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E string Pizz Question

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by kurkomat, Jun 2, 2002.


  1. kurkomat

    kurkomat

    Aug 28, 2001
    Austin, TX
    Hello All...

    Relatively new upright player and I have a question regarding pizz playing as I'm btwn lessons with my teach:
    Wondering what's the best way to play two finger pizz on the low E-string. On electric you just naturally play against your thumb or the B string (on a 5), but I'm finding that when I'm playing medium-fast groove lines on my E string my fingers don't come back to my thumb. They kind-of go off into mid air and sometimes "snap" against my thumb further down on the finger. Because of this I can't play nearly as fast on my E, and if I angle my hand to be more perpendicular with the fingerboard the tone definitely suffers. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Not only is the E string set at an awkward angle for pizz, but it also speaks much more slowly than the other strings. I rarely use two fingers on it except for tremolo effects. I think the best sound (for me, anyway) on the E string comes from a very "horizontal" stroke using as much meat of the index finger as you can manage to touch the string with. Anything less sounds kind of unfocused by comparison. If you go more perpendicular, you will get less sound, so it becomes a question of trading sound for speed...which has been an issue for every bassplayer who ever picked up a bass.
     
  3. Bijoux

    Bijoux

    Aug 13, 2001
    Denver-CO-USA
    real good question, sometimes Ipractice only on E and A string, I get a lot of written music by non bassplayers and a lot of times it require real fast runs on E string, by playing walking line and increasing the speed I am getting more comfortable an the E string getting a better sound, fuller sound, and working a great deal on intonation, because you'll have to go way up there and play notes that would normaly be played on higher strings, I'll play notes on A string occasionally just to make sense out of the lines, but my main focus is on E string, I'll let you know the results after a couple of weeks or so.
     
  4. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    I also get a clearer tone, with less buzz or slap, by moving my right hand a bit closer to the bridge when pizzing the E string. It's a matter of maybe an inch or so, but it makes a huge difference on my bass. I never really analyzed it much, but it also seems that I "hook" my fingers a bit more on the E string. Don't know if that's "correct" techinique, but it sounds good to my ears.