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my first, almost post in technique, damn does that mean I care about technique now?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by JWC, Mar 31, 2001.


  1. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    Seriously, I am playing some pretty complex songs on my bass right now. Alot of Rush type stuff. Some 8th note grooves up and down the neck on all 4 strings. That type stuff. But my deal is, my action is low, and if I play hard at all I get a nasty ass, LOUD buzzing sound and a tense feeling string that doesn't let me manuever like I want to. Other than playing easy, (i feel like im playing in handcuffs when i do that) what can i do to help. or should i just raise action or what??
     
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You answered it already. If you want to play hard you have to raise the action (this could be an action movie quote :D ).
    With low action you have to play more lightly, but IMO helps you to get more control over your plucking and give better tone. But I'm from the light playing faction.
    There's probably the same kind of opinions coming from the 'hard players' too, so it's a philosophy thing...
    But the fact remains: You simply can't dig in anymore with a low action, either play easier or tweak those saddle screws...
     
  3. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    one very hard technique that not a lot of people have is:
    keep the same energy with a light touch. Very hard, you can try that.
     
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    That's what I meant with light playing :)
     
  5. One of the things to consider with playing hard is the fact that you get a louder attack on the note and then a more pronounced decay. When you play lighter there is a more even decay and therefor, you have much more control over what your doing. If I were you, I would turn your amp up a little and work on playing with a lighter touch. I think you'll eventually find that it brings a lot more options to your bass playing.;)
     
  6. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    i try playing lighter, but it doesnt help so much. the strings feel so damn tight and tense, its like when i play light, it doesnt move the damn strings. this is frustrating me to death. maybe its something else. playing closer to the neck helped b/c the strings are more flimsy there but i dont like playing that high, plus theres no where to anchor my thumb
     
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Hm, perhaps you dig in too deep.
    Try rasing the PUs a little so that they form a platform. That prevents your fingers from going too deep under the strings (Billy Sheehan emphasises this in clinics and videos, the ramp on Gary Willis' bass serves the same purpose).

    Try to pluck only with the very top of your fingertip.
     
  8. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    sounds like a plan, b/c i do dig too deep under the strings. sadly though, I must ask, what are PUs? sorry :(
     
  9. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    brain fart...pick ups, i see!!!!
     
  10. I found that this helped me a lot, too.
    Of course, on my Fender jazz the pickups were raised pretty high anyway, and I didn't know you could rais & lower them. :p
    Somehow, though, I still managed to dig in real deep, even with the strings pretty near the pickguard, too. Now sometimes it feels a little awkward to pop on that bass. :p
     
  11. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    now the pickups being so high up is causing a nasty sound in the amp. AHHHHH!! what can i do. its a pbASS. maybe lower the other one some more?
     
  12. Could the sound you're getting be the strings hitting the pole pieces of the pick up? That's what I used to get because I thought my neck pickup was too close to the strings, so after my first performance I went home and raised the action of my bass.
    Then I started playing with a lighter touch and the action was just WAY too high for me, so I lowered it...
    VOILA! No more clicking against the pole piece! :)