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Even sound on both fingers

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by theshadow2001, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    Any advice techniques or excersises that anyone can recommend to improve consistency between plucking fingers? I'd like to get a more even balance of tone and volume between each finger
  2. jadesmar


    Feb 17, 2003
    Ottawa, ON
    Use ears.

    Failing that, use a recording device.. then ears.
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    You got a metronome? If not, get one.

    Then do this:

    Set the metronome at 60beats per minute (bpm).

    In quarter notes (one note per beat) play a major scale up and down, two octaves. Use one finger for the first note, the other for the next note and continue alternating between fingers going up and down. You DON'T want to stop at the top of the scale and then start coming down starting with same finger you started with. Strictly alternate. As JADE says, LISTEN to what you are doing, concentrate on an even attack. Sure you can probably play faster than a quarter note at 60, but you aren't working on playing fast with this exercise.

    When you are working on two octave scales, you also want to think about fingering and position shifts.

    Play through all twelve keys, when you can play through all twelve keys with no problems, even attack with both fingers EVERY TIME you do the exercise (not just the first time you get through it with no problems), then move the nome up to 64 bpm. Gradually increase the tempo by a couple of click each time until you hit quarter note = 120bpm.

    Then move the nome back down to 60 bpm and start with two octave major scales in ACCENT 1 8th notes. That is, out of every group of 4 eighth notes, accent only the first note in the group i.e. 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and....

    As before when it absolutley NAILED EVERY SINGLE TIME (not just the first time), move the tempo up in small increments till you hit 120 bpm.

    Then moveback down to 60 and do ACCENT 2 eighth notes (yep you guessed it 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and) up to 120.

    Back to 60 and accent 3 8ths, up and down.
    Back to 60 and accent 4 up and down.

    Then Accent 1 triplets, accent 2 triplets, accent 3 triplets.

    The you get to go through natural, harmonic and melodic minor scales in two octaves.

    This isn't an exercise that you'll get through in a day or a week or a month, but if you work on it a little while EVERY day, you get to a point where YOU decide where to place the accent in a line because YOU are able to control what your fingers are doing.
  4. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    Thanks ed that excersize is good for improving my timing and rythm sense as well as my scale and fretboard knowledge plus getting that balance really nice.

    Hearing Franco Roco Prestia playing those straight eights on the bass day 98 dvd intro screen is what got me on to this. I was amazed at how even and perfectly timed each note was. Doing nothing but holding a single note. It to me was just an example of perfect technique.
  5. jadesmar


    Feb 17, 2003
    Ottawa, ON
    That's pretty much where I was coming from.

    If you know what the sound of even and perfectly timed notes, don't think about what your fingers are doing. Let's let them do their thing while you listen carefully to ensure even and perfectly timed notes.

    In addition to that, a recording device will not lie. Listening back to that will show you areas of weakness which you may have missed, perhaps some errant fret buzz on shifts etc.

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