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Does Geddy double-pick with index finger?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by KPAX, Oct 1, 2008.


  1. KPAX

    KPAX Banned

    Mar 22, 2005
    When I watch Geddy Lee I'm always amazed at his right hand economy of motion. It seems like he's using only his index finger the vast majority of the time so I'm thinking he must hit up and down with it for a lot of fast passages?
    Is that what he's doing?
    If so, he's very strong and consistent at it.
    I do it a little but not for fast, driving eight notes.
    Do any of you guys do it?
     
  2. mrokern

    mrokern TB's resident Rush freak

    Jul 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    He does use that finger for both up and down strokes. It's jokingly called "flamenco" bass by Geddy himself.
     
  3. I do it a lot when I'm jamming and its really quite easy, and it allows one to play fast with ease. Lots of fun once you figure it out!
     
  4. He talks about that technique and demonstrates it in this video.

    Starts at about 12:15
     
  5. wizay

    wizay

    Mar 5, 2008
    Norway
    oh! i must see that!
     
  6. waynobass

    waynobass

    Feb 27, 2008
    Texas
    There's no point even trying to comprehend how he plays. We'll never be half as good. :bawl:
     
  7. i use that technique
     
  8. Loel

    Loel Blazin' Acadian

    Oct 31, 2004
    Nice to see Ged uses a GK 800rb
    for practicing warmups...
     
  9. Demian

    Demian

    Oct 2, 2008
    Hanau, Germany
    To those of you who are using that kind of technique: How do you tackle the differences of volume between the "normal" hit with your finger and the hit with the backside of it? Besides the fact that there's a difference in tone between the two of them (considering you're not usually using your fingernails to play bass). I can't help it, I'm practicing and practicing, but I do not get an equal volume outta my bass using that technique. Is there a way to crack that or is it (like so many times) just about more practice and more practice and a hell a lot of practice until you got to go to some surgeon to mend your index finger? :D
     
  10. KPAX

    KPAX Banned

    Mar 22, 2005
    Hang in there, work and believe. There was a time (and albums) when Rush just wasn't very good. But they got better, better ... until they were smokin' great.

     
  11. Hopper

    Hopper

    Sep 24, 2008
    London
    Yeah I was wondering the same thing. I use this technique occasionally and I'd also be interested to hear from others who are using it and how they solve the tonal difference between the up and downstroke. It's an interesting technique when combined with standard double finger action.
     
  12. I think he uses a compressor. Which will definately help with making the levels even.
     
  13. Hopper

    Hopper

    Sep 24, 2008
    London
    But there's a tonal difference between the nail side and the pad side of your finger....
     
  14. snappytom

    snappytom

    Aug 17, 2005
    ChicagoLand
    The keys to this technique (at least for me) are a light touch, short nails, and playing with the very tip of your finger. If your nail never hits the string the upstroke and downstroke should sound the same.
    Once you get the index finger working well, introduce the middle finger too.
    I don't use it all the time, but it adds a lot to my playing when needed.
     
  15. BluesWalker

    BluesWalker Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Chuck Rainey also uses this technique, probably before Geddy. If you search the web, you should be able to find articles or videos. I know he discussed in a Bass Player mag article about 15 years ago.
     
  16. Hopper

    Hopper

    Sep 24, 2008
    London

    Interesting.
     
  17. KPJ

    KPJ

    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    He explains it in his "Bass Method" book as well. A fantastic reference. I have incorporated it into my playing since reading about in that book all those years ago.

     
  18. Hopper

    Hopper

    Sep 24, 2008
    London
    I'll have to track that down.

    I think it's particularly useful at a mid to fast tempo just at the point when double fingering becomes difficult (it's naturally going to be difficult because standard double picking uses upstrokes) and swinging a single finger, pendulum-like to pluck a string from both sides seems more efficient.

    It may be a problem if you're going for that quick - choked - note - Jaco tone though - but I imagine there's a way to get around that too.

    ...Anybody else care to chip in and comment?
     

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