Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Flamenco Guitar/Picking hand techniques?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Andrew Jones, Sep 9, 2002.


  1. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    Ever watch a serious flamenco guitarist and say to yourself "Man what a Right Hand!"

    Has any body learned flamenco style thinkin it would make them better bass guitar players?

    AJ
     
  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i've been playing that way for a long time - thumb - index-middle-ring. usually it's a simplified version of the flamenco thing, but sometimes it gets pretty complicated. makes wide range spans easy to cover, as well as comping out doublestops on high strings while playing lower bass passages.
     
  3. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    John

    Im not exactly shure what you mean besides that you'll use four digets.

    What I see when I see flamenco is a serious fluancy (liquid) between a number of right hand techniques

    1, Traditional bass 2 finger technique for linear single notes lines

    2, the flamy cord strumm thing .performed pinky,ring,index,first in a downward strum motion

    3, percusive body thumps

    4,bass cord thing with thumb /fingers (is this what you wher talking about,John?)

    5, a bunch of other i cant recall

    AJ
     
  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i use the following techniques that are inspired somewhat by flamenco playing...

    1. index, index-middle, index-middle-ring upstrokes.
    2. simultaneous finger upstrokes, thumb downstrokes, both for chords, and for up to 6 string arpeggios. this is what i was talking about in the earlier post - i'll play a bass line with my thumb and comp out double stops or three note chords with my fingers simultaneously. i oughta post an mp3.

    3. full hand strumming - up and down strokes.
    4. slaps on the fretboard
    5. finger and thumb alternating up/down strokes
     
  5. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    Yah, thats the kind of what Ive been thinkin.
    alot of great ways to of attacking notes. At first did it sorto come out flameco-ish or did the musical thought force the technique.

    Do you tend to use these techniques or percussively of melodically (at first? what its grown into?)

    AJ
     
  6. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    This is what i have been wanting to know. What kind of bass line, what notes? I have wanted to try this, but have never known what to play.
     
  7. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    well, it sorta just grew out of the way i started playing. i always used my thumb and index finger, since i started playing. just seemed right - back then i would use my index finger on the higher strings and my thumb on the lower. seemed to make things easier. after playing a few months i started bring in my middle finger and that was enough for me for a few years - index, middle and thumb for plucking (i didn't start slapping until i was playing for around 4 or 5 years). i brought the ring finger in after about 5 or 6 years, just to get more speed (at the time i was into playing as fast as i could).

    using the more advanced techniques really came out of my making the switch from 4 to 7 string, around 9 years ago. so many more possibilites on the instrument just encouraged me to experiment with more techniques. as i struggled to learn how to control all the strings properly with my plucking hand, i started incorporating more and more of these kinds of techniques. there was never a conscious decision to "play like a flamenco guitarist" or use those techniques, i just started working on approaches that seemed right, and were just natural extensions of what i had been doing on 4 strings.

    i've since worked on learning a few classical/flamenco guitar pieces on my bass, which have helped me to expand my skills on those styles of playing.

    still, though, the driving force behind the techniques i work on is always the music i'm playing or writing at the time. i don't work on learning a bunch of techniques just for the sake of learning them, but rather i work on learning new ones if i come up with parts which require them, which happens all the time - instead of writing some part that uses a "neato technique" that i've been working on, i usually come up with a part that i then have to learn how to play, and figure out the proper techniques to play it properly.
     
  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    well, a fun thing to start with is to play a bass line that is a simple latin 1-5 figure, and comp it out with double stops on the higher strings that frame out the chords. think of a simple bossa nova-type song - like the girl from ipanema, which is something that i've been working on - not too hard, and fun sounding. try playing the bass lines with the thumb on the lower strings, and 2 of the "business notes" (color tones) of the chords as double stops on the higher strings. might be hard to do effectively on a 4 string due to the lack of range, but on a 7 it sounds pretty cool.