Need help on some fingerstyle technique!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by proc83, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. proc83


    Jan 18, 2005
    I've seen many bass players and read in some books that after you 'strike' a string, your finger should rest on the string below it (to mute it or whatever). The way I play, my fingers just fly back up towards my palm without hitting any other string (in a circular motion), but I'm starting to get a lot of aches in my finger joints if I bend them. If I do try to play the way the books say, I cant play fast enough or I create a lot of unwanted noise. I could really use any suggestions. Has anyone had a similar problem who could help? Thanks in advance!
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    When i first started i played how you did. I then switched to the technique you have read about, its called using Rest Strokes, and i believe it to be the proper technique, although whatever works i guess.

    Even if your speed is slower at first, i suggest you try to use it. You will get quicker at it, it wont take long to adjust.
  3. spyingcracker


    May 27, 2004
    What I do, is I just use the least amount of motion possible in my fingerstyle technique. As soon as a finger strikes a string, it moves in position to strike it again immediately afterwards. It doesn't look as impressive as pulling into the next string, but it is the fastest and least fatigueing ( :meh: ) thing that works for me.
  4. proc83


    Jan 18, 2005
    I think thats what I'm doing right now, but it's really causing my second joints on my two fingers to go bad...
  5. Thre strange thing is that although I'm self-taught, I still do what you call "Rest Strokes." I guess I got lucky and didn't develop bad habits in that area.

    I agree with Spyingcracker -- use as little motion as possible and keep relaxed.
  6. Ozzyman


    Jul 21, 2004
    I believe rest strokes are ultimately faster than free strokes. I think the reason you're slower at it is because your fingers aren't used to that motion and they are trying to do the circular thing. Get a metronome and practice it slowly and get faster.
    The only time I ever use free strokes is when doing flamenco fingering. Free strokes are probably more stressful on the joints as they aren't as straight. None of my joints go less than a 90° angle. Also, having your fingers extremely bent reduces blood flow to them causing muscle fatigue (and maybe tendonitis [edit: i did some reading and I'm actually talking about bursitis]). That's why they hurt.
  7. proc83


    Jan 18, 2005
    Thanks for all the help! I have another question regarding the angle for the rest stroke technique. Am I supposed to pull my fingers towards the lower string, or towards the bass body, or at some angle in between? It seems when I'm doing it fast, I'm sounding the 'rest' string as well unless it's muted.