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Ok, so I've got conlficting right hand techniques

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Kylethedudeman3, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. Kylethedudeman3


    Dec 28, 2009
    Let me elaborate.

    Most bassists in jazz, that I've seen have used their thumb, index finger, and middle finger for a 3 finger technique. Most metal bassists I've seen use index middle and ring. I have immense trouble getting my right hand to use my thumb to get any kind of speed, so I use it when I play chords. I'd like to know, can I reach the level of Damian Erskine (just an example) Using my index middle ring technique? Or should I just start breaking my hand now, so when it repairs itself I can use my new and improved (hopefully) hand to use it's thumb ;) ;)

    -Kyle :rolleyes:
  2. acid bass

    acid bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2010
    There is no right or wrong way to play bass, only what works. Don't worry about how jazz players play vs how metal players play. However you need to get the passages done, do it like that and THAT'S the right way.

    The most innovative players in history have been the ones that refuse to do the same thing that everybody else is doing.
  3. Cannabass


    Jan 22, 2010
    and there you have it
  4. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    As said Kyle and also definition of technique concerning bass for me would be "what is required to achieve the desired results safely with repeatability".

    So inside that definition you need an instrument suited to the job, and hand size suited to the instrument, and the physical skills to apply what the brain wants to do.

    Inside that one comes education, and experience.

    Inside that one time.

    These things do not happen over night, or in weeks but in years.
    I myself if i apply a 2 hour a day figure to my playing (lowest average denominator) and i am 50, started playing a 7, so that is 43 years of music and playing.
    2hrs. a day = 14 hrs. a week
    14hrs a week = 52 x a year = 728hrs.
    728hrs x 43 years i have played = 31'304 hrs minimum

    Understand the technique you want to use and why you want to use it. If it is finger picking with the thumb look to guitar techniques for the answers, the mechanics are exactly the same.:)

  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    in other words, yes.

  6. maxiegrant

    maxiegrant Bassist in Transition

    Nov 26, 2007
    Sellersburg, IN
    Well, one way to really make yourself feel inadequate is to watch a video of James Jamerson playing those bouncy, highly articulated runs with ONE FREAKING FINGER.

    That dude was a monster and he just worked his entire rh technique around that "hook."

    Technique matters. But it matters inasmuch as you have to choose what works for YOU. I use first and middle fingers, and I lead with my middle (meaning, it almost always plucks the downbeat or first note of a phrase). I chose that because it seems like my middle finger sticks out almost a whole knuckle farther than my index finger, and because it's stronger.
  7. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    I use both. If I'm going for speed on one or two strings, I use 3-fingers. If I'm arpeggiating chords across multiple strings, I'll use my thumb for the lowest string and then a finger for every string above that.

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