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One finger R/H style.

Discussion in 'Bluegrass [DB]' started by gitparker, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. gitparker


    Nov 10, 2015
    Attempting a big acoustic sound - got a CCB, Spirocore mittels, 8-10 mm action and right hand anchored at the end of the finger board. Got a super callus on my 1st finger joint- trouble is - cannot get my second finger into play for fast walks up and down etc.
    I can do fast walking lines with my hand free - plucking Rockabilly style - but less volume and get string slap and can't move between these R/H styles
    Should I start again? Thing is , my 2nd finger is not much longer than 1st - so I would have to move to the middle of the finger board to get it into play - and thus lose thump.
  2. jasonrp


    Feb 19, 2015
    I tend to move my second finger first and index twice for fast 8ths. The two plucks with my index gives my middle finger enough time to recover. A metronome would be great for working on it. Are you hooking the FB with your thumb? For me anyways, hooking the FB caused me to tense and play slower. I try to touch the FB with my thumb but if I come un-anchored I don't fuss too much and just try to touch it again when I can.

    It could be technique because I'm a rockabilly guy but I'm louder when I slap as opposed to straight pizz
  3. gitparker


    Nov 10, 2015
    My thumb lies along the lower edge of the fingerboard - except when playing the E string which is dragged under the fingerboard with the hand loose.
    Other strings, I pull across and down to the fingerboard - and cannot get my finger back over the string fast enough for fast 8s (140+ bpm)
  4. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    It looks like you are asking two questions?

    1) How do I get from one-finger to two-finger playing? I am still working on this, and I am using a time-honored technique: playing scales and arpeggios with alternating fingers at increasing metronome settings. I don't expect to see anything dramatic soon, but I expect it to happen, and the progress I've already made tells me that this will be the case.

    2) Is my one finger technique/hand position OK? which I can't answer without seeing it, but I would recommend you check out some videos of Charles Mingus before you decide what can and can't be done with just one finger on the double bass.
  5. gitparker


    Nov 10, 2015
    Having watched Charles Mingus, I am tempted to persevere - but no.
    I practiced a few fast runs and syncopated lines with 2 fingers for a while and the timing and crispness was improved but the loss of volume was considerable - just have to accept it.
    As I play DB mostly in 'campfire' sessions, volume is important - but so is leading to chord changes for the numerous guitarists trying to follow.
  6. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    I don't think my volume suffers when playing with two fingers rather than one.

    My situation is a little different than most because my middle finger is my main pizzing finger due to the fact that I lost half of the last joint of my index finger many years ago. I assumed when I started DB that I would not be able to use my index finger at all. Later, I decided to try alternating, and found that I was able to get use of the index finger, and that I could develop a callus on the side of my index, even though it's mostly scar tissue there.

    The point of the digression is that the middle finger is naturally stronger than the index for most people, so if you have developed a strong sound with the index alone, I think keeping the same volume with index and middle will be just a matter of practicing and gradually building speed while keeping good pizz form. Maybe you should just play with only the middle finger for some weeks and develop an accurate form with that finger alone, then you would have two fingers with good pizz form and you could add them together.

    Maybe you should invest a little time with a good teacher to clarify correct pizz form? Someone with a jazz background because those guys have matters of technique down.
  7. BobKay

    BobKay Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Estero, Florida; USA
    Our moderator, Chris Fitzgerald, as a good video on right hand/finger technique posted on his web site. Includes exercises for practice, placement, etc.
  8. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Here is the video @BobKay speaks of. The best way to develop a strong 2nd finger is through exercises like this. You have to drill this stuff until it starts to feel natural, which takes time.

  9. BobKay

    BobKay Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Estero, Florida; USA
    Actually, here's a link to the video lesson I was thinking about. It is the first in the series:

    The one posted here by sevenyearsdown is also good.

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