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Long time lurker... first post

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by RayMan34, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. RayMan34


    Jan 3, 2014
    Hi Guys

    I frequent these boards quite a lot and it's great to see so much advice in one place.

    I'm going to be brave and post up my first practice video, it's short so I don't have to torture you too much. I'd like some feed back, I'm working on my timing and technique. I particulary think my left hand needs some work.

    I've been playing about 9 months. My timing definitely goes out, I've been practicing this for quite a while and was fairly tired.

    Take a look here...

    I'm practicing the bass to Huey Lewis and the News - Power of Love.


    Thanks :D
  2. First off, it sounds (to my ears, at least), like you're tuned a 1/2 step off, or so, to the recording.
  3. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I would say to try to avoid the fretting hand thumb from coming over the top of the neck. Also, try to keep your fingers from coming so far off the fretboard when not fretting a note. Best wishes.
  4. ZenG


    Dec 13, 2013
    Near the fridge
    Pretty darn good!

    With all due respect I wouldn't overly obsess about "thumb creep" TOO much....

    Every video of just about everybody I've watched, the thumb pops up over a little at times. (rock stars and instructors alike)

    Almost unavoidable really...unless you have your hand clamped to the neck which will slow you down considerably.

    As long as you are not 'deliberately' hanging your thumb there you should be o.k.

    The focus should be to keep the thumb on the wood behind the neck.....but in real life there will be tons of times where your thumb moves up,down and all around.


    Sep 13, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    You're playing pretty well for 9 months.

    You just need time and muscle memory.
    As your left hand develops and gets stronger, you will automatically
    straighten out those fingers. Then you will have better control.
    You can't really rush it.

    You're doing great. Just keep it up.
  6. RayMan34


    Jan 3, 2014
    Thanks guys.

    Regarding tuning, is it the guitar thats not tuned correctly or is the tuning on the song slightly non-standard or something?

    I have noticed I do have fly away fingers, I'll try and keep that under control. :)
  7. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    You are well on your way you are so much better than I was at the nine month mark congrats.
  8. RayMan34


    Jan 3, 2014
    Thank you! This means a great deal.
  9. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Everything is looking good, your fretting hand is not a real issue, you are just keeping it away from the neck so you can see, or feel, clearly what fingers you are using and where they go.....this will lessen over time and your hand will get more compact in its use.

    You seem to dwarf that Stingray, so i take it you are a big man with maybe big hands?

    I will say this, when you are in the song you use your little finger, but not at the intro.....so i would ask "why?"
    The line is easier if the little finger is used with the ring finger Simandl style, (the use of the ring and little finger as one).
    Simandl develops the use of both little and ring finger to work together when needed, and also to work separate when not.
    Because both fingers get a work out in the range of movement available to them, they benefit from from it as a use, rather than not being a use....even of the player never uses them separately.

    To get a feel for what compact feels like try the exercise in the link,
    it helps you feel what 'keeping your fingers down' feels like.

  10. RayMan34


    Jan 3, 2014
    Thanks Fergie.

    I guess I am big guy. 6' and stocky build. I never really considered the size of my hands to be honest :)

    When I was practicing octaves I forced my little finger to obey my brain and play the octave note, as a consequence I seem only use it for that purpose now. But the other day after watching a scales practice video I've been using it a bit more in general play. The pinkie seems ok at fretting higher strings as they are easier to press but not so good at the fatter strings so I guess I stay away subconsciously

    Thanks for the advice. The guitar is a SBMM Ray34 (a stingray for all intents). I've had it for about 3 weeks. You can see in the video my old bass, a Ibanez SR250 beginner. I love the Ray, it feels great to play.
  11. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    No probs, the general rule about the hand and Simandl on an bass guitar is when does it become easier to fret with the little finger unsupported?

    In most cases the change over area is around the 7th fret area, but due the the variations of neck angle this can vary, add in the reach, hand size, instrument set up and it becomes a very personal thing.
    On an Upright bass the neck angle is consistent in the vertical plane, the set ups tend to be "harder", by that i mean the strings are stiffer so hard to the touch when trying to hold them down, a softer set up has a looser feel to it and easier to hold down.
    So the Simandl fingering works really well for tone and reducing stress when used on Double basses and so works well on bass guitars.

    If you run scales do it slow and name the notes as you go, it is far more productive than running them fast.
    Say the diatonic note name when ascending and the interval when descending and visa versa. This way you learn the relationships between them and there position on the neck.

    I have a video in production about using Simandl on the electric bass, showing how i can be applied and what benefits it offers if used, i hope to have it finished before the end of the month and on my Video Channel when done, there maybe some more info in it that may be of use to you.
  12. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Yeah, mine moves over the top occasionally too. His, however stayed there. I didn't mean that it was a strict rule, which is why I said "try to avoid". He might as well learn the accepted correct way and not have to fix bad habits later. I didn't mean to imply that he should obsess over it.
  13. jamminology101


    Aug 22, 2012
    Indianapolis In
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    I say it looks good for 9 months...dont worry about the fly in fingers and all that stuff...more playing will smooth all that out. I believe most good techniques are in the ofter ignored plucking hand but your string crossing and everything looks good!! Actually that song has a pretty cool bass line....I never really noticed it because the bass sits back in the mix with all the keys going on but its a pretty cool line. Keep up the good work!!
  14. RayMan34


    Jan 3, 2014
    Thanks for input. Desperate to get home now to practice some more.

    I never really noticed my thumb to be honest. I'll try and keep it under control.
  15. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Above all, make sure the wrist is comfortable, relaxed with no sharp angles.
  16. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    That thumb debate again.
    These guys have it so wrong, their thumbs just seem to support whatever their fingers want to do rather than maintain a single position behind the neck.....they will never be any good. ;)

  17. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006

    Same goes for this guy ! ;)

  18. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I agree, the thumb should support whatever the fingers are doing; however, unlike the OP, none of them in that video have the thumb over the neck continuosly.
  19. RayMan34


    Jan 3, 2014
    I'll let you guys debate the thumb position and check back later.

    Anyway, after checking the bass this evening it was infact nearly a half measure under under tuned on E and D strings. Oops.
  20. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Un-like the OP they also have decades of playing experience, when the OPs hands get more compact in playing he will find out for himself where his thumb will go.
    Personally i do not call part of a song continuously..i have my own thumb over the top for song after song sometimes.

    For the record i put no stock in thumb position other than it supports the fingers. I rarely mention it to students as dealing with the fingers deals with where they will put their thumb....when it does come up it is a question from them about it, and is usually solved by telling them "let it go where it wants."
    We have a natural proprioception that will work out the best way to use the thumb. :)