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Newbie Fingerstyle Question

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by MattEWilliams, May 16, 2011.

  1. MattEWilliams


    May 16, 2011
    I am a new bassist looing to get better at fingerstyle on a 4 string P-bass. I want to be able to play all strings while keeping my thumb on the pickup/low E. My question is, say i am playing notes on the G string what is the proper technique to playing without hitting the adjacent lower string D? Do I mute it with my fret hand? Do I purposely hit it and mute it by holding it each pluck? Or do I adjust my plucking motion to be more upward so I don't touch it at all?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated thanks:hyper:
  2. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Most of the time you'll want to use a "rest stroke" where your plucking finger comes to rest on the next adjacent string. When you play a note on the G string, your finger lands on the D string, muting it in the process.

  3. MattEWilliams


    May 16, 2011
    thank you for that, I just felt like that would slow down plucking a bit? I will work on it
  4. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    You get used to it pretty quickly, and it really doesn't slow you down. Also, you may want to consider moving your thumb as you move to the higher strings. That is, once you are playing on the "D," your thumb would be on the "E," and when you are on the "G," your thumb would be on the "A" and "E." Doing this really helps keep the other strings muted so they don't ring out when you aren't playing them.
  5. +10000. It's one definition of "floating thumb" technique. Improved my playing when I took it up...
  6. MattEWilliams


    May 16, 2011
    Great thank. Do any players just have more of an upward pluck to avoid this issue?
  7. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    I'm not sure what you mean, but I would guess there probably are. There are people that do just about everything...
  8. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    I wouldn't call it "upward," but sometimes I strive to make my plucking motion parallel to the face of the bass - not so much to avoid contact with the lower string (which I like) but to avoid clank and/or clack. Clank and clack are caused by, respectively, the string being driven into the frets or fingerboard (on fretless) due to a downward angle of attack on the string by the plucking hand. Clank can sometimes be an acceptable, or even desireable, part of one's sound. Clack is just downright despicable.
  9. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    If by "upward," you mean "away from the fretboard," that's what I call "popping," and is part of slap technique. Otherwise, Fretless is right.
  10. +1

    Floating thumb helped me immensely once I got the hang of it.

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