plucking hand position

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by dvh, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. I've been playing bass for many years and have been for the vast majority self-taught.

    I recently started lessons to advance my knowledge and techniques.

    My teacher observed something I've never even thought about: I'm a right handed two-finger style player mostly. He said that my right hand position is opposite the norm. (I don't have photos, sorry). But, essentially: My right hand is positioned on the strings in such a way that my fingertips are pointing towards the lower horn of the body. My teacher says most players' plucking hand hangs so that the fingers point towards the other corner (i.e., towards the jack).

    It's not neccesarily bad technique but just different. I've never been concious of it and never had a problem. I use the moveable anchor or floating thumb technique.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Do you mean your angle of attack on the strings? I usually have them pointed down towards the floor, but if I have them at an angle I'm much more likely to have them pointed to the lower horn than the jack... Pointing them towards the jack would be much more uncomfy!! :/
  3. Slax


    Nov 5, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Mine points the same way. I think the only way it'd be comfortable to play the other way is if you played the bass at a high angle. (45 degrees or more)
  4. Those are my thoughts too (both replies above).

    I think my teacher has it wrong. He's from a jazz background though where some electric bassists, and certainly double bassists, have their hand positioned that way.
  5. elpelotero

    elpelotero Guest

    Jun 16, 2006
    either is way fine if you ask me...

    The reason most people point towards the jack is to compensate for the shortness of the index finger in comparison to the middle finger. It takes a concentrated effort for most people to switch the angle. I don't know what the benefit is, but to each his own. I guess the opposite angle is for people that learned in a classical guitar style.

    Stanley Clarker comes to mind as a person that points towards the jack, and Ryan Martinie is a person that does the opposite.
  6. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    Pointing toward the horn helps me compensate for the shortness of my third and fourth fingers - when I use all four. I learned to adjust for the middle finger right away - you bend it to make it shorter :).
  7. PrimusNut

    PrimusNut Guest

    Mar 23, 2006
    Nova Scotia
    I find it much more comfortable to angle towards the horn.