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Bent wrist claw, or just laying over the top?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ric1312, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. ric1312

    ric1312 Banned

    Apr 16, 2006
    chicago, IL.
    Most of the instruction videos or books I've bought touted the bending your wrist and playing with the tips of your finger as a superior way to play.

    I've seen at shows with bass players much better than I, that a lot of them just kind of lay their hand across the strings and play with the flat of the fingers. I've found that I can't really play this way as I don't have really long fingers, so I kindof have to play with the tips, to hit one fret for one finger.

    I was wondering what was the advantages of the second method and how many people play this way?
  2. Never ever bend your wrists. There are very few things that are absolutely wrong in bass playing, but bending your wrists more than a few degrees is one of them. There is no quicker path to hurting yourself than trying to do something strenuous with your wrist cocked at a crazy angle.

    As for playing with your fingertips, that's a pretty good idea. It's easier to be agile and use one finger per fret that way. There's nothing wrong with collapsed fingers either though. That can be great for muting, and barring, of course.
  3. Tighten your strap and bring your bass up. You should be able to have your thumb on the middle of the back of the neck and not really bend your wrist too much. The bend should be at your elbow, not in your wrist.
  4. ric1312

    ric1312 Banned

    Apr 16, 2006
    chicago, IL.
    thanks, guess I'll tighting my strap some more. Although it wasn't too low already. but, that makes sense bending more at the elbow.
  5. Flat fingers will probably be better for you in the long run on bass in my opinion.

    It can seem easier to play fast licks with curled fingers, because the movement for each finger is the same. With straighter fingers your index and pinky are straight while the middle two are bent a bit. However, its easier to put more weight behind straighter fingers and requires less physical effort, which more than makes up for this to me. Plus, keeping strings you dont want muted is very important, and flatter fingers makes this much easier.

    Do what Todd and Lemur say and you'll get it :)

    One tip - Once you've got the wrist sorted out, try this: Lay your fingers on the E string. Keep your thumb where it is, and pull your elbow up, and you'll see that your fingers will move across the strings without you moving a muscle in your hand. The less work each individual muscle has to do, the faster you'll be able to play, and with less effort. That goes for all techniques :)

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