Mouth Know It All Blowhard Gold Supporting Member

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    Callous tone IS my tone. I play pretty hard. You could stick a needle a good 1/4" into my plucking fingers and I wouldn't feel it. I tap them on a table and it sounds like plastic. They may as well be dull picks.

    But "getting rid of" a callous seems like minor surgery to me. I don't think it's worth it. Just use other fingers if you want that other tone.
  4. Jazzkuma

    Jazzkuma

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    yeah i know, not saying which tone is better but my preference is a mellower fuller tone.

    I am trying to get rid of my them too. And I know you can just play with thumb but there are certain things which can be played and learned faster using index/middle.
  5. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

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    Mar 10, 2007
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    Yep. After enough time your fingers get so callused that a pick is mellower sounding. That's how mine are. I find that playing right near the neck joint and easing up on my attack does the trick for mellow sounds. That plus rolling the tone off helps.

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