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Getting an even sound with both fingers.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by whitenoise, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. whitenoise


    Jan 11, 2003
    Hello. This is my biggest problem at the moment; I can't get a sound as smooth and consistent as I want between my index and middle fingers. Also, it seems as though there is more effort required to sound a note with my middle finger, and as a result when I play really, really slowly to a metronome it becomes obvious the notes played by middle finger are often ahead of the beat. I spend hours practicing slowly but it seems to be of no avail. I just want to be able to groove! Does anyone have any advice/suggestions? Anything would be greatly appreciated.
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Practice playing smoothly and evenly?
  3. djcruse


    Jun 3, 2002
    Norwood, MA
  4. Dash Rantic

    Dash Rantic

    Nov 12, 2005
    Palo Alto, CA
    I've got the same problem, and after working on it for a while, now I play stuff to grove to with one finger. Much funkier, and usually I don't need to be play so fast for that kind of stuff, so using just the one finger isn't a problem.

  5. I'll admit that I am not the best of bassists, probably the antithesis. However, I would continue practicing with a metronome as that's one of the reasons they were invented, no? Practice some exercises, scales, and play to a metronome daily. You must get that down if you ever want to successfully hold a faster paced groove. Just be persistant in your playing. I have a similar issue as I am recently trying to use 3 fingers on my right hand and incorporate the occasional pop or slap with my thumb. Just practice slowly at first and as you progress speed it up until you feel comfortable.
  6. tonynoriega

    tonynoriega Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    As a 20-year player, I'm convinced that you are on the right track to success in your methods. From what you wrote, I can tell that you are listening very closely to the effect your playing is producing and that, in itself, is going to serve you well. Trust me - after a while your fingers will just know what to do to get the desired effect. But it takes time.......a lot of time!


    Good luck

    Tony Noriega, Tampa
  7. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Another 20 year player here.

    Consistency, both in terms of volume and tone is the hardest thing to achieve on the bass, and there's really no shortcut other than just doing it. But yeah, that's kinda the Holy Grail of bassdom...consistency.
  8. whitenoise


    Jan 11, 2003
    Thanks for all the advice. I will just have to keep at it. My timing does seem to be improving, but it's taking a long time.
  9. rnlytton

    rnlytton Supporting Member

    May 23, 2003
    Naples, FL
    I had the same problem. There was an article in (I think) BassPlayer magazine entitled

    A Private Lesson With Alain Caron
    Improve Your Touch & Find New Pathways Around The Neck
    By Ed Friedland

    The first part dealt with right hand control. I did these exercises on open strings while slightly muting them with my left hand. This helped to isolate the plucking finger attack; making it easier to hear differences between the two fingers. I also closely watched my right hand to make sure both fingers plucked with even motion. You might even try to do this in front of a mirror.

    It takes time and regular practice as you'll be training new muscles and muscle memory. Stop when you feel the first signs of strain or tension. This could be very quick at first. You don't want to risk muscle injuries or getting in the habit of playing with tension in your hands.
    If you can't find the artcle, PM me with your email address and I'll send it.