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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by tezrez, Aug 15, 2001.
how do i play a chor?:strumming,or do i just play both strings?
I think that strumming can end up just sounding muddy on bass. I tend to use my rh thumb to pluck a note on the lower strings (E or B) while simultaneously playing two or three higher strings with my rh fingers - similar to a classical guitar technique. This seems to make a more pleasing sound and allows you to choose which strings to use easily and also allows you to emphasise which notes you want to stand out in the chord.
Several ways, you can use your fingernails and just strum it (lightly), you can tap it, and you can use the Lindfield-method . I don't think there are very many other methods.
One nice way of doing it, like what Bruce mentioned, is to play it finger-plucking style like classical or folk guitaristst do - it is less muddy and the notes are more defined.
Yea but I can't play really fast or I can't play certain parts that I can play by strumming, can you guys?
it might get muddy if you strum with your thumb, but strumming with your fingernails provides brighter attack and articulation IME, just what's needed for chords.
I play A LOT of chords, and am writing a book on chordal technique for the bass. There is no real "right" way of approaching chordal playing. It really depends on what type of sound you are after. I do quite a bit of "fingerstyle" type playing, as well as some variations on flamenco-type strumming (sometimes with variations of one two three or even all four right hand fingers), using the nails of my fingers, and the meaty side of the fingers, and even using just my thumb in conjunction with a modified slap technique to achieve a "slap-strummed" kinda sound. This can be used with "double thumbing" also, in with various left and right hand mutes to add percussive counterpoint to the chordal part. Often these techniques are used in the same tune.
The muddiness you refer to is not a product of the right hand technique, but most likely due to the range in which you are chording. Playing cords down low on the bass tends to muddy things up as the freqs are so low that they "bleed" into each other creating a sonic mess. To achieve a good balance you need to move into the higher registers, or alter the tone of the bass (drastically), or ytou can even divide the notes of the chords into different ranges (i.e. the root note in the low reg, poss. even the 5th with it, and the 3rd 7th or other extensions in the higher registers...)
I tend to use a kind of "claw" with my right hand, made of thumb and first two fingers.
IME, thumb strumming is not very loud, and pick-strumming is not practical for chords were string skipping is required. (Picks work great for double stops, though).