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Holy right-hand technique, Bassman!?!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by marsquake, Nov 18, 2020.

  1. I'm a newish/novice player and never really thought much about or paid attention to my picking/plucking hand very much....until watching this video. Holy crow! This opens up so much to think about and consider. He moves his hands constantly from near the bridge to the neck for different parts, and it looks like he's strumming with all four fingers too. Another thing I noticed is he sometimes balls up his hand into almost a fist and pinches(?) strings....not sure what he's doing in those parts. Damn....I have a ton to think about.

    I've been a fan of Steve for a long time, but never really watched him play. This Covid thing has caused me to watch YouTube lately...I never used to. Now I watch it almost daily. Any other guys I should look at? Man I suck. I tried some of this but it just sounds like mud. :(

    *edit to add: Apologies to those who pluck with their left hands. ;)
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
    JTbass44, Eli_Kyiv and Engine207 like this.
  2. Lagado

    Lagado Inactive

    Jan 6, 2020
    Three finger technique, switching to two for different rhythms. Less tension over the neck pickup allows you to retain a bit more energy for the gallop, switching to the back pickup position to define the unison runs with the guitar.

    Three finger technique is tricky when crossing strings, and the ring finger sounds a little softer than the other two until you get the strength and the callous together. But if that is your cup o' tea, I would recommend checking out Billy Sheehan. I played with three for around 10 years and still can but I tend to like the attack consistency of two. I still use the three on fretless, the ring has a softer attack to it for certain things.
    HolmeBass likes this.
  3. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    As far as I can tell the "ball" is just him flexing such that only the last digit of each finger is mobile - the closest you can get to a uniform length on each finger. Some speed players prefer this to get a more even attack on each note, and to increase speed (since less travel ise required per finger in theory you can alternate quicker).

    Not sure why he's doing it in the spots he is since he clearly has no problem playing at the speeds required for those passages when he's using more conventional technique, and with that much distortion the subtleties of the attack are kind of lost anyway.

    But he certainly knows what he's doing and why better than I do.
  4. I slowed the video down, and it appears the balling of the hand I thought he is doing, was where he switched to playing with 2 fingers and maybe faster? All the good stuff starts happening after about the first minute and a half of the video. There's a section where he plays across all the strings with three fingers which is just crazy....to me anyway. Damn!
  5. Lagado

    Lagado Inactive

    Jan 6, 2020
    The "balling" @ 4.20? That's kind of John Entwistle tap down technique. He's tapping down (with some force) on the string against the fretboard. Like a typewriter.
  6. Engine207

    Engine207 Losing faith in humanity...one call at a time.

    Jul 10, 2008
    Higley, AZ
    Check out this guy's right hand technique. Not metal, like the dude in the OP, but wow...I don't even think it's legal in some states.

    12BitSlab, smeet, Scott Shaw and 7 others like this.
  7. In the video above dig the octave pedal sections, way cool!

    So good to hear non-traditional style fretless work, both fun to watch and listen to.
    I think in the first the ball looking hand thing is double thumping perhaps?
  8. Good lordt! That's amazing too! It made my arthritis flare up just watching it. Makes me want to quit. :(
    Eli_Kyiv likes this.
  9. Tim Schnautz

    Tim Schnautz

    Jan 30, 2000
    He looks like he's inherited Jaco's double jointed thumbs upload_2020-11-19_4-0-11.jpeg
  10. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    I’ve been a fan of Felipe’s for awhile now. Similarly with Steve, those “power fingers” type metal players are some of my favorites. Their stamina is unreal to be able to play that way night after night while on tours.
    marsquake likes this.
  11. JTbass44

    JTbass44 Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2018
    Lewes, DE
    Steve is (and always has been) a beast. Love this more recent video of his technique. Look at his downward strumming starting around 0:50. Been a huge fan of his ever since I bought the Sadus Swallowed in Black CD in 1990. Whether this is your type of music or not, have to acknowledge this is just superb bass playing!
    marsquake and LetItGrowTone like this.
  12. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Whenever I see folks play like that, what comes to my mind is....Repetitive stress/Carpal tunnel. I hope I'm wrong, but I wonder about the effects of decades of that kind of technique.
  13. OptimalOptimus


    Jan 4, 2019

    marsquake likes this.

  14. OK, that Viraemia video is absolutely insane! Just....wow! Speechless.
  15. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Feb 26, 2021

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