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Playing with fingers to hard?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by slapdaaria, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. slapdaaria


    Jan 9, 2010
    So i play metal with my fingers, But i am noticing i might be hitting the strings too hard im not really sure. I think when i pluck a string it hits the pick up. Should i play so my finger lands on the pick up or on the body? Only noticed this now since i got a b string.
  2. CannyBusDriver


    Jan 21, 2010
    U could raise your strings, or play with a lighter touch or lower your pickups. And b strings are often floppy. I dont see how your finger hitting the pickup after a pluck or body has any difference to make in this situation.
  3. slapdaaria


    Jan 9, 2010
    Yeah lighter touch means cranking my amp, But ill see raising them.
  4. gumtown


    May 7, 2007
    New Zealand
    depends on how much of your finger tips skin peels off after a gig, and how often you break strings.
    The strings should not be hitting the pickups, assuming the pickups are set to the 'correct' height, then your picking technique might be a little heavy.
  5. hall1k


    Jun 14, 2009
    This wouldn't happen since we don't strum much, but my guitarist friend was playing a house show and at the end of the set there was a spattering of blood where he sliced open his hand near the start of the show on one of the downstrokes. His entire pickguard was just coated in blood, but he kept playing. Must have lost half a litre lol. Surprised he didn't faint
  6. Goodlawdy


    Mar 27, 2008
    If playing with less attack doesn't work for you, higher tension strings may help. Most flats are higher tension, but not the best for metal.

    I used to get a click when I played too hard. It was the string bouncing off the frets. It took me a little while to get used to playing softer, but helped my tone.
  7. hall1k


    Jun 14, 2009
    Yeah I get that click on the low E alot. Most of the time its due to my technique. When I'm on that string and playing real fast notes, I tend to kinda flick my fingers back and forth, effectively pushing the string downwards instead of pulling it towards me. But it never shows up in recordings or coming out of the amp, so I don't worry about it.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    what's your amp for if not to make your life easier?
  9. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    or incorporate the sound, effectively using your pick up covers as a ramp.

  10. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Apparently some guys think that generating most of your volume from sheer brute force is more "manly" than playing with more finesse and skill. I don't get it. Go figure... :confused::rolleyes:

  11. Lurker79


    Jul 3, 2008
    Hayward, CA
    The worst part of this mentality is that it will be the most difficult thing to unlearn in the future. Aggression is just another technique now.
  12. If the strings are hittng the pickups when you pluck them, try moving your hand position so you are plucking more vertically, or "across" the strings, rather than horizontally, which is pushing the strings against the pups. In other words, try to emulate the action that a plectrum makes. Also, as a lot have said, a lighter touch will help as well.
  13. shadow_FIX


    Feb 23, 2010
    I used to play metal fingerstyle as well, and actually, it was playing metal that opened my eyes to the fact that I was using to heavy a technique as well. I found that I just couldn't play the lines if I dug in to much. Then again my band didn't have a second guitarist so I did a lot of harmonies on lead lines sometimes so I HAD to be fast! Lightened up a bit and practiced a lot and made it better :hyper:
  14. Aye! I don't play quite as aggressively as I used to, but I have developed to where I'm positioning my wrist out far enough that even when I'm digging in, I bring the string more vertically than towards the pickups....which on my current #1 bass keeps me from banging the open poles.

    You can see it pretty well here...

  15. ^ as Mr. Punch would say "That's the way to do it".
  16. depends on the setup and bass but all my 5 strings the E A D G strings I can play comfortably hard/dig in slightly but the B will make me use an extremely light touch else I get alot of string clank...

    I now have a gary willis fretless 5 and because of the ramp and close strings and close action I now play with an extremely light touch (and helps make playing faster)

    alot of people actually can't play on my bass effectively cos they are used to higher action and digging in lol

    light touch + amp turned up = smoother playing,... I still refuse to use a compressor though for those times when I DO want to dig in / have a harsh attack on the note (always when its an emphasis and a slow part though, playing 16th's etc I always use the lightest touch where possible)
  17. You can easily get sucked in, (especially with metal, because it's so passionate) to dig in too much. But yeah, your amp is your friend, turn it up, and go with the lighter touch. You will still be able to dig in on half time sections and things like that.

    Your pickups should be high enough to get a good sound, but not hitting the pickups. I anchor my thumb on the neck side corner of the neck pickup and pluck over the pickup. If you have soapbar style pickups, you can use them like a compression ramp. Raise it up high enough that you don't bottom the strings out on it, and you're fingers wont dig in too much because the pickup is there.
  18. Queg


    Nov 20, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    Your technique should serve the music: How does it actually sound to your ears? Is the digging in muddying up or slowing your fast runs?

    Nothing wrong with string clank if it appeals to you musically. It sounds great for most hard rock, particularly if the click-clacking is softened by a touch of overdrive.. the emotional edge we enjoy from players like Geezer Butler, Geddy Lee, John Entwhistle, Cliff Burton, Steve Harris would be lost if executed with soft plucking on ramps.

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