Pick - up/down strokes

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by AndyPanda, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. So I had started learning mandolin until my aging thumbs (worn out basal joint) were just having to much trouble with it. But for the time I was studying mandolin, I learned that your up down strokes are locked to beat and not alternating (if playing four up beats in a row you would do four up strokes in a row). I think that is tied to the way Bluegrass music pulses - and I suspect that for bass this is not how it works? Or is it?

    Anyway ... I decided I should start learning to use the pick on the bass just so I have it in my arsenal. So curious if I alternate up down strokes like I alternate two finger plucking where either down or up stroke could be playing the downbeat -- or?
  2. Mushroo


    Apr 2, 2007
  3. We have a mandolin player that sits in with our Praise band from time to time. His up/down rhythm does not interfere with what the rest of us are doing. He does vary his strum to fit the song. Some time is a chuck, chuck, chuck, like what the fiddle will do, other times it's not.

    Alternate picking - I look upon this as you had to go down to make a stroke, so to get ready for another down stroke you have to bring the pick back up, why not catch a note of the up stroke? If it fits use it. If it does not don't.

    On bass it all boils down to what fits... The song dictates the rhythm, i.e. strum pattern needed.

    I listen to the drummer and the two of us lay down the groove foundation for the rest of the band to follow. Each song is different, and we go to our gig bag (stored knowledge) for what is needed. Sorry can not get more specific...
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
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