1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Jacos Pastorius Right hand technique....

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by cire113, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. cire113


    Apr 25, 2008
    Jaco plays extremely fast and it seems all the videos that ive seen him playing he is almost always playing with his finger tips... it looks like his actually finger joints dont move like its all in his finger tips...

    does anyone know what im talking about?

    There is minimal movement
  2. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    You nailed it! Extraneous movement impedes speed.

    If you want to develop real functional speed you have to take out all the funny business.

    The best way to do this is to practice very slow in front of a good teacher who can show you how to make your playing as efficient as possible.

    This is closely related to the phenomenon of "wow, he makes it look so easy." When you refine your technique, it actually is easy to play!
  3. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Jaco also played very close to the bridge when he was going for speed. The strings have a much smaller arc there, and so the fingers don't have to move as far to catch the strings. Economy of motion is where speed is.

  4. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    Another important point, that I've seen live in action by 3 very well known jazz bassists (Bromberg, McBride, Haslip): a VERY light touch seems to go a long way to (a) increase agility (ie speed), (b) improve tone, and (c) reduce string buzz (true on fretted OR fretless).

    I'm a recent convert to the floating thumb technique that has improved all 3 of the above points for me.
  5. Allen_VA


    Sep 17, 2008
    Hokietown, VA
    Would you mind elaborating on the 'floating thumb' technique? I am also finding myself up against a "speed wall" and I'm looking for right-hand technique ideas to break through that.
  6. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    Sure thing- there's a sticky in this forum:


    But the best video I saw was here:

    I just started learning this technique last week, at the age of 42 and now it's totally instinctive. Plus my right hand joint pain is GONE, my tone is better, my low-set strings don't buzz, and my agility is much improved...
  7. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Todd's idea is gnarly for 6 or more strings, but since this is a Jaco thread... on his instructional vid he talks about dropping his thumb to the e string to avoid rumble.

    Even on a 5 string you don't necessarily have to "float" the thumb to the other strings to cover all the muting.

    Watch the Jaco vid closely and you'll see what I'm talkin about.
  8. tegnoto89


    Dec 24, 2008

    Is this the one in segments on youtube?
  9. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Just buy it! Worth every penny.

    Jaco's RH technique was incredibly uniform- the mark of someone who put in hours and hours in the shed refining every little nuance...

    You should be able to see him drop his thumb to the E string any time he crosses over to extensive playing on D and G.

    Billy Sheehan talks about the same thing in his instructional vid.

    IME, floating thumb is awesome but not a necessity for muting a 4 or 5, cuz I got enough fingers to cover 4 or 5...
  10. Not a necessity for muting, definitely. But it's other benefit is it keeps your wrist straight.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.