Pointing fingers towards the bridge?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by M.D.S., Dec 28, 2005.

  1. M.D.S.


    Nov 8, 2004
    I've read a lot in the last couple of days about how you should angle your fingers slightly towards the bridge when playing fingerstyle, and I have a feeling I've not doing it right.

    It would be difficult to explain exactly what I think I'm doing wrong in words (And I am lacking a digital camera at the moment) I think it would be simpler if someone could find me a picture of the correct angle you should have your fingers at.

    Any help would be great!
  2. AGCurry


    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    Sorry, no picture at the moment. But I'd say that as long as you contact the strings with the "thumb side" of your fingers, you're in compliance. In other words, if you turn your right hand palm up and look, your calluses should be on the right sides of your fingertips. If they are, then you are angling your fingers slightly toward the bridge.
  3. The only correct angle is the angle you use to get your sound. If everyone used the exact same technique we'd all sound the same. Now there is good technique and bad technique, yes. But if it doesn't sound horrible and you're not hurting yourself, then go with it!
  4. PhilMan99


    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    Without getting into wrist angle, avoiding carpel-tunnel, strap-length, etc., the idea of angling (pointing) fingers to bridge is to compensate for the difference in finger length.

    If you angle/point your fingers (assuming you use two fingers) to the bridge, they feel/act like they're the same length. Much easier to play nice-n-smooth!
  5. JohnBarr


    Mar 19, 2004
    Central NY
    Try browsing the net for pix of some of your favorite players and note their positions. Not that each one is a model of correctness, but looking over a bunch of the best in action will tell you a lot. The Spectorbass site had (I haven't checked in a while) a huge page of pix of musicians playing Spectors. Other manufacturer sites offer similar shots with promotional purposes in mind, but it's a great way to observe and analyze body positioning.

    FYI, related to this: I find that the angled position comes almost naturally, but my hand also tends to drift down toward the bridge. So if I'm trying to pluck up closer to the neck to get those warm, fat tones, after a few minutes my hand drifts back there toward the bridge again. But I tend to anchor my thumb on the E string or let it float, rather than rest on a PU or the end of the neck, so that may be part of the reason.

  6. DeepCalls2Deep


    Jun 25, 2005
    East Texas
    my fingers go twords the neck :/

    but it sounds good :)
  7. i think that he means the fretting fingers, not the plucking fingers. mine point toward the bridge. if he ment the plucking fingers mine point toward the neck

  8. yeh... lets clear this up. Are we talking plucking hand or fretting hand?
  9. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Plucking. The idea is to angle them towards the bridge since not all of your figners are teh same length, this will give the same amount of finger-on-string-area to try to get an equal volume from each finger.
  10. +1 I read that somewhere
  11. thats interesting. i never realised i did it. but i do. it seems awkward thinking about it, but if you anchor on the pup, it just happens naturally. although, from memory, some players point their fingers towards the neck, ie- ryan martinie
  12. Buck Naked

    Buck Naked

    Jul 24, 2005
    Austin Texas
    Claypool does it. I think that you should do what sounds good. I mean if playing with goat cheese whilst wearing a fairy costume sounds good, then go for it. (and take lots of pictures. That would be soo effin funny.)