Rolling your finger versus single finger per fret

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by HoboCop, Mar 26, 2014.


  1. HoboCop

    HoboCop

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Location:
    Phoenixville, PA 19460
    Is there a better choice between these two? I've been sort of doing it both ways depending on where I have to move my hand next.

    For clarification, I'm talking about rolling your finger across two strings at the same fret, say the A and D notes at the 7th fret, versus putting my ring and pinky finger down on each one. The particular song I'm struggling with is Good Times Bad Times by Led Zep.
  2. Fender05

    Fender05

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    As with most things "technique", there is no "right" or "wrong" way to do this. I use both, generally the rolling technique for faster parts, and the two finger way for slower. It seems to be cleaner when I do it with two fingers, but when I'm flying, and the note's only gonna be there for a fraction of a second, I can get away with rolling my finger.
  3. FretlessMainly

    FretlessMainly

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    I think the technique you are describing is better termed "barring," as in barre chord (most folks call it "bar chord," which is a colloquialism). But yes, use both as needed.
  4. wild4oldcars

    wild4oldcars

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Location:
    Garner, NC
    The technique is kinda like barring, but not really, because one also has to mute the other strings they are playing the same fret with. It really takes some coordination to do this on fast runs (i.e. E>B>F# on 9th fret) due to the muting required on the rake. Ascending 4ths are much easier imo, because I feel more natural rolling my finger toward the treble side than the bass side. In any instance i can, however, i use separate fingers
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  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
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    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I do a barre when I play it, or as you call it, rolling. Seems the most logical way to play it.
  7. JoeWPgh

    JoeWPgh

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    I tend to barre with my first finger and sometimes second, when that's the finger available to reach the note. 3rd and 4th fingers? Rarely, if ever.
  8. HoboCop

    HoboCop

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Location:
    Phoenixville, PA 19460
    I guess you could call it barring, I didn't consider that term because I"m only playing one note at a time, I'm lifting up off the other note and alternating. Thanks for the replies, I was trying to decide if I was better off only doing one thing or the other in the long run.
  9. PullThePlug

    PullThePlug

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Location:
    Sacramento
    I find that if I do bar, it's usually only with the pinky to reach those octaves after building up from the tonic. Otherwise, it's almost a strictly loyal "one finger per fret rule."

    Everybody has their own mojo. Keep playing, you'll naturally develop more techniques like this that'll apply to what makes you a better player.

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