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Playing octaves, plucking hand problem

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bahamin, Dec 22, 2018.

  1. Bahamin


    Nov 18, 2018
    I have problem playing octaves regarding my plucking hand. Let's say i'm playing C (3rd fret a string) and the octave on 5th fret of g string, i will play ConAstring with my index and 5onGstring with my middle finger, but when i want to play sth more complex like dark necessities by rhcp, i have play the root twice and the octave once, and while using the alternate picking technique, i cant always play it with my index on root and middle on octave, and i seen pros cover of this song and they always use index on root and middle on octave. and to be able to do that you cant alternate, you have to go double index on the root and middle on the octave.
    is it wrong to use middle on root and index on octave? because i've seen lots other people avoiding that!
  2. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    I never thought of it that way. I always use thumb (plucking) on root and first finger on octave. I suppose that necessitates a floating thumb technique, but it works for me.
    Nashrakh and Bahamin like this.
  3. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Nothing wrong with it. Your right hand is a rhythmic motor and the left hand selects the notes. Your right hand needs to be able to go wherever the left needs it to be at the time required. For a more fundamental example, compare straight 8ths (any notes) in 3/4 and 6/8. In 3/4 you might use i on beats 1, 2 and 3, whereas in 6/8 you might use i on 1 and m on 2. Either finger need to be able to provide the accent, regardless of the string being played.
    Bahamin likes this.
  4. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    IMO, no technique is "wrong" unless it (1) fails to produce the desired result in the short-term or (2) is potentially harmful in some way in the long run -- such as causing injury or impeding future progress. (The former is obvious; the latter is often overlooked by people who just say "do whatever works.") I don't see any reason to think that what you're doing would be harmful in the long run, so if it works I'd say go for it.
    Bahamin likes this.
  5. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    I'd play I-R-M (2-4-3) to do that.
    Bahamin and Lobster11 like this.
  6. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    I think the part where you are referring to uses three times root and then the octave. So you can use i-m-i-m.
    But if you only play two times root and one octave. You can use various strokes. You can do m-i-m (if there a slight pause of of a sixteenth at the last note), you can alternate or you can use some kind of three finger pattern with i-m-a. Just experiment and see what works for you. There are no rules.
  7. tshapiro

    tshapiro Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    Since it's basically a repetitive 16th note pattern with the octave accent on the 2 and 4 and also some 'ands' as in '4 And', than you simply start your 16th note pattern with your middle finger. Then, the 2's, 4's, and Ands all fall on the middle finger. If your not used to this than it will feel awkward, but, after some practice you'll have fun with it and find it pretty liberating for these kind of parts. I'd recommend starting out with straight 16ths on the root (starting with the middle finger) and putting the accents on the 2 and 4. Once you have that down than start throwing in the octave.
    Bahamin likes this.
  8. IMO as long as you can get the next note in before the music goes off and leaves you you've accomplished the goal. Which finger doing what is optional. In fact when the fingers start deciding what finger gets what note you've reached another skill level.

    Learn the correct way first then let the fingers take over.... Our fingers are all different so what is good for me may not be good for you.

    Yes put in the practice time on the right way, but, if it is just not in the cards do it your way.
    Bahamin likes this.
  9. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    these 3 folks are playing the lick differently than you describe (and in a different position than flea in the chili's video) but they are quite effective, nonetheless:

    good luck! :thumbsup:
    Bahamin and Lobster11 like this.

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