1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

[Poll] How do YOU play the bass?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by AxxGrey, May 7, 2015.

  1. Pickstyle (down-picking)

  2. Pickstyle (up-picking)

  3. Pickstyle (up-and-down-picking)

  4. Pickstyle (other - please specify below)

  5. Fingerstyle (single finger - specify which)

  6. Fingerstyle (two fingers - specify which)

  7. Fingerstyle (three or four fingers)

  8. Fingerstyle (all four fingers plus thumb)

  9. Slapping & Popping

  10. Other - please specify below

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. AxxGrey


    Apr 23, 2015
    There are many ways (obviously) to play the bass guitar. Check as many as apply! I'm curious to learn how you play!
  2. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    All of the above really. I would also add arco on the DB as well for myself.
    Fabian_Aryo and Bob_Ross like this.
  3. Mktrat

    Mktrat Seriously, are we not doing phrasing anymore?

    Apr 9, 2013
    The Mitten
    I figure you got four fingers and a thumb. I should probably use 'em all eh?
    nuhckes8 likes this.
  4. Four fingers (thumb, index, middle, and ring). Sometimes if I'm going for a pick "chugging" rhythm, I'll just alternate between my thumb and index. Thumb and index is also nice for quick phrases with a lot of string crossing.

    In regards to muting, I play with a floating thumb technique and keep my middle thumb knuckle on the string above the string I'm playing, and bend my thumb at that knuckle to pluck.

    It took a few weeks for this (and the T/I/M/R sequence) to feel natural, but now this technique feels and sounds great - I prefer it's feel and sound over two fingers (index and middle) and three fingers, and I also increased my plucking speed and hand stamina dramatically.
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
    29A and jjmuckluckjr like this.
  5. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Every one except slap and pop.
    Pyrat and 10cc like this.
  6. thabassmon


    Sep 26, 2013
    New Zealand
    I use all the standard stuff fingers, slap, thumb (old school), tap etc.

    But what I've been working is adapting Charlie Hunter's finger style technique and approach to bass. So we are talking thumb and two fingers.

    Being able to play bass lines, chords and solo all at the same time is the goal for me and this is approach I'm trying.

    Lots of work to do but it is tons of fun.
    Mike Goebel likes this.
  7. Mike Goebel

    Mike Goebel

    Mar 26, 2015
    I'm not a picking player, but have a lot of respect for those who can do this well (Mike Gordon comes to mind). I create a lot of different sounds with my right hand and move those shapes a lot based on what I want to hear in a given song or solo. I will move between index and middle fingerstyle playing, using thumb index and middle for tighter, more percussive grooves, especially when I use left-hand leading techniques. I will often palm mute when doing this -the heavier that palm mute, the more I can make my electric sound like an upright. I also slap in various styles--sometimes it is that vintage Larry Graham sound I'm going for which has more of a bounce, whereas other times that Victor sound is what I want and so I will use open-hammer plucks and double thumbing. I also like to tap upper extensions of chords while hammering the bass notes in the lower octaves to fill space and add nuance in places. I worked on prettier solo tapping arpeggios and melodies years ago and still can play in that style to a certain extent, but I seldom find times where it is appropriate in the settings I typically play in, so it is a skill that is kind of withering on the vine.

    I think the more imaginative you can get in your right hand, the more versatile you can be in a variety of settings - then it comes down to knowing when and where to use these techniques so you can express yourself musically, without being a show-off, or throwing them in just to appear impressive.
    nicopiano and thabassmon like this.
  8. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    Primarily index/middle finger style, but I occasionally play with a pick, up/down.
    Pet Sounds likes this.
  9. T-Funk


    Jul 2, 2005
    Mainly, I use finger-style (index and middle) and slapping/popping (thumb, index and middle fingers) techniques to play bass. However, although I never use a plectrum in live situations while playing the bass, I do practice alternate picking a few times per week. My preferred bass pick is the Dunlop Big Stubby (3.00 mm).

    As a guitarist, I primarily use alternate picking with either a Dunlop Tortex Pitch Black Jazz III (1.14 mm) or Planet Waves Black Ice (1.10 mm) pick. Both picks also work fine with bass.
  10. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    For many years index and middle fingers coming from an upright bass background. These though days I play primarily with a pick using up and down strokes as the foundation but interspersed with a lot of multiple down and upstrokes too....I'm going for a fluid "human voice" sounding articulation.

    In the "Other" category I've never been a real serious thumb slapper but I have been working on my picking and popping on and off. Definitely not super comfortable with it yet but I will use it anywhere traditional Larry Graham type thumb slapping is asked for.
  11. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Downstoke picking 90% of the time.
  12. GoLeafsGo

    GoLeafsGo Not Quite Right! Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2013
    Whitby Ontario
    Had to vote Other because Badly wasn't one of the choices.
  13. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    I choose, 2 and 3 fingers picking, I dabbed a little bit with a pick, it just not my thing at all. I also choose other because well, I use tapping quite a lot
  14. No option for the William Murderface Technique?
  15. I Need a six...

    I Need a six...

    Feb 4, 2015
    I hardly ever just use one or two fingers. Other than that every one. Don't forget strumming! It's hard as nails to do it right but it really provides a ton of attack. Oh yea and tapping
  16. BassFishingInAmerica


    Jul 24, 2014
    Some others: tapping, strumming with pick, strumming with nails, alternating thumb index middle
  17. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    Two fingers; index and middle The thumb and ring finger will sometimes come into play when doing chordal things.

    I'm competent with a pick on simple stuff, but I generally don't break that out unless specifically requested. As Dirty Harry said,...

    Mktrat likes this.
  18. strictlybass_ic

    strictlybass_ic Mediocrity is a journey

    Jan 9, 2014
    Northern Indiana
    4 fingers. Typically index & middle for plucking and ring & pinky for muting. Sometimes vice versa.
  19. walldaja


    Apr 27, 2011
    Use first two fingers finger-style most of the time, mute with floating thumb / palm. Sometimes I'll downstroke with my thumb while palm muting to get a double bass sound on a semi-hollow. I keep trying to learn the pick but I think all of my picks must be possessed and have minds of their own that I can't control.
  20. I play 3 fingers with slapping and popping for mor aggressive tones

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.