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Improper Technique?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ben23c, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. ben23c


    Aug 2, 2013
    More often than not, I find myself resting my thumb and ring finger on the E string almost as if I'm grasping it. I guess I came here to see if anyone else does the same thing? Or if I'm just a freak...:bag:

    Makes for very fast playing though!

  2. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    You should try to break yourself of the habit and use your ring finger for muting along with your pinky. Planting your ring finger could restrict your movement as well.
  3. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Techniques have a reason behind them for using them of not using them.
    Here are three for you to consider for not using yours.

    Point 1.
    You are using to much pressure, i appreciate its a picture of motion captured so can be interpretted in many ways, but look at the finger tips of the thumb and ring finger. They are 'white', that shows the presence of pressure being used, whether that is a constant pressure i cannot say because the picture shows a moment of use...not the full use.
    But in other plucking techniques the pressure would not be there, certainly not pressent in a floating thumb, or a fixed thumb using the correct technique

    Point 2. Look at the ring finger joint, it is bent in in to the joint, (hyperextended) over time this will cause problems of hyper-mobility, you may even have a form of it which is why you use this technique?
    I know the joint has pressure because the finger tip is white, (looks like the joint is white as well) so that is un-needed pressure/tension on that joint.
    A good technique has no sustained pressure and certainly should not show on the areas you are producing it at.

    Point 3. The hand lies across the strings, not parallel to them.
    In some way your wrist is holdingthe hand to allow the ring finger to sit on the string along with the thumb and produce the pressure that may be the source of the 'whitening'. It may be the forearm pushing the hand, therefore the fingers, on to the instrument, this means that the wrist will be overly bent to bring the hand back to the bass and allow the fingers to access the strings.
    If so then you will have excess pressure on the wrist as well, again an un-nessesary and un-wanted thing in your long term playing.

    The reason we have correct techniques is because certain critera are present, we also look for un-wanted criteria, to allow a better over all use for the body.
    Sometimes a change may feel like going backwards, but it depends on how you view your over all playing, but it does improve once the player develops the new use.
    As i said, this is based on what the picture shows, not the action of your technique in motion....that may show another story, but based on what i have said, just check out your technique against those points. :)
  4. StereoPlayer


    Aug 29, 2010
    Do what works for you. Period.
  5. Let me put it this way
    I won't say wrong or bad with regards to your RH technique
    I will say that you should consider alternatives.
    Search this forum for a technique called "floating thumb"
    Also do a web search for Todd Johnson floating thumb
  6. Will Kelly

    Will Kelly

    Mar 3, 2010
    Yup. Till you get carpal tunnel and have to quit.

    The hands should really be relaxed, and try and keep your wrist straight too.
  7. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Listen to Fergie.
  8. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    This is quite ridiculous advice in a modern age.
    What is best for you musically is not best for you physically, there has to be a compromise between the two for long lasting health and skills. :)
  9. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Also, when I first started playing bass, I used my thumb and that worked for me; then I used my index finger and that worked for me; then I used alternated picking with my index finger and middle finger and that worked for me; now I use a variety of techniques including slap and pick.

    Just because something works for you now and is comfortable doesn't mean it is the best possible solution for you long term.
  10. bass geetarist

    bass geetarist

    Jul 29, 2013
    This looks painful to me. It seems like this position would require that you tense up your hand muscles (sorry, don't know anatomy well enough to be more specific) and that it would eventually start to get stiff and cause pain. As a musician, I'm all for doing "what works" for you as an individual player, but "what works" should be something that allows you to play comfortably for a long time without damaging your body.
  11. StereoPlayer


    Aug 29, 2010
  12. FrednBass


    Feb 24, 2012

    There, now everybody can stop complaining.
    And +1 from me.