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Bass "strumming"

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by rudeger, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. rudeger


    Oct 23, 2006
    ok, anyone have any tips or hints on up and down strumming with your full arm instead of just your wrist?? I have seen a lot of bassists do it and I wanna know some tips to it. Just for one string strumming..
  2. Gegatso


    Jan 16, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    I think there may be some different answers on this since nobody plays exactly like anyone else, but here goes.
    Keep the wrist fairly loose and work first on strumming something easy like the 5th fret D-G strings. You'll see that you have to adapt to avoiding the E and A (assuming 4 string for this) as well as muting them with the left hand somehow. I've seen guys bring their thumb around for this, but I prefer in this case to do something like hold both notes with the 3rd finger while resting the 1st and 2nd on the other strings. I hit the strings with my nails on the downstrokes and outside edges of my fingers (usually first 2 or 3) on the upstrokes.
    To get a flamenco effect, make a loose fist and let the fingers release from the thumb...but this only works on downstrokes and does not require much movement of the arm. Once you get the feel, doing one string (any and switching) won't be a big deal.
    Work with a metronome btw and don't forget things like triplets. ;)
    Hope this is of some help, or at least understandable!

  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Gegatso, he's talking about the punk rock style of strumming, like the guys in Blink 182 or Sum 41.

    Now I don't recommend anyone do this because it will lead to elbow and shoulder injuries eventually, but I remember being young and wanting to look cool onstage, so here you go. The way you do it is with your left hand, you fret the note you want to play while muting all the other strings completely. You need to keep your right hand and wrist completely stiff, and do a down/up pumping motion with your shoulder. Pick all the strings at once, and you'll only hear the note you fretted. As you get better at it, you can start to aim for the string you're playing and eliminate some of that string noise. Make sure you have plenty of ice for your shoulder and elbow after the gig.
  4. Gegatso


    Jan 16, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    Oh ok, Jimmy...thanks! I never really considered that to be much of a "technique" - and like you, I don't recommend doing it. :)
  5. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Go to YouTube and look for some Michael Manring videos. You'll probably see him do what you're talking about.

  6. PrimusNut


    Mar 23, 2006
    Nova Scotia
    Are you talking about with a pick? or with just fingers, like Cliff Burton did?
  7. rudeger


    Oct 23, 2006
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