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Dropping a 4th...one finger or two?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by mrokern, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. mrokern

    mrokern TB's resident Rush freak

    Jul 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Ok, so as I'm working more with some upcoming audition material, I'm coming across some stuff that I haven't had to do nearly at these speeds before.

    One of the songs has the bass doubling the guitar for awhile in a repetitive descending A-F#-C# (lower octave, C# played on my B string) pattern, not a triplet feel, at a pretty hefty rate of speed. Normally to play the F#-C#, I'd just roll my fretting finger down and use it to mute the string above at the same time, but as the speed goes up, I notice that the muting gets nasty sloppy.

    Yes, the sloppy part comes from me...but it seems that I have a much easier and cleaner time of it if I use my index finger to fret the F#, and my middle finger to fret the C#. Is this a bad idea for any reason? Coming out of the figure I have a driving C# for a couple of bars, so it's not like I have to quickly move anywhere else on the neck.

  2. Tommy el Gato

    Tommy el Gato

    Jul 6, 2007
    I believe that both of the ways to play that which you mentioned could work. If you want to play fourths by barring one finger, then try exercising that interval. Play F#, then C# repeating. Start slow and build up speed. That way you can teach yourself to mute effectively.


    Sep 7, 2005
    You could use your pinky to fret the A and bar the F# and C# with your index finger. After playing the F# you can release some pressure so the E string is muted while playing the C#. I hope this makes sense. I find trying to use my middle finger to fret the C# in this pattern kind of goes against the natural mechanics of my fingers.
  4. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    I usually use my thumb to drop a fourth (or sometimes other intervals). I can mute the higher note by slightly raising the finger on that note to damp it out.

    But that's just me. :bag:
  5. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
  6. mrokern

    mrokern TB's resident Rush freak

    Jul 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Thanks all! Glad to see I'm not committing a cardinal sin. :p

    I'm gonna just keep banging on it. After all, practice brings speed.


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