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Fretting with mah pinky

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Albini_Fan, Feb 20, 2003.


  1. Albini_Fan

    Albini_Fan Banned

    Jan 26, 2003
    Beneath Below
    I for the life me, cannot use my pinky effeciently. And, should I use my thumb to fret on the e string? I need bass lessons :(
     
  2. I wish I had some snappy advice to give you, however I don't. It just takes time and practice. Here is a link to a thread started by Jon Packard that has a great exercise for learning scales, intervals, and the fretboard. It will also help with the coordination and strength in your fingers.

    Lessons are always a good idea.
     
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member


    Yup!! ;)
     
  4. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Do you have a rock-hard lump on the side of your left palm when you flex your pinky? (BTW, pinky is the only finger with the muscle in the palm instead of the forearm.)

    No?

    Play some scales and pinky-intensive riffs over and over, with a metronome. Do it until it hurts. Do it some more. Do it on a regular basis.

    If that doesn't work, you'll need stronger advice than what I've got to offer... ;)
     
  5. Albini_Fan

    Albini_Fan Banned

    Jan 26, 2003
    Beneath Below
    Soemthing is wrong with my pinky on my left hand, if I make a fist save for my pinky, and move my pinky at all, the ring finger's knuckle moves and it hurts. My left hand pinky is super weak and cant press down on strings, or even aim to hit them accuratley. It's a retarded pinky
     
  6. You may want to get checked out by a doctor too see if you have a repetitive stress injury.
     
  7. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Good idea, if you feel that your pinky isn't working quite the way it should. A therapist (occupational therapist, maybe??) should be able to give you an evaluation to tell if your pinky functions normally.

    If there's a problem, I hope it's one you'll be able to work around... there are some great players out there who've worked around physical handicaps. :)
     
  8. Albini_Fan

    Albini_Fan Banned

    Jan 26, 2003
    Beneath Below
    Hm, I played excesivley with my pinkie last night, and today it's performance has improved 10 fold.
     
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    As I said - the more you practice, the easier it will get - but don't over-use it - we're talking about a process that is going to take months and maybe years rather than days!!
     
  10. Lovebown

    Lovebown

    Jan 6, 2001
    Sweden
    Albini - When you fret is your hand formed like a claw or is it more flat?

    The best way to fret IMO is to keep the left thumb right behind the neck. Keep the fingers in a good arch and if your fretting A on the E-string (5th fret) make sure your pressing down with all fingers meaning pinky AND index, middle , ring. In other words all fingers should be pressing the string towards the fingerboard. And KEEP THE FINGERS CURVED it'll give you much more strenght and accuracy.

    Good luck,

    /lovebown
     
  11. I agree wholeheartedly on the "thumb on the back of the neck" and "fingers arched", but are you sure about the "all the fingers pressing the string"? I've played for quite some time (12years; and on 6-string bass since 1994) and never had to resort to that. I've never needed more than one fingertip to hold a note. It's seems very inefficient to use up all your fingers for a single note. How would you play faster passages? If your "technique" is meant to help Alibi with finger strength, shouldn't he try to do it the more strenuous way, but slowly; instead of cutting corners?

    This is just my opinion, but maybe he could try to gain finger strength and indepedence this way. Play patterns of 3 (play fingers 1-2-4-1-2-4-ect., then fingers4-2-1-4-2-1-ect., then 1-3-4-1-3-4-ect., then 4-3-1-4-3-1-ect.). It's very simple, covers several finger patterns, uses all fingers, and leads well into playing scales (which would be a good to learn next).

    Alibi, check out classical guitar manuals. They set the standard for good left hand technique long before there ever was an electric bass. (i took 2 years of classical guitar- it's an extremely challenging instrument, and was worth it)
     
  12. amac

    amac

    Oct 9, 2002
    Commerce, Georgia
    Thumb on the E -
    I say if it enables you to play things you normally couldn't - go for it. Example - victor wooten's "Amazing Grace." Uses his thumb to fret the G on the e-string while chiming harmonics.
    Using the thumb to fret the E is also a common practice on guitar, although it may not be "the correct way" of playing.

    Make sure that you're not causing too much stress on your wrist.

    P.S. - don't hate me because I play guitar, too. I saw the error of my ways and have repented and turned to the bass.
     
  13. Lovebown

    Lovebown

    Jan 6, 2001
    Sweden
    Ok, perhaps you misunderstood me. What I meant was all fingers behind the finger fretting should be down as well. This is how most double bass players will stop a note because of the strength needed to press the string.

    I agree it's not really neccecary for electric bass but maybe the poster has weak fingers or huge action. I use this technique a lot of im in the lower positions as it keeps me from fatigue.

    Working on individual finger strenght is fine too as u suggested.

    /lovebown