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Chords & Right hand

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by DeepPunch, Aug 21, 2000.


  1. DeepPunch

    DeepPunch

    Jul 7, 2000
    A technique (or set of techniques) that I'd like to add to my arsenal is playing chords. Outside of arpegiating the notes or strumming with a pick (yuck), what do you do with your right hand to play the the chord? I suspect there are slightly different ways depending on whether you are playing 2 or 3 or more notes. Whatever I learn will be played on a 4 or 5 string.

    Thanks,
    Larry
     
  2. BaroqueBass

    BaroqueBass

    Jul 8, 2000
    Salem, OR
    3,4 note chords are very very cool if you have the right bass and amp. If you don't have the right stuff, they tend to sound kinda yucky... but that's not the point.

    To play those big 4 note cords or whatever, without strumming, place your thumb on the top string, and then follow down with your pointer and middle finger, and your ring finger if you're playing a 4 note chord. Squeeze all your fingers together, and give a little flick of the wrist, and then release.

    The hardest part about playing 3 and 4 note chords on bass, is getting each note of the chord at the same volume. That takes lots of practice. ^_^
     
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I do something similar - usually don't go for more than 3 note chords or double stops. But I don't know about this "squeezing strings and flicking the wrist"? I just pluck gently and all the movement is in the fingers - thumb is essential to me in this and is one of the reasons why I can't understand people who "plant" their thumb on the pickup or wherever. I always use my thumb to play the lowest note of a chord or double stop.
     
  4. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    For a primer on chordal playing, check out my on-line lessons (some reprinted from my lesson column in Bass Frontiers Magazine)at http://www.michaeldimin.com. There is also a guest article here at Talkbass.com on the subject. Believe it or not I actually wrote a book on the subject, which you can also check out at my site.

    BTW - 3 lashes with a wet noodle to Bruce Lindfield, for not mentioning it.
     
  5. DeepPunch

    DeepPunch

    Jul 7, 2000
    Thank you. I will go to Mike's site and check that lesson out.

    Having this forum has been very good for me. I has helped validate some of the practices I have and gently redirect me when I've been "not quite right" on something. I've learned more in the last 9 months since picking up the bass again after 18 years than I did in the 9 or 10 years I claimed to have been playing before that. Although, there are many things you don't forget, and now I am playing consistantly with a band, and that is immensely helpful. ...but that's another topic.

    Larry
     
  6. brewer9

    brewer9

    Jul 5, 2000
    Playing chords will open up new bass adventures for you. Once you get the left hand solid, you can use the right hand in a million different ways. The obvious is to strum all the strings at once (either from hi to low or the opposite). Or you can play each note of the chord sepearately making full progressions or riffs with the notes. Just keep trying things.
     
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Sorry - I accept the punishment like a man! ;) I was too caught up in the idea of squeezing my fingers and then flicking my wrist!
     
  8. BaroqueBass

    BaroqueBass

    Jul 8, 2000
    Salem, OR
    Ohhh yaaaaa.. That does sound kinda bad huh? I wonder how I should rephrase it.. hmmmmmmmmm.. *falls asleep*