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Picking Technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Diomedes, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. Diomedes


    Sep 3, 2005
    I'm trying to work on my strumming instead of down-picking and I was wondering how to get the motion more consistant so you only hit one string like the A instead of accidentally hitting the others when you use your arm and move farther away from the string as opposed to anchoring the forearm on the bass and using the wrist. Thanks!
  2. Basssonu

    Basssonu Guest

    Aug 15, 2005
    Mumbai, India
    You could definitely work out the strum technique using your thumb; the idea is similar to double thumbing; work at it using your thumb (watch how you grip the neck with the left hand a'la Willis) in a 'down' motion and then start applying an up motion; it's a little difficult actually on a four string; but you can nail it if you just work on individual strings; then two strings and finally three-note 'chords.

    The other way which is more in line with being able to nail a flamenco/chordal part for each string seperately; use your finger nail of the plucking finger of your choice (I would say the middle since it's the longest) and work at it for the motion part of it; strum upwards and downwards with that one finger and practice not hitting other strings accidentally- you'll want to nail this on a 4 string for sure in the beginning because you have more space between strings; after that it's pretty much about control...
  3. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    I think you're probably referring to alternate picking, not strumming

    make your pick movement smaller... if you want to touch only one string, only make your range of pick movement across that string...

    rest your pinky and ring finger lightly on the higher unused strings (or the body if it's the G string) to anchor your right hand so you have a way of gauging the appropriate amount of movement... you get a lot more accuracy & control than if your right arm was just floating

    then practice alternating upstrokes & downstrokes.. slowly and evenly along with a metronome... introduce string changes and string skips and rhythmic variation... and gradually increase the tempo
  4. SullyB


    Nov 22, 2005

    When alternate-picking, a good protocol to follow is a down-stroke for all down-beats and up-strokes for all up-beats. (I don't even know if up beat is even a proper musical term. Sorry. :oops:)

    Basically, When picking straight quarter notes, 1-2-3-4, pick down-down-down-down. When picking eighth notes, 1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and, you should pick down-up-down-up-down-up-down-up.

    Check out Carol Kaye's website and products for info on this type of picking. Also, Glenn Letsch wrote a great series of articles on this technique in Bass Player a couple of years back. Check out his website, it's great. :cool:

    Good luck, :bassist:

    Will S.