Fingers getting caught

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by wishface, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. CalBuzz51


    Mar 11, 2016
    I play flats mostly and occasionally I’ll pick up a bass with roundwounds and sometimes my fingers get stuck. Not all rounds, but some. Don’t think it’s my technique, but could be.

    I find Vimeo to be a good platform for uploading video easily, btw. No affiliation.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Carol Kaye has a specific hand position that she recommends to prevent injury.
  3. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Did you make this or are they available ? Thinking about one for my Jazz.
  4. wishface


    Jan 27, 2012
    which is?
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    wishface and CalBuzz51 like this.
  6. Rabidhamster


    Jan 15, 2014
    how can a neck be less wide and have the same string spacing?
    gebass6 and SLO Surfer like this.
  7. pappabass

    pappabass Inactive

    May 19, 2006
    Alabama !! Roll Tide
    I will agree to this one too! I just got a Sterling ray4, been playing a fender p. With the pickup further back on the ray, I find myself resting my thumb on the 4th string opposed to the pickup. Throwing me off a little! Gotta work on this one or get a thumb rest!
  8. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Determine what type of run/movement is causing the hang-up and practice it a little more slowly at first and gradually increase speed. Focus on the cleanliness of the run, use a metronome if possible.
    Or, you could just give yourself some time to get used to the new bass. Even if the string spacing is the same at the bridge a wider or narrower nut will make things a little different.
    wishface likes this.
  9. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Inactive Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    I recently posted a blog on my website ( about building a ramp and experiencing playing a bass with one for the first time...

    It really does make a difference in keeping your fingers from digging in too far.

    Moonshine :bassist:
    Stumbo likes this.
  10. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I skimmed the entire thread and didn't really see any indication of what sort of attack or tone you are going for. I don't use a ramp and wouldn't consider one useful for the technique I normally use. My goal is to create a clean tone without a lot of finger noise.

    But a lot of players go through the strings to create a very aggressive attack similar to a pick. I think this might be where a ramp could potentially be useful for me, because it would allow use of this technique without having to expend so much energy.

    So one question becomes is your technique more like the first paragraph or more like the second. It sounds like your problem is you are playing through the string, as in the second paragraph. If this is not intentional then you need to figure out what aspect of the bass is throwing your technique off so you can make a correction. It could be the height of the instrument or perhaps the body or kneck is rotated a few degree around the axis of the neck, so the angle of attack is different.

    If you intend to play clean, I suggest you slow down and focus on your technique. Only the tips of the fingers should come in contact with the strings, and the strike should pass through string almost parallel to the surface of the neck, and never really dip much below the other strings. If your angle of attack is more vertical, your finger will go through and under the string where it is more likely to get stuck. Chances are you are getting stuck on the way out on an adjacent string, rather than getting stuck on the string you actually plucked.

    An advanced player can use the angle of attack to increase the variety of tones possible with the instrument. In addition to striking down and horizontal across the strings, you can also pull up.

    Over the course of my development, I started with my plucking fingers almost straight and used anchored thumb, which probably makes sense as I was originally a string bass player.

    Now I predominantly use floating thumb and my plucking fingers are curved. I find the curved fingers gives me the ability to create a wider variety of tones, but there are certain types of patterns that I feel work better with straight fingers and anchored thumb.

    All just wild guess since none of the videos are viewable for me.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  11. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    SLO Surfer, gebass6 and Wasnex like this.
  12. bbh

    bbh Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    I know what you mean. This happened to me many years back.
    It did go away and no idea what I did to alleviate that issue.
    You could try using the amp to your advantage. Make the amp louder than normal and play lighter. Adjust amp and technique to reach normal volumes. See if it’s different if you sit, stand, lean...
    Whatever it actually is, you should be able to adjust your position or technique to make the issue go away. Perseverance is a key factor.
    You will beat this thing. Best of luck and take it very seriously.
    wishface and gebass6 like this.
  13. Hambone70


    Jan 31, 2018
  14. Isopropyl alcohol to wipe off whatever residue is left from the string making process.
  15. wishface


    Jan 27, 2012
    God no, I've only ever found that stuff just makes the strings sticky and horrible
  16. wishface


    Jan 27, 2012
    So the ramp is the same height as the pickups? If your playin style is to pick over the pickups then i'm not sure this would help, or am I missing something?
  17. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Inactive Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    I think you are correct in that assessment... the ramp is the shame height as the pickups... The original post referred to "fingers getting caught" which is exactly why my client asked me to build the ramp for his bass.


    Moonshine :bassist:
  18. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! DHDIK?

    Dr black beauties, now those are grabby strings.
  19. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Maybe not FAST-FRET but clean/polish you strings/fret board/neck to eliminate those variables as a cause for getting stuck. Maybe it's the neck and dry hands. Just sayin'...
  20. I've had this happen this summer a few times when playing outdoors with crappy handwashing facilities. Basically I get a little sweaty and can't clean up properly and my hand gets sticky. I actually get better when my hands get sweaty enough to act as a lubricant.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Sep 26, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.