How far do you move your fingers?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by LWatford, Sep 16, 2001.

  1. LWatford


    Jul 28, 2001
    Helena, AL
    On your fretting hand, how far do your fingers move before fretting a note? What I am really wondering is how far they come off the frets. Also, do you keep your fingers down when moving up the neck? Like keeping the string fretted untill you have to release it to go lower? Does this make any since? Sorry if it doesn't!

  2. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Movements with my fretting hand is kept to a minimum. It depends on the sound I want. I barely come off the fret, or off the string before I fret the next note. If I want a more "slidey" feel, I keep my finger on the string (bearing in mind string noise). If I want a clean note (especially when recording) I lift my finger clear off the string. When I play fretless I do lots of slides, so I don't tend to lift my finger totally off.
  3. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    Thats a very interesting question. Its one of those things that have never even thought to consider.

    I'm not sure there is a single answer to this. Your technique will have to develop for you. There are so many diffrent types of feels you'll be trying to achieve and each requires different techniques.

    I will just say to practice, practice, practice, and practice some more.
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    No farther than necessary to allow the string to ring. Sometimes I don't take my finger off the string at all. Other times maybe a 1/4".
  5. I agree with Brad.

    Movement should be kept to a minimum to allow for maximum muscle relaxation.
  6. melvin


    Apr 28, 2001
    I too, agree with Brad
  7. My teacher thought of finger movements as martial arts. Sounds odd, I know. Lots of little movements wind up being more powerful than one big one. So you only lift your fingers up enough to de-fret, and you're able to fret the next note faster and cleaner. I never ever thought of it that way, but once I started practicing it made perfect sense. My speed picked up immediately. Just pick them up enough.
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999's called economy of motion & has been a life-long endeavor for this tone-deaf weasle.
    It's requires concentration & discipline...There was a
    somewhat recent Bass Player mag that had a decent exercise(IMO).
    Basically, for the fretting hand-
    1st finger = D-string/9th fret
    2nd finger = D-string/10th fret
    3rd finger = G-string/11th fret
    4th finger = G-string/12th fret

    Move ONLY the 1st & 2nd fingers; keep the 3rd & 4th fingers stationary! Any movement must be minimal! It's gonna hurt, it's gonna be frustrating.
    Use your other hand for assistance...

    Perform the other permutations, too.
    (That is, move ONLY the 1st & 3rd while keeping the 2nd & 4th still; move the 1st & 4th while keeping the 2nd & 3rd still; move the 3rd & 4th while keeping the 1st & 2nd still, etc).