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fingerstyle question

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by RideTheFretboard, Jan 5, 2001.

  1. I play fingerstyle, but recently i've been told it souinds more 'professional' if i rest my thumb on the pickup. I usually play freehand and go all over the place (like Steve Harris and cliff Burton) which i think allows me to go faster, but this gives a clicking sound which is really annoying (even if i do like Korn :)
    I also like Flea's sound, any ideas on how to keep my freehand style and still get a solid tone?
  2. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    I usually do rest my thumb on the pick up, but not always. It depends on what you are playing and what sound you are trying to achieve. Neither way is more "professional" than the other. It may possibly be someone's way of trying to solve some other problem. Ask that specifically what they want to solve. Maybe your sound is too erattic or off time, or something else.
  3. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    Free your thumb and your @$$ will follow! After years of anchoring the thumb, I finally let go to use mine as a mute and for plucking and thumping. I now enjoy the latter much more. The former is fine for many meat and potatoes bassists. Try both, one now, one later and do what's comfortable until you feel like you are in a rut then try the other. As long as you can get good tone, while being economical without being stiff you are on the right track.

    Lastly, If it hurts, stop doing it.

  4. The clicking sound your getting can be caused by a couple different things. How you anchor your picking hand isn't one of them.

    How you hit the string is a factor. If you strike the string perpendicular to the fretboard it can cause the string to slap against the fretboard which will create that clicking sound. Try to pick a little more parallel to the fretboard and that should help.

    How hard you hit the string is also a factor. The harder you hit the string, the more vibration the string creates, the larger the string vibration radius. If you have low action, the string can actually clank against the fretboard which can a buzz sound. Couple that with a perpendicular finger picking style, and you will get more 'clicks'.

    You may also want to look at how low the action is on your bass. The lower the action, the easier it is to create that clicking sound.

    BTW, I don't necessarily think that clicking sound is a bad thing. Steve Harris has made a career out of it! :D
  5. i had that prob when i 1st started....try holdin your pickin fingers more perpendicular to your pickups.....this should cause your strings to reverberate parallel to your bass body rather than into it....also i developed a technique that utellizes(?) both an upsweep and a downsweep in your fingering action rather than the traditional upsweep only style.
    The Stardanczer

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