Help-> Bad Tendency?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Tehdouglas, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. Tehdouglas


    Feb 10, 2006
    Ok, for example I'll use this easy riff:


    When I do this my middle finger retracts back as to not get in the way, since im using my ring for the 3 and index for the one. Is this a bad habbit or no? Thanks.
  2. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    I don't think so, but I like to have my fingers as close to the fretboard as they can go, which gives me more speed (because the fingers have to travel less distance).
  3. AspiringBassMan


    Dec 10, 2005
    i have the problem with the rising middle finger too and its highly annoying :(. it tends to rise up to compensate for when i press down on a string using my little finger and ring finger. i've tried to consciously keep it as low over the strings as possible but that really slows down my playing. i know that you should keep your fingers hovering over the fretvoard at all times because this allows you to play faster (ie when the fingers are hovering over the fretboard, any finger can play a note faster than when any of the fingers are nowhere near the in this case when my middle finger flies up when i fret a note with my little/ring finger). i've tried all the finger stregthening exercises, but they don't seem to do much good in this particular case. does anybody know a good 'remedy'? i'm kinda hoping that the problem will go away on its own accord when my fingers become stronger anyway, but i don't know if thats the case...unless anyone can reassure me on this.
    so you can visualise what i mean, imagine playing the mixolydian scale using 1 finger per fret. for a C mixolydian scale, whenever i play F, G, B, and C(octave) my middle finger rise(retracts) so that its way off the fretboard.
    any help/tips on curing this will be most appreciated :).
  4. It should just come with practice, as you build up strength and dexterity in your fingers. :)
  5. seventhson

    seventhson Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    has nothing to do with finger strength. you need to awaken unused synapses in the brain to have fine motor control over muscles in your hand. basically what is happening is that the finger movement is unfamiliar, so you use your brain engages large muscles to force the movement, and your middle finger goes askew.

    you need to RELAX and PLAY SLOW and concentrate on establishing this brain to muscle connection. Make sure there is no tension in your shoulders, arms, or hand. then do the 1-3 fingering so slow such that the middle finger doesn't jutt out.

    It's almost exactly like trying to wiggle your little toe independently of your other toes. You swear you can't do it, but you can do it easily once you connect the right synapses in your brain. this exercise is what I would imagine coming out of paralysis would be like.

    There is a whole website + instructional material on the art of relaxing and fine tuning your guitar/bass technique. Check out (disclaimer: i am not affiliated in any way).
  6. Mean Mr Mustard

    Mean Mr Mustard

    Oct 8, 2005
    Thanks a lot man I will check that out, (having same problem)
  7. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC

    Yes, is a great place to look for this type of muscle memeory advice. Also not affiliated. When these guys mean slow practice to get rid of tension, they mean it!
  8. Tehdouglas


    Feb 10, 2006
    Great advice guys, ive also found out the by raising my strap some it helps quite abit, especially when sitting down.