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Has anyone applied drumstick rudiments to fingerstyle plucking?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by CJK84, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    Lately, I've been working on my i and m fingerstyle playing.

    One thing I've been working on is plucking order - whether to pluck a particular note with the i or the m (I always lead with m and don't rake unless it helps plucking order).

    Probably sounds like a piece of cake to some of you, but for me it is taking time on certain passages - probably because I'm often "correcting" old muscle memory.

    Anyway, I've noticed that I'm sometimes making similar decisions to those I made as a drummer when considering sticking patterns on the drums.

    Which got me thinking about how a fingerstyle bassist might gain some skill by studying and applying some of the drumstick rudiments to his/her plucking fingers.

    Has anyone worked on this? Any learning materials out there about it?
  2. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    I play some rudimental snare drum (not very well, mind you...) so I have a good idea of how that thought process works. I'd say there are similarities, but I never consciously apply it to bass. I find straight alternation in the i and m fingers is fastest and most efficient, with the occasional rake for colour or style.

    The relation is there, and if you want to study it, by all means do so. I reccomend getting a practice pad and some sticks, and a good book on rudiments.
  3. I haven't tried this with plucking, however, I've tried to incorporate this concept more with slapping. I took Wooten's advice about transcribing drum solos onto the bass. It really helped me "fill in" those spaces during a snap/pop section and create more interesting grooves.

    Not sure about finger-style - I'm looking forward to everyone's responses.
  4. redwood

    redwood Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    Think Tony Levin and Funk Fingers.....
    I actually have a problem with my elbow that prevents me from doing a traditional slap technique (souds strange, but it's true). And being that I was already a Levin fan I tried to incorporate the concept, just without the funk fingers. It gives me the ability to incorporate a much more diverse flavor into funk.
    Not too long ago I became fascinated with the movie "Drumline" which basically depicts the life of a colllege freshman, who happens to be an unbelievable drummer. While watching the movie one night, and randomly running scales and doing other finger excercises, I started noticing myself unconsciously tapping out percussion parts on the bass. I few hours later my fingers where numb from smacking the thing. But I had produced some of the most interesting stuff I had ever done.
    I try to incorporate it now and then while doing the cover thing, and I use it quite a bit more in my writing.
    I'm sorry I don't have any specific practice methods or anything, (I'm a free spirit LOL). Just draw all your experience together from drums and bass, lock yourself in a room for an hour or two and see what happens.
  5. Platypibri

    Platypibri Technician, Kaman Music

    Jun 28, 2005
    Riverside, CA
    That's funny that you brought this up, as I was just thinking I should work out the rudiments for Slapping. I'd be interested in knowing if there is any instructional material out there.
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I've been preaching the 'think like a drummer' thing since I've been here(& many before me have, too).

    I don't recall seeing any drum rudiment books aimed at 'bassists', per se...IMO, a good drum book or Latin percussion book works; it does take a degree of being pro-active, though.

    'Thinking like a drummer' definitely gives one an advantage with the Slap/Pop/Left Hand Slap style, IMO...especially if one gets to the point of playing rhythms against each other(cross rhythms).

    ...and it's more than a 2-hour session in the shed; it's a lifetime study.
    IMO, of course.


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    I played drums for well over 25 years before I switched to bass, and I can tell you that understanding things like drag triplets, paradiddles, flams, etc have added a flavor to my playing that makes it very unique...the added bonus is that the lock between me and my drummer is enhanced because we relate on the same level rhythmically.

    JimK nailed it in the slap/pop aspects of playing....very tasty stuff when you 'Think like a drummer"
  8. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten


    Knowing drums makes you a better bass player automatically. I can anticipate rolls by the drummer and lock in with my bass. As far as finger techniques some of it is very similar to drum rudiments, but when you play bass you have to think like a bass player. I have said the bass is the hybrid of drumming and guitar. You have to rythmically play and think like a drummer, but chordially be like a guitarist.
  9. AuG


    May 22, 2005
    Fort Collins, CO

  10. JohnnyRook


    Jul 1, 2005
    Very interesting! Almost the same story happend to me. Being a Levin fan (still without FunkFingers) I started "drumming" the bass one night in front of the TV (and ended up with sore fingertips hours later :) )
    I'm doing this now with 3 fingers (starting with the ringfinger) on my fretless Stingray and well, it almost sounds a bit like Tony on the "rare Bruford/Levin-jam" on his homepage.
    By the way, redwood, do you know wether he played that with the FunkFingers?

  11. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I dont because i dont like to play the same finger twice in a fast ish riff. THe only time i will do it is if its a slow riff and a certain part is more comfortable that way.

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