Alternate fingers or raking does it really matter?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by cire113, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. cire113


    Apr 25, 2008
    Do i really need to be conscious of how im playing finger style? I'm trying not to think about it...

    But does it really matter if i alternate or rake.. as long as my playing is fluid it shouldnt matter how i do it right?
  2. klaus486


    Jun 27, 2009
    portland or
    sales geek Portland Music co.
  3. djaydjay


    Mar 14, 2010
    Being able to alternate is important and you should not rake out of "laziness", you’d risk developing it as a bad habit. But as a controlled technique, raking can be very useful.

    I'm no master, but I always found that alternate gives you a more even and controlled sound, especially on slow speed. Raking haves my favor for some fast stuff.
  4. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    IMHO we'd better learn both and we should be concscius when we practice (to control) them.
    But in real situation maybe we do it unconsciously/instinctively.
    They have different nuances and different needs tho..
  5. Rakes are handy for crossing to the lower (in pitch) strings. Otherwise alternating is easier, at least in my experience.
  6. tbirddad


    Feb 22, 2006
    Fingering is important - yes - the tone / sound / the notes are the most important, but - hard to run on one leg -

    The better your fingering - the better you will be able to play!
  7. Skitch it!

    Skitch it!

    Sep 6, 2010
    Well I'd say nothing is set in stone, techniques are tools that fit a purpose, as you say at the end of the day fluidity is that however you play it. Raking is a technique in itself I use a lot but it won't fit for everything, I'd liked to have put a lot more time into alternating while I was initially learning to play for sure. Techniques are just tool's in themselves, it is nice to have the choice of a few to find the right one for the purpose, of music I'd say.
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've given up on raking entirely. Strict alternation just works so much better for everything, especially playing fast, that I never even bother trying to rake anymore. I got a lot of flack for coming out against raking before, so now my stance is "I couldn't care less if you do it, but if you really want to get good, develop your strict alternation."

    And don't throw Jamerson and his one finger in my face. We ain't Jamerson, for one, and for another, I SA everything, including old Motown songs, and it sounds just fine.
  9. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    if you really want to get good, develop your alternation AND raking too.

    It's not about for fast playing. It has it's own advantage other than that.
  10. cire113


    Apr 25, 2008
    yeah... well honestly jamerson raked.. jaco racked.. victor rakes...marcus rakes... all these bass heroes used it ... it must be good for something :)

    to each his own... There is no "right or wrong" IMO... its purely subjective and based on personal experience....

    But im going to try to work on my strict alternating for sure... it cant hurt me
  11. zephyr_words


    Aug 12, 2009
    I only rake when it's a measure spanning down every string. Something like Mellowship Slinky in B Major.
  12. bosw04k


    Aug 14, 2009
    Yeah, do what feels good to you. I find alternating down strings much harder than raking, so I use it for every downward string cross. Really is personal though. It's a good idea to focus on solid technique for now, it gets second nature surprisingly quickly, and you'll play what you've been practicing, so if you get lazy about it, it will be alot of effort to break bad habits.
  13. Perfect example :)
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    See, I think raking is the worst thing you can do for going to a lower pitched string, especially if you're playing something with a lot of 16th notes. You take yourself right out of the rhythmic momentum you have built up with your fingers and have to start over. If you use SA, you keep the rhythm in your fingers steady and constant, which is a lot easier to keep a steady beat.

    So cire, you gonna listen to me or are you gonna listen to your friends? ;)
  15. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    Sorry Jimmy, I'm not agree with you.

    I don't think raking is worst like that. It has it's 'place' in technique for some situations in some songs.

    But I respect anybody's opinion and I don't want to do heavy arguing about that.

    I myself alternate mainly, but sometimes I do raking when I feel appropriate, and I learn that technique.
    Well, I agree that after all, we do what we like.

    Peace :)
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well what I tell everyone who disagrees is try it for two months doing nothing but SA...for the slower stuff or the stuff where your fingers will stop anyway, raking is fine. But if I'm doing steady 16th notes at a brisk clip, I just find it so much more smooth and consistent to use SA.

    Anyway, like I said, I used to care more about pushing it until I got my head handed to me on here, so now I don't. All I can tell you is it made a tremendous difference for me.
    31HZ likes this.
  17. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    Apologize again Jimmy my brother..

    Really I respect your experience, and it's good to you that you just find it so much more smooth and consistent to use SA....
    But I experience that Raking is fine too with faster stuff. And no It don't have to be stuff/passage where my fingers have to stop either.

    Please respect other people that has different experience from you, brother..

    OK I think I'll stop now to avoid heavy arguing that I don't want to do. You can write whatever you like after this.

    And.. Peace again always man!
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Hey, you're welcome to disagree. All I'll say is that I've tried to find the downside of strict alternation and I can't. YMMV and it obviously does V.
  19. Skitch it!

    Skitch it!

    Sep 6, 2010
    I agree with Jimmy on this, I wouldn't underestimate the benefits of SA and I would have fared better down the line if that had been reinforced while I was learning but, in '87 there wasn't the access to the tuition available now. Spend the time on it, it won't bite :)
  20. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    If you are honestly asking this of yourself then look to the logic of the teaching phenomenon. If playing with an alternation is a foundational approach - has there been a professional teaching scenario where a single "raking" method has been taught in this (foundational) context? I don't believe it has. I don't "rake" because I found that (for me) it was a product of fatigue & that I couldn't get back fluidly enough once that door had been crossed, YMMV.