Left hand technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by fe11atio, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. fe11atio


    Jan 30, 2006
    Since I've started playing bass not too long ago , I've noted that there is bass players that use four fingers in the fretboard like most Jazz or Funk players,and bassists ( mostly in the nu-metal, metal or alternative styles) that use their Index and/or ring finger to slide the notes in the fretboard like Jeordie White/Twiggy Ramirez, now Playing for NIN.
    There is some exceptions; like Ryan Martinie and Tim Commenford.
    I find the four fingers in freatboard technique kind of difficult since I dont have long fingers and spread them is hard for me.
    I want to know if I'm the only one who had noted this.
    I'm not saying that I want to be stuck in one kind of music style but is difficult to dont realize the differences between the jazz bassists and the rock bassists. Opinions??
  2. Best way to use all four is to practice scales an positions.
    Check out "the improvisors bass method" by Chuck Sher. Gives a lot of different examples of how to best use your left hand.
  3. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Two thoughts.

    First, try some fingering exercises (such as the spider) on the upper registers of the fretboard to gain some independence of the pinky. Then start sliding those exercises down into the lower positions to start slowly increasing your flexibility.

    Second, I have small hands too. I use an URB 3 finger technique to play below the 5th fret and the four finger technique to play above it. The three finger technique that I'm refering to is not the same one you mentioned. In this one you use your index, middle, and pinky. Your pinky is supported by your third finger.

  4. ebladeboi123


    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    I really don't pity anyone who claims they have small hands. I started playing in 7th grade, and even then I was forced to use all my fingers (by my teacher). And when I was in 7th grade- I was probably the 3rd smallest kid in the grade, I was tiny. At one point the bass was actually bigger than me ( I think). But some exercises that really helped were the Spider Exercise
    A 2-3-4-5
    D 3-4-5-6
    G 4-5-6-7
    D 5-6-7-8
    A 6-7-8-9
    (and so on)- Hopefully that make sense it's tabbed out (Play 4 notes in a row- then move to the next string, sorry tab doesn't really show up to well on TB)

    My perception of the difference between jazz and rock players. Most of the time (in rockers I've encountered) it's alot of root work, which would be fine for 1 finger. While jazz and funk calls for more intricate bass playing, and I'd love to see guys pull of some Graham Central Station or some Bootsy Collins with a single finger- It won't happen. Funk players (I'm guessing- this is just me) do alot of thinking / improvising on the fly type of deal.

    Bottom line- Jazz and funk = busy
    Rock (for the most part) = not