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playing with your fingers, howto learn

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by C//LiMBa, Jul 19, 2002.

  1. the titel says it all, today i've bought my first decent bass (Ibanez EDA900, she looks schweet and sounds schweet) and i want to learn some good techniques to play with your fingers. Until now i've always played with a pick, and i think it's fake :D

    edit: i also want to learn how to slap, in the store, i saw a man playing alone by slapping and it was awsomne, i talked top him and he was playing 6 months.
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Get a good teacher. Honest. Best money you'll ever spend. Good luck. And welcome to Talkbass. :)

  3. Registered: Apr 2002 :rolleyes: :D
    are there any other owners of EDA900's?

    edit: i live in belgium, anyone knows some good teachers here?
  4. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    I'd also look into getting an inexpensive metronome to insure that the technique that you build is solid from the get go.

    I don't think you'll regret it.
  5. I wouldn't say that's accurate. I've been playing for almost 7 years now and I use an almost equal mixture of picking and fingerstyle, with the occasional excursion to slapping, which i'm certainly not fantastic at. I have pretty much equal speed with the two techniques, but a little more accuracy at high speed with fingers.

    Don't discount picking completely - there are situations where it simply fits in better with the sound!

  6. I use both a pick and fingerstyle. Although I only use a pick when I'm playing a song with a bassist that uses a pick (e.g. Justin Chancellor or Jason Newstead). I prefer the fingerstyle, because it just feels more comfortable, it really isn't too hard to pick up, start off using two fingers, perhaps later you'll get into three or four finger styles but I never felt the need. Get yourself a teacher, you'll advance much faster and you'll have jumpstart on developing good technique.
  7. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    When I started playing I felt exactly as you do.My teacher said I should either use a felt pick or play with my fingers,that was around 1967.I used a pick for two or three years,then forced myself to go fingerstyle.It was like starting over I had to go so slow at first.But once I made up my mind to stick with it it didn't take long to catch up to where I was with a pick.

    I don't slap much,but when I do I twist my wrist with my thumb extended to hit the lower piched strings and slide my index finger under the highest string and pop it outward letting it hit the fretboard.I found myself doing this recently when we didn't have a drummer,As I understand that's how Larry Graham got started with slap.But I have found that this works better for some basses than others.Now all the real slappers here will no doubt correct me-as soon as they stop laughing.
  8. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Yet, you don't seem to know we have a forum for questions about technique and a general instruction forum... :D :rolleyes:
  9. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    The key word here being "techniques".:rolleyes:

    Moved to appropriately titled forum--Technique.
  10. i'm sorry :)

    i've been playing all weekend now with my fingers, and i'm begining to learn it, it's cool :) i've really got no spare time for a teacher, can you give me some to-the-point tips? (like JimM about the slapping)
    thanx and sorry for placing it in the wrong section!
  11. sbasssman

    sbasssman Guest

    Jan 1, 2002
    If you are just starting to use your fingers, the first thing is to be able to walk back and forth between fingers without thinking about it. Practice your scales or just go up and down the fretboard alternating your two fingers until you are super comfortable with it. Do it daily. You don't want to get in a habit of plucking with one finger (although some have succeeded that way.) All your lines should be with your fingers effortlessly alternating.
  12. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    if you have the time to play bass, you have the time for a teacher. Instead of trying to guide yourself a half hour a day you could let someone else guide you for a half hour a week.
  13. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    About fingerstyle;

    I don't have what is considered "good" technique,so you might want take this under advisement.I anchor my thumb on the pickup (or thumb rest) and alternate between my index and long finger as feels the most natural.but you shouldn't limit yourself to just the two fingers.Also,some pros recommend moving the thumb down onto the E and A string when playing the D and G strings.If I had a five string I would rest my thumb on the B.

    to the rest of you;don't be too hard on someone who says he can't take lessons,you're right,we all should put everything we can into advancing our bass education,but sometimes I think people have extenuating circomstances that they don't want to have to explain on the internet.Maybe he lives out in the country and doesn't yet have his license or something like that.It shouldn't hinder him or others like him from trying to get help from this forum...::meekly gets his rear end off soapbox::

    By the way,C//LIMBa,now that I think about it,if you don't want to end up with technique like mine,you might want to heed what these guys say about getting an instructor.
  14. you're right, but i dont know a lot of people living around who play bass, some kiddo's started playing bass because of me, thats all! does someone from belgium knows a good instructor? maybe if i can reschedule i've got some time to take lessons!

    i've got another question about playing fingerstyle on an EDA900 (Ibanez) should i use the pickup to rest my thumb on or the specially made thumb "carve" (>i dont know how to explain it, but you can rest your thumb also there)
  15. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    Sure you can,if it feels comfortable to you.But its position will make a difference in the tone and feel.If its closer to the bridge it will sound tighter with more mids and highs,if closer to the neck it will have boomier lows and the strings will feel a little looser.I'm not familiar with that bass.

    I go a little overboard with thumbrests.On my P bass I have two,-one on each side of the pickup so I can use either depending on the sound I want.Both rests are about 1/4 inch or maybe just under a centimeter from the E string.

    How many strings does your Ibanez have ? If its a five,definitely rest on the B unless you have pretty huge hands.Then just back off when you need to play a note on the B.

    Wait,I just looked up the EDA900 in my AMS catalog,That thumbcarve looks pretty close to the neck,on the other hand the top of the pickup sticks up a ways from the strings,or it looks like it does.Try it both ways and see what works.you can always add a thumbrest in a place that's more to your liking.I used double sided tape to put mine on and it really works,but its not permanent so unlike screws it wont leave holes in your bass.But it might dull the finish a bit.
  16. If you want to learn how to slap and can't find a teacher, buy the Slap Bass video by Alexis Sklarevsky....AWESOME. Worth every penny
  17. i'm gonna use the pick-up, because the carve is way to close to the neck! It's a 4 string, it's the best bass i've ever played! my next bass 'll be a 5 string

    btw, i've got 2 bladders (how the **** do you call them) on mij fingers from playing, i'm gonna use the pick for a few days :D

    are there any good sites who'll teach me to build up a good finger-technique?
  18. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    Wow!,you have blisters on your plucking hand ?
    You're making me feel guilty,I should get back to practicing like you do.No doubt all your hard work will pay off in the form of huge chops before you know it.

    Sorry don't know of any web sites for finger tech.Go to Harmony Central and look around in there maybe.
  19. sleazylenny


    Jun 20, 2002
    Mpls, MN
    Blisters? hmmmm.... I think you might be playing too hard with your right hand. Callouses are normal with lots of playing, but blisters are natures way of saying somethings wrong. A lighter touch will save you a lot of physical grief in the future. And less string noise. And a better tone. And your strings. Try it out:)
  20. Grunge


    Jun 3, 2002

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