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Index finger "sticks" when popping

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by btrag, Oct 19, 2005.


  1. btrag

    btrag

    Mar 7, 2005
    Chicago
    I've analyzed my technique, and will try to explain the problem as I see it. It involves playing quick slap/pop passages. I mainly pop with my index, sometimes middle finger. My finger gets "stuck" underneath the string, and I cannot seem to recover, so the passage sounds rhythmically sloppy. My finger pops the string at a 45 degree angle. I use about one half inch of my fingertip underneath the string.

    I want these passages to sound seamless. This affects my thumb to, so, it sounds awkward and sloppy. Don't pop so hard, I know, but I need to get a good, confident, pop sound. Please, details on how to do it right?
     
  2. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Try not to dig so much under the string.
     
  3. A half inch of finger under the string is way too much. Use the tips of your fingers, and use as little of them as possible. I'd say you should have about an eighth inch of finger under the string at maximum.
     
  4. rpatter

    rpatter Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2004
    Round Rock, TX
    This is the reason a lot of guys use a "slap ramp". It's basically like a pickguard that shortens the distance between the strings and the body of your bass, which keeps you from getting too much finger under your strings. After struggling with the same problem for years, I finally installed one on my fretted bass. Makes popping so much smoother.

    Ralf
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Loosen up your fingers, too. You don't have to keep your index or middle fingers in a claw shape to get a good pop - you can let them "give" a little when they're coming out of the pop.
     
  6. You need to be using the very tips of your fingers when popping. It is a little painful at first but like with every other aspect of playing the bass, your fingers will get used to it. Work on it but don't do it so much that you can't enjoy playing for a lengthy period of time, give your fingers time and they'll adjust. :bassist:
     
  7. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    Did you make it or buy it?

    :)
     
  8. rpatter

    rpatter Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2004
    Round Rock, TX
    I made it out of a 1/8" piece of wenge.

    Ralf
     
  9. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
  10. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    Did you put a radius to it or is it flat?

    :)
     
  11. rpatter

    rpatter Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2004
    Round Rock, TX
    Nope. It's flat just like a pickguard would be.

    Ralf
     
  12. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yeah - look at that third picture down; he's not even showing an eigth-inch under the string.

    I think I use more than THAT!

    Joe