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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by dinghy, Jul 21, 2007.
I use this technique sometimes when playing chord progressions.
Saw a great trick by Bill "Buddah" Dickens on you Tube that really helped me get my alternating right hand fingers working. You put a piece of rope under the strings right at the end of the fretboard. You then sit (or even lay down as I did) for hours and watch TV or whatever and just keep alternating those right hand two fingers on one string at a time for hours. Then you progress to string skipping. The rope is muting the strings, you don't need to be using your amp or your left hand. You are just building speed, strength and muscle memory into those fingers. I did it for hours for days and weeks and it sure helped me a lot. My bass teacher whom I respect a lot will smack my hand if he catches me not alternating! P.S. Someone may want to find that video on you tube and link to it here.
My bass teacher was the same way - he would stop me mid-tune to correct my technique!
Sorry to be a bummer but this technique (if its the only fingerstyle you can do) will infact limit you. If you'd like an example here's one. I challenge you to play What is hip (tower of power) in that style. There is no way you can hit the 7th Fret E that fast with one finger, I struggle with 2... A few suggestions were given that were good. I'd just keep practicing an alternating finger technique (you'd be surprised how much a metronome will help) first set it to about 40 BPM just play quarter notes, then eighth notes, then sixteenith notes. Then try doing some triplets- then change up your triplets (rest on the first note of the triplet, try with the middle and last note). This will help you ALOT.
But on the bright side, the technique you're useing could be really cool for some chordal stuff and especially playing solo stuff. But, I'd really reconmend getting your chops going on normal fingerstyle as well (why limit yourself).
Here's the video:
Did I say you had to like it? I suggested you be a little more tactful and try not to insult so many members of the bass community by saying "ew". It doesn't matter, I just think you could have chosen your words a lot better. As a sidenote there's not one "sound" a pick on a bass produces, Carol Kaye, Chris Squire and Steve Swallow sounding as dissimilar from each other as Lee Sklar, Jack Bruce and Jaco do. Don't use a pick if you don't want, but it is a far more versatile and comfortable technique than you seem willing to accept.
seems to me that playing that way would give you an edge. unless your working on only one string. do what works for you, but its always a good idea to learn several different techniques.
dude thats crazy, ive never seen/heard that before. i think im going to try that out today when i get home.
A pick sounds like a good solution. I figure it would at least save my manicure, but the last thing I want is to be accused of being a former guitarist. If it wasn't for bass, I wouldn't play guitar at all, so triple EW to that.
I sometimes find myself forgetting to alternate between the two fingers. I bet a consistent 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2 would help a lot with timing...I haven't tried practising with my metronome yet.
Bass Guitar for Dummies tells you to practise striking with two fingers like this:
E - 1
A - 2
D - 1
G - 2
rake back up to E with 1, and when you get there, strike E again with 2.
E - 2
A - 1
D - 2
G - 1
and rake back up with 2 to begin again.
I don't know anything about bass guitar...but, my first lesson is tonight, so...I figure eventually it'll all come to me.
Thank you Jweiss. Your posts are inspiring! Motivating? Same thing!
I watched a bass player play like that. Unfortunately, he said no to going though my amp and went through the PA instead. The sound guy had the slider at -infinity. "Didn't want to hurt his speakers."
The raking thing is debated. I was taught never to rake, but there are those who swear by it, including many famous players.
In the example that you gave, without raking it would simply be:
E - 1
A - 2
D - 1
G - 2
D - 1
A - 2
E - 1
See what feels best. I can do it both ways but I find it easier to just ALWAYS alternate, regardless of string changes or direction changes.
If somebody says you are a former guitarist just because you use a pick and they're wrong, tell them they're wrong or don't worry too much about them. For some people it's just a more economical, practical way to play. I, like you, played bass long before guitar, and it took a long time before I figured out that a pick was perfect for me.
Thats really interesting, I can see how it would limit you if you are trying to play certain styles of bass, ( jaco type stuff, and a lot of fast one string runs ). I would practice the " standard " way with 2 fingers.
I remember watching that vid but completely forgot about it. I should do that tonight; I need to work on my finger alternation technique. Doesn't feel right yet lol.
Well, I've looked again at the Bill Dicken's technique and kinda modified it. First, I don't really see a need for the string, I just don't have the amp on. If I'm missing some fundamental detail about the string please let me know. Second, instead of a metronome, clock and TV, I just put some music on that I like and keep time to that. I switch fingers every song and try to keep the length of the songs pretty similar. This keeps me occupied, allows me to practice in a passive way and inspires me to be a better bassist (all my music is bass heavy lol). I suggest you try it
I have short, stubby fingers and so I use three fingers over four strings. It works well unless I think about what I'm doing, then they get tangled up! If I leave them alone they just naturally go where I need them.
And some songs just don't sound "right" without a pick. I usually play finger style, but never hesitate to use a pick when needed
the whole idea of the string is to jack the string height up more like an upright. i use this technique for right and left hand strength. the rope especially helps left hand dexterity. has really helped my speed and accuracy.
Yea, it eventually occurred to me lol. I use a sock rolled like a string instead. I dont have any of these fancy "voodoo strings."