Finger followthrough

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by JoeRules00, Jun 15, 2002.

  1. I started playing back in December, and started with the habit of not following through to the next string (i.e., play a note on the D string, follow the finger through to stop on the A string). So about a week ago I realized what I was doing and tried following through. I like the sound I get, it's a fuller sound, I guess, but technique with it has gotten a lot sloppier, with slower articulation, poor ability to move from string to string, especially when "jumping" strings, and most of all, quick fatigue.

    This leads me to think either a) This sort of followthrough is not for all (if this is the case, let me hear from a couple of you who don't use it) or b) I just suck at this sort of thing (if this is the case, i'd appreciate hearing from those who have had similar problems, or describing what you changed, if anything, to make the feel of it more comfortable and boost endurance.) Thanks!
  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    My situation is identical to yours. To the "T". I came to find out that my problem is that I'm double-jointed, it causes my "follow-through" to be longer. I can't move as quickly from one string to another, nor can I play extremely fast passages this way. It's unfortunate, since like you say, the tone is much better when you follow through. I've watched other people's technique, and their motion is easier because their finger doesn't bend REALLY far back like mine does, (it can bend at a 90 degree angle, backwards). Unfortunately, there's nothing to "remedy" my situation. I just practice a lot, and hope that my efficiency grows as I continue playing. So far it has. The more and more I just work at, the better it becomes. It may never be as smooth as another that isn't double-jointed.
  3. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I also started without following through, and it was definitely awkward trying to learn the technique. Just like any other technique, however, you'll get better at it the more you practice. There's no shortcuts, trust me, I looked for them. ;) But take my word for it, coming from someone who was in your position, you CAN adapt to it!

    Similarly, nothing says you have to follow through ALL the time. If you're ripping off really fast sixteenth notes, sometimes you conveniently "forget" to follow through.
  4. I used to have similar to the problem you two are experiencing. When I first started playing bass I did not follow through, but soon found that when playing fast beats, it is a must in order to get a very crisp sound. What I would recommend as a finger exercise to get out of the habit is use both your index and middle finger to pluck the G string, then immediately follow through to the D, A, then E. After which, go back up, making sure after you have hit the E string twice it is muted as soon as you hit the A string, and so on. It is a long process but the outcome is well worth it.