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Bad Habit???

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Lazy, Aug 4, 2002.


  1. Lazy

    Lazy

    May 30, 2001
    Vancouver BC
    Because my hands are childishly small, I usually use my index and pinky fingers to fret most of the notes I play, especially 5ths and octaves etc. I tried to really force myself to use my ring finger, but I ended up sacrificing alot of clarity and screwing up the entire rhythm of the song. Is this habit I have going to totally doom me in the future or what???
     
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Not a bad habit, if I'm to understand you correctly. Since you say your hands are small, you're using a 1-2-4 fingering method? And it sounds better? No problem there at all, it's an age old double bass technique.
     
  3. Lazy

    Lazy

    May 30, 2001
    Vancouver BC
    Yeah, I use mostly 1,2, and 4 fingered methods.
    Thanks for the feedback!
     
  4. just_a_poser

    just_a_poser

    Apr 20, 2002
    I have long fingers and I usually use my pinky to hit my octaves and stuff, unless I'm higher up on the neck. I can hold my hand more naturally if I do that too. But it depends on what I'm playing.
     
  5. My hands are average size but I still use my pinky to play octaves because it is much more comfortable that way, I don't think it is a bad habit at all.
     
  6. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    I have very tiny hands/fingers and I usually play the same way you do, though my teacher, early on when I first started my lesson (2 years ago), corrected me when playing octaves and had me play 1-3 instead of 1-4, but I still find it a lot more comfortable to play 1-4. Playing 1-3 makes my wrist hurt a bit. However, I try to make it a habit to play 5ths 1-3. That's not too bad of a stretch.

    What about triple stops? My teacher has showed me to play them (when playing them R-5th-octave) 1 and bar the 5th and octave with my 3rd finger. I find this a little difficult and I usually play with 1-3-4.
     
  7. Lazy

    Lazy

    May 30, 2001
    Vancouver BC
    I have the most problems with my ring finger. I wish I had really big hands like Jaco or Flea.
     
  8. If you want big hands, you want 'em like Jimi, I have this video of him playing and at one point he has his index on the 5th, then he puts his middle finger on the 9th, and THEN he sticks his ring finger on the eleventh fret of his guitar. That's just sick.
     
  9. Trist6075

    Trist6075 Guest

    Mar 6, 2001
    I have a bad habit too. I'm addicted to chronic, which means I smoke weed all day just about everyday. I am so high that it is usually hard to get up to practice and I don't practice as much as I should. I still get by though with about 1 to 1.5 hours (or so I try...)of practice each day. Maybe I wouldn't call it a bad habit. Gotta have some days off too(from bass practice that is, not smoking.) ;-)
     
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    :rolleyes:

    take notes, kids
     
  11. i have the exact opposite problem when playing. my pinkies are almost useless to me. i dont know why either. i barely ever use them, and if i do they have no accuracy or anything. i use my ring for octaves and what not. while playing guitar i only use my pinky for real chords, and doing power chords i just use my index and ring. i dont even use my pinky to type. luckily, i have real long fingers so its not that big a deal...
     
  12. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I have another pinky / bad habit question - my right hand (strumming hand) pinky sticks strait out. I play finger style with my thumb on top of the pickup, usually with only two finger and that pinky just sticks strait out, looks like those folks who stick the pinky out when drinking their tea. I can't really control it so I mostly ignore it - is this bad for any reason? It looks a little strange (didn't start a new threaad 'cause it's not that important)
     
  13. That's weird, my pinky always stays completely tucked in. Doesn't seem like a problem though, just be careful not to snag it on anything.
     
  14. punkfunkfreak

    punkfunkfreak

    Dec 16, 2001
    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *Originally posted by Creepy *
    I have another pinky / bad habit question - my right hand (strumming hand) pinky sticks strait out. I play finger style with my thumb on top of the pickup, usually with only two finger and that pinky just sticks strait out, looks like those folks who stick the pinky out when drinking their tea. I can't really control it so I mostly ignore it - is this bad for any reason? It looks a little strange (didn't start a new threaad 'cause it's not that important)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thats normal, its the ligaments in your hand tensing up. Since u dont use your pinky much they havent been "trained" into laying flat while the other fingers are working yet.
    Its not a problem unless it gets in the way or breaks or summat.

    :D
     
  15. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida

    Ive kinda got that problem myself...my pinky used to be really "retarded" and not want a piece of the action. I started doing streching exercises and stamina/strengh builiding ones to isolate it and make me more active...but its still not where it should be.
     
  16. Lazy

    Lazy

    May 30, 2001
    Vancouver BC
    I do EXACTLY the same thing. From what I've seen from other players, the pinky is either tucked or sticks out!!
    That sounds kind of funny huh?:D
     
  17. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    I have normal hands, and i find it more COMFORTABLE to play octaves and fivths with my pinky below the 5th fret.
     
  18. mans0n

    mans0n

    Jun 15, 2002
    i say play how you feel is best, if what you do now works for ya, do it that way..... there is no RULES to how to play, anyone who teaches you uses a technique someone else taught them and so on.... there is no law of finger style. play your own way.. your own style.. i feel the only way you would be doomed is if you confer with how everyone else is playing, and change your natural ways of playing to suit the norm....... this is all just my opinion though =) (in attempts at full disclosure) i personally use all 5 fingers and also have very small hands... practice practice
     
  19. bplayerofdoom

    bplayerofdoom

    Aug 6, 2002
    R.S.M.
    Thanks to lying around the house while playing I can play with some very odd left hand positions. I use two normally. 1-2-3-4 and a 1-2-3 and often swithch hand positions to simplify things. Dont give up learning other hand positions cause they can come in handy. O and when I really feal like being lazy(this being a non-useful hand position) I use my thumb curling over the top.
     
  20. rustyshakelford

    rustyshakelford

    Jul 9, 2002
    When I started with electric bass, I had the same problems. My hands are medium size.

    Two years later I began playing upright. Upright neck is huge, even compared to electric bass.

    However, switching back to electric from upright was great, because I had to overcompensate when I began upright.

    Bill Dickens talks about this in his video. To simulate upright conditions on an electric (and induce that overcompensation), he places a heavy chord ("the budha rope"), under the 12th fret and practices fretting his bass.

    Because of the cord, the strings on his bass are raised, so he has to press really hard to fret his bass.

    I have been studying classical guitar for three years now. Classical guitarists similarly lament inability to fret. Can you imagine them trying to fret a bass?!

    So, it is a bit of perspective. Try raising your action and gently build up your left hand strength. When you return to a normal, lower action, you will play with ease.

    Take care,

    RS