Need Advice: from thumb - to finger picking.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Shawshank, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. Shawshank


    Jun 11, 2003
    Alright I have been playing around with my bass for four whole days now :D

    While on acoustic I developed the habit of picking with my thumb quite a bit. It passed over to my bass playing now. I have read past threads on the thumb picking subject (not slapping or combo with fingers, just using the thumb) and found that it is definitely not looked upon as the best method. So I have been practicing using my fingers for a couple days now, mostly two - pointer and middle. I'm coming along ok... except I usually get a loud and obtrusive *twang* when I pick with my fingers that I never get with my thumb. I try to pick softer... but it still happens.

    I have very long fingers and tend to rest my thumb on a pickup when picking with my fingers so that they aren't fumbling about the strings.

    Any finger picking technique tips are greatly welcomed... especially ones directed for people with long fingers. Such as how to pick smoother without the twangs and methods to keep my lanky fingers from getting in the way :meh:
  2. Where are you plucking the notes? The closer to the bridge you play, the notes get a lot more of the overtones, and the note sounds more nasal and sharper than if you played over the end fretboard.

    How long are your fingernails? I find that if I get lazy and don't cut them for a while they hit the strings when I play. They don't even have to be real long, and I find that I don't notice except by hearing the sound of the note, heaps 'twangier'.

    I think the reason the thumb has a softer 'sound' when compared to the fingers is because it has a larger surface area in contact with the strings and that it is softer than fingers.

    Have a go at using the side of your plucking finger, rather then the end. That way you apply a larger surface area. It makes playing quickly a bit harder and limits me to only two plucking fingers.

    I don't know why people bag using the thumb to pluck, its just another tool to get a different tone. The older Fenders came with a rest at the bottom of the strings, a finger-rest.

    Josh D
  3. Shawshank


    Jun 11, 2003
    I feel pretty dumb right now heheh, I cut my finger nails and that solved the twang problem :) . Thank you Daveze