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Making some changes

Discussion in 'Ask Mike Watt [Archived]' started by BinxTheBassMan, Nov 24, 2002.

  1. Hey Mr. Watt,

    I was hoping you might have some advice on my situation. I have been self-teaching myself and playing a 4-string bass with a pick for almost two years now. I've always preferred to use a pick because it is much easier for me. But with a pick I have never been very fast and I can only manage 8th notes, never any 16th notes. So I've decided to loose the pick and try to learn to play finger style. I'm having a bit of trouble though with speed and accuracy especially. Any advice on getting better with this?

    Also for my second question. A friend and I have recently taking a lot of interest in a Korean trash metal band. The only down side is this type of music is beyond my skill levels, but it's something I really want to play. The bassist of the band uses his fingers and does a lot of slap bass (something I never learned at all) and he also plays a 5-string bass. I never really cared for five strings, but I figure its about time I pick one up. I'm 15 and don't have a job yet, so my budget is a bit limited right now, but I'm hoping to save up for an expensive bass that will be worth it. I'm looking for a bass that sounds great, and I've had problems before with a lot of buzz and rattle (I ditched an Ibanez GSR100 for my Squier P-bass Special because of that). From what I hear, 5-strings usually have a lot of problems with the B-string being floppy and buzzing a lot. What bass would have a good tight B-string and could play with little or no rattle with good action?

  2. watt

    watt the man in the van w/a bass in his hand Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2001
    san pedro, california

    did you try to go both ways w/the pick or was it all just down strokes? the best way I know of to get the speed up is practice, practice, practice - this builds up the strength and the coordination you need to do that kind of wailing. in my book, the picking (or plucking) hand is so much more important than the fretting one. you also want to be consistent so you can hit all the notes as evenly as you can. there is no shortcut around practice for this, I think.

    I have very little experience w/a five string bass but probably the longer the scale, the less trouble w/the 'b' string. remember, in the end, you're gonna have to come up w/your own style and approach so don't copy your current bass hero too closely. learn all you can but do it in a spirit that will help you find YOUR OWN inner voice just waiting to burst from within you. true inspiration can do much more down the road than can simple imitation. there's enough cookie-cutter 'tude going around anyway. we all don't need to add to that.

    good luck.

    on bass, watt


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