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honking middle finger

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by harley_ou812, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. Ok i just discovered a problem the past two days. I play predominatly finger style. Lately whenever i use my midle finger i am getting more of a midrange honk and when i use my index finger i get a more Bassy sound. At times i like the Bassy sound and at times i loke the honky sound. But why is this happening it gets really annoying when i am playing a passage and the notes are sounding so different.
  2. eViL cAkE

    eViL cAkE Guest

    Sep 6, 2001
    Just East of Dallas
    Getting your index and middle fingers to sound balanced is something you just have to work on, and will always have to practise to maintain. Just practise playing say, quarter notes on your open a string, strictly alternating between both fingers. Make adjustments as you listen to the tonal differences. Experiment with playing with more of the tip of the finger with the index and/or more of the fleshy part of the middle finger. Or mabe just try playing softer with your middle finger. Also, one of the reasons why your middle finger sounds my raucous than your index finger is because it's closer to the bridge. Try adjusting your strap to where your bass hangs at more of an angle, rather than straight across. This will cause your fingers to hit closer to the same part of the string.

    Finally, find musical ways to monopolize on the tonal differences between your middle and index fingers. I tend to use my middle finger on the beats I want to accent, and my index on the unaccented beats. This is similar to a drummer's sticking technique, where they use the right hand for the accented beats and left on the unaccented ones. Hope this helps you out.

    eViL cAkE :)
  3. I have been finding ways to utilise the tones and it has really opened a door it just concerned me that it just strted to happen since i clipped my nails and i havent expierienced this before
  4. Since you clipped your nails? Hmmm. I had just the opposite problem. I found that Clipping my nails eliminated the more treble sounds. I found that the long fingernails brushing the strings sounded a little like a pick.
  5. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Harley, this is weird. I was going to start a thread about this very topic tonight, and here it is. Are you my long-lost twin? If you are, can I be the evil one? :D

    I was thinking it was due to the physical differences between the fingers. I'm actually kinda glad to hear it's a issue of technique. There's hope for me yet!
  6. Prague77


    Aug 20, 2001
    Waco, TX
    i use my fingers as picks all the time when i want to do a chord
  7. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    You can try angling your hand a little differently so that the same portion of your index fingertip comes in contact with the string as your middle fingertip.
  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    RAM is right.
    Tilt your hand a little to the left (if you're right-handed), so that it compensates the difference in length.
  9. I did start to turn my hand a bit to the left and it has helped tremendously thank you.
  10. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Which is also my experience.

    Geddy Lee keeps his fingernails a bit longer on his right hand to achieve this sound. The first time I heard "Animate" I could have sworn he was using a pick. :)
  11. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    This is what I do and it works wonders.
  12. I started using my first,second and third fingers a long time ago. I like the first and third finger combo because they are more the same length and I didn't have to tilt my arm. I can get them to play very close together on the string so I don't have to deal with vast tonal differences. Just another option.

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