heavy music and light touch?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by panazza, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. panazza


    Nov 23, 2003
    I always wonder if playing heavy music also means having a heavy right hand touch... what do you think?
  2. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    You should add a poll....
    To answer your Q: I prefer a lighter touch myself, and I'm into playing some seriously dark/"heavy" s**t. It removes the "need" for a compressor, and I don't get a volume drop/tendonitis when I play 16th notes :bassist:

    BTW I play down by the bridge, which is another reason that I don't notice a diff between compressed/un-compressed. I also don't have to work too hard on tightening my dynamics as the string "movement" near the bridge is small.
  3. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Compression and having more than enough power/volume helps.

    I use pretty aggressive attacks to get the right tone on percussive segments where I want a few frequencies of the bass to pop out on the top.

    For extended or 16th/16th triplets I use a lighter touch, especially if it is in the lower range. If it is on a low fret and a low string (B), I play closer to the bridge to tighten the sound.

    There are a lot of ways you can get an aggressive sounding attack without straining yourself too.
  4. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    This a good thread and I sure there are alot of opinions on this subject but here's mine; I think good technique requires a light touch and relaxed hand. The string is set into motion with the most harmonic content when done easily. Attack can be a funtion on the position the string is plucked, neared the bridge more attack.
    The right amplification and processing makes for reproducing the harmonic information from the string in a powerful way.
  5. MODNY

    MODNY Guest

    Nov 9, 2004

    i read a dan glenn article once

    he was basically saying, why should bass players have to keep their amps at a moderate level and just DIG IN when they need to get louder etc... he thinks you should turn ur amp up pretty loud, and regulate volume with ur touch. etc etc etc

    i think its cool, and i've actually been playing like this since i read the article. its great, much more controlled, articulate etc etc etc

    but whatever... dont take our word for it, go try it!

  6. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    I've read a couple of articles about that to...

    One thing that one of them said is that you start to "lose" bass and end up with a korn type tone (tic-tacs and stairs). Though I've never noticed it too much, I don't want to risk sounding like korn's "bassist" (notice quotes) ;) One thing I did notice though is how my hand hurt like a son of a b***h after like 2 min.

    The reason that I may not have noticed the clacking is that my action is fairly high so the strings don't really hit the frets... I'm thinking of changing that though, so I may have to really watch how hard I play :bassist:
  7. panazza


    Nov 23, 2003
    I hate strings clacking against the frets....

    I noticed that the sound i get from my bass is nicer when using a lighter touch (I mostly play with a pick, pushing too hard means metallic and thin sound, while being gentle on the strings means more organic, round tone, which I prefere)

    the fact is I play a sort of death metal... so it's not so easy being gentle on the strings when everything around you is screaming :D
  8. mothmonsterman


    Feb 8, 2006
    I play in a heavy band and i usually play lightly, unless i feel that a little clackity clack needs to be thrown in there.