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pick near neck

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by corinpills, Jul 17, 2003.

  1. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    From my perspective, an awful lot of bass teachers use the Jaco method as a basis (well, if you're gonna base it on somebody, he's not a bad choice, I guess) for lessons and Jaco was very clear in his interviews and instructional video that he preferred to play close to the bridge where the string tension is very tight. That's a big part of his tone and you'll see a lot of cats who just immediately go leaping for the bridge with their right hand. However, before that, many bass players played closer to the neck for a deeper tone. Control is a little tougher because the string is floppier there, but a lot of old school bass players use very heavy strings anyway (which produce a great tone). Playing softly close to the neck produces a very full tone (the harder you pick a string, the more mid range you will accentuate). It's when you start wailing up by the neck with light strings that you get a bunch of garbage.

    I don't like light strings anyway. I currently have a 1.15 low E string and things are suitably tense around the house.
  2. dooberheim


    May 17, 2002
    I saw a video of Steve Swallow with Carla Bley a while back, and he picked over the fingerboard. Got a nice mellow round jazzy tone, and he uses a pick.