1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Picking with 1 finger??

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Yvon, Mar 23, 2001.

  1. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I realized, last monday, that I often pick with only one finger. When I play 8th note on 1 string, I will use one finger only. I like the sound better, more consistant.

    Any body do that?
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You have illustrious company - James Jamerson and Geddy Lee among others.
    But make sure you use it for 'sound' reasons, not as a 'bad' habit. :)
    With good technique you can get this consistency with 2+ fingers too!
  3. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I often find myself doing this without knowing it... My right hand seems to find it's own way around no matter how much I practice picking. During practice time, things roll along pretty consistently, but when I'm jamming and find the groove, concentration goes by the wayside... My playing doesn't suffer, the groove rules!

  4. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Kinda weird... I have this riff that consists pretty much of all fifths. I think I pick with the same finger for every note. It's really fast too... every time I do it I'm like "whoa"... It's weird... but I'm guessing a good skill to have.
  5. yeah, I sometimes subconsciously use just my index finger when playing quarter note or slow eighth note lines- there's a more consistent attack and note volume on slow lines- but I try to switch to just my middle finger instead to toughen up the callous and even out the tone when I'm playing with two or three fingers.
  6. snfjtu


    Oct 3, 2000
    I see most bassists rest their thumb on the lowest string of whatever bass they are using. I use my thumb alot, I guess similar to fingerstyle guitar playing, but more AGGRESSIVE. I use my thumb to hit the lower notes of whatever I am playing and my forefinger or middle finger to hit the higher ones. The only time I switch to the "normal" way of resting my thumb is to play triplets. It's just more natural to play those doing a ring-middle-index motion. Does anyone else play similar to this?
  7. Sting plays like that sometimes, and so does UK session player Paul Westwood. I've seen Doug Wimbish and also Gail Ann Dorsey do the same too.

    I used to pluck the E string with my thumb and use fingers for the others when I first started playing, but I couldn't get enough attack on the E string, and my playing speed was limited, so I learnt conventional fingerstyle.
  8. not related to the thread.. but that turtle is really cool Yvon!
  9. sampsonite


    Aug 27, 2000

    do you mean you slap the E string while you pick the rest? i do rest my thumb on the string for triplets but i also do it on a regular basis when picking any kind of pattern. also my bass has a pickup that just jutts out in the right place so i sometimes rest my thumb there too.

Share This Page