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How do you trill?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by WrapRough, May 4, 2021 at 2:55 PM.

  1. WrapRough


    Jan 26, 2021
    Some players I see use the next finger to trill, So from a C to a C# on the G string they would use index and then middle for the trill. But others simply slide quickly back and forth with the index. I think the second method looks much slicker, more "pro" if you will. But it's harder. I'm trying to incorporate it into my playing.

    So what do you do?

    Do you think there's pros and cons to each method?
  2. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Both! They are not the same thing. One sounds more articulated and better suited to more controlled lines at slower tempo, or if you need to get a turn in at the end. The other is more frenetic, better suited to higher tempo where you just need to squeeze in as many notes as possible with nobody counting. IMHO, more of an expressive effect than true melodic decoration.
    geof_, OogieWaWa, Joebone and 12 others like this.
  3. JeezyMcNuggles


    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    What is trill?
    teh-slb, Dubious Aa, Nuage420 and 5 others like this.
  4. bass12

    bass12 Basking Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    They are not the same thing, though the effect can be very similar (I’ve heard the sliding back-and-forth technique referred to as a “shake”). I use both.
    Last edited: May 4, 2021 at 3:30 PM
    Joebone, jdh3000, drumvsbass and 2 others like this.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    On the rare occasions I need one, I actually do an alternating hammer. What I mean is, my left (fretting) index finger holds the constant note. Then I tap and pull off alternating with my left middle finger and my right (plucking) index finger. I cam do it stupid slow, blistering fast, and all points in between.
    31HZ, djaxup, Eli_Kyiv and 7 others like this.
  6. I am a very lazy player. I do not expend any more effort than is required. It is the only way I can survive a four hour set.

    that said, the successive Hammer-on technique requires much less effort. Not surprisingly, it is all so much faster. So better all around I think.
    bassdude51 and Clark W like this.
  7. Rapidly alternating between two notes—usually adjacent, but not necessarily.
    JeezyMcNuggles likes this.
  8. losov


    Feb 2, 2015
    I can't anymore.

    The trill is gone.
  9. BarfanyShart


    Sep 19, 2019
    DC Metro
    I shakey trill I think of and do like classical vibration top of the fret. I don't really slide my finger up and down between the frets like I see some do. The hammer on trill I endeavor to be able to do with all fingers, but it's always easier with middle and index.
  10. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Not well at all. I have tried many times but not happening.
    SBL does it well though.
  11. Agent P

    Agent P

    Apr 3, 2015
    I second this. It all depends on the musical context of the sonic character/color/motion that the song needs from the bass at that moment.

    DK Marlowe's video is pretty cool at illustrating both approaches (if you hadn't come across it yet):

  12. Double E

    Double E I ain't got no time to play... Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    It's called the squiggle.

    Marihino likes this.
  13. The squiggle and trill are two different things. Use them both!
    ArtechnikA and SteveCS like this.
  14. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    I go to da amusement pahk and ride da rolla coasta.
    HolmeBass, DrMole and Killing Floor like this.
  15. JeezyMcNuggles


    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Oh, hammer pull. Ha, I've always just called that a wahnaniht. Well, that's the closest I can spell the sound I make. Hahaha
    Last edited: May 4, 2021 at 6:03 PM
  16. 217a8f21abfa326f4105f33d556630b4.jpg
    vvvmmm, Jim Kernan, micahwc and 5 others like this.
  17. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I'll shake if I think it fits. In my idiot brain I think it looks cooler. But it sounds a lot better with flats than with rounds, just putting it out there. I hadn't really thought of it but I do alternate fingers more than a shake.

    But...fretless, I think I move my hand a lot more than on fretted. Because there's the whole drama of big vibrato on a fretless. You can split the difference there.
  18. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    I'm definitely in the "move your finger" or squiggle or whatever it's called camp.

    Jim Kernan, JRA and Steve-Mo like this.
  19. bigdaddybass12


    Feb 26, 2021
    I said the same thing!! I live in the south, we must call it something else!!
    JeezyMcNuggles likes this.
  20. 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.

    May 9, 2021

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