Problem while popping

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Mr M, Dec 13, 2001.

  1. Playing pop-slap style I've got a problem when popping. Let me give you an example as it will be easier to tell my problem:

    When I'm popping the D string, the back of my index finger, right where the nail ends and the skin begins (sorry but it's hard to explain) touches the G string and after a while it aches/hurts a lot and I usually have to stop popping. The skin there becomes red and thicker.

    I wish it's clear what I try to tell, so what is my error? :confused: First and only thing that comes to my mind is that the angle of my index finger to the body of the bass is wrong and by making my index finger tip more perpendicular to the body, I can eliminate touching to one higher string. But in this case the popping becomes less powerful or not so "a la pop style" at all..

    It becomes more achefull when I'm making double pop - simultaneously the G and D string (middle finger popping G and index finger D) - as the angle of my index finger becomes more and more ..hmmmm what to call.. wrong.
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    You don't really have to dig so hard to get a good pop. Rather than keep the last joint of your finger hooked all the time, let the resistance from the string straighten out your finger. You should find that the finger will leave the popped string without rubbing against the others.

    Of course, if you've got narrow spacing and/or huge hands, some chafing may be unavoidable.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    It's difficult to say without seeing what is happening, but my only thought is to get a bass with wider string spacing
  4. Hi!

    My hands are not big (even I can call'em little) and my bass string spacing is not that narrow (worse is I'm planning/dreaming to switch a 6 string bass when I'll have enough money and this bass will probably be with very narrow spacing)

    The problem occurs in the pre-popping position, I mean when my hooked finger dives under the string just before pulling it, that its back touches to one higher string :(

    It becomes more painful when I'm playing fast as the back hits faster..
  5. Try wearing your bass higher so your fingers can get under the strings from a more vertical angle. Wearing it lower tends to make your fingers attack the strings from a more horizontal angle, causing you to hit other strings.

    Lower tension/smaller gauge strings could help a little.
  6. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    i think you may be popping too much.. don't do it as much as you do.. and yeah try wearing your bass a bit higher
  7. Thanks for your replies :)

    I'm not wearing my bass so low but even when I'm playing it sitting, the problem continues eventhough the bass is high enough.

    I'll try to use some kinda duct tape or electrical tape to cover the place that touches the string, I think it will protect the skin but not so sure for the ache :( .
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    If you're not wearing the bass too low and you're hitting that part of your finger as you say you are... the spacing is too tight.

    If the spacing between your D and G strings was greater would you still hit the G string?
  9. Hi,

    The string pitch is 19mm at the bridge as most of the 4 strings.

    And I think yes, I would hit the string even it was wider :(

    I'll try to take a picture of my right hand popping on wednesday or thursday and post it here if I can.

    Thanks for answers BTW
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Remember, the 19mm at the bridge only counts if you pop at the bridge. Several basses get dramatically narrower at the 24th fret.

    A pic would help.
  11. punkfunkfreak


    Dec 16, 2001
    ive had exactly the same problem on my six string, and as i have huuuuge hands, the only thing i could come up with to beat it is to pop with my index, at a more "in-line" angle with the string, it took getting used to, but i can pop just as efficiently now as i could on my four string.
    hope these pics help u understand what i mean.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    yay, the picks actually worked!

    EDIT. i can finally do pics
  12. The space between strings at where I'm popping is nearly 17mm :(

    And here in the picture, is my hand while I'm popping the G and D string at the same time (it doesn't change if I'm only popping the D) and the lovely :) red circle showing the part hitting the string.

    @punkfunfreak: thanks for taking time to take photos, I tried it and yes it seems it can work with practice but in this case I'll have to wear my bass as high as Mark King and I just don't like to wear it that high. But if it's the only solution from all the TB'ers I can change my mind and wear it high :)
  13. punkfunkfreak


    Dec 16, 2001
    yeh, usually its best to wear it high for this style, i had a big ego thing where i couldnt play high, cos i thought it made me look like a dickhead as i am in a punk band...then i realised im a dickhead for being in a punk band so what the hell!
  14. Well any other opinion, suggestion...

    Please tell me the truth, am I gonna die? :( :D :D
  15. punkfunkfreak


    Dec 16, 2001
    u should harden up soon enough...

    If the bass is on fire, and u are balancing on a tightrope over a raveen however.....;)
  16. lesfleanut

    lesfleanut Guest

    Sep 25, 2001
    Syracuse N.Y.
    that happens to me sometimes, i dont even know how but now i got caliuses(sp?) on that part of my ring,index,and middle fingers. but last night i played bass for like five hours and when i looked down that skin was ripped open and there was a tiny bit of blood on my finger. i stoped playing and i didnt even think any thing of it. and today i was playing and as soon as i started slapping it stared bleeding again. it is realy painfull so i think im gonna have to stop playing slap for a few days. it will be good for me anyways, it will give me a chance to practice fingerstyle alot. i think were both gona have to come up with a new way of poping. peace;)

  17. :D :D :D

    @lesfleanut: I see that it's not only my problem, what I don't see, is people with advices ;) Doesn't this happen to you all others? If not, how?

    Still looking forward for suggestions

  18. make sure you're popping with the middle finger as apposed to the index, and if you are still hitting the other string and you cannot figure out how to overcome the problem, buy some rubbing alcohol and apply that to your finger for a few weeks. They'll eventualy harden and it won'nt bother you.

    Oh yeah, also make sure you're hands are warmed up, because it's hellishly sore trying to pop/slap with cold hands.
  19. lesfleanut

    lesfleanut Guest

    Sep 25, 2001
    Syracuse N.Y.
    im gonna have to dissagree with you there, i usually pop with my index,middle,and ring fingers to pop. it lets you pop alot faster.this technique allows me to do double and tripple pops as the one finger technique doesnt.i guess that no pain no gain saying takes effect here.peace:D
  20. lesfleanut

    lesfleanut Guest

    Sep 25, 2001
    Syracuse N.Y.
    aww man i spelled your name wrong. it these damn swollen fingers.:D

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