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Proper fingering technique?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by spuds, Mar 17, 2005.


  1. spuds

    spuds

    Mar 10, 2005
    A novice question...

    If you want to play one string after another at the same fret (e.g. 6th fret on A string, 6th fret on D string), which fingers would you use to fret those notes? Do you

    1) Use the same finger for both strings?

    2) Use 1 finger for each string?

    I use option 2 to avoid that split second stop in sound while changing strings. But I find myself getting my fingers tangled up in more complicated situations. I'm wondering if I should use option 1 and build up my speed of string switching with 1 finger... ?
     
  2. The gereral rule is 1 finger per fret but at some occations you have to use 2 fingers. But follow the general rule as often as you can. You will probably notice when you need to assort to 2 fingers.
     
  3. Corbow

    Corbow

    Mar 15, 2005
    All you need is to practise the 1. version slowly....it will take some time but one day it will come....I had the same problem and now its no problem for me. But it depends on the feeling and actually on the time you have to the next note pick. Billy Sheehan could great use this 1st. version. And there is a video lesson where he revealed this "secret"..i think its called ON BASS.
     
  4. Lorenzini

    Lorenzini

    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    The real question is: Where do you have to go after hitting that 2nd note? Then you can decide what is going to get you there easiest.
     
  5. Whafrodamus

    Whafrodamus

    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    The thing about bass, and most musical instruments. You make the rules. Play how you want, and develop your own technique. I do both 1 and 2.
     
  6. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    If there is no "daylight" between the two notes than #2 would seem to make more sense. I use #1 if the jump is to the next string because I'm getting off the first note, muting that string, and rolling over to the next note at the same time. I would practice both techniques and you will naturally fall into what works for you.
    I do have a question: If I do #1 and #2, does that make it a #3?
     
  7. munificent

    munificent

    Mar 15, 2005
    Option 2 is preferable. It lets you easily mute the first note and start the second note without any pause.

    Option 1 is useful if you need your other fingers elsewhere on the fretboard real soon and don't have a spare finger. In those cases (keep mind I'm an amateur) I try to shift the weight of my finger from one string to the next so that I can still effectively mute the note that I'm not currently playing.

    Example: If I want to go from 5th fret D string to 5th fret A string and I can only use one finger, I'll lay the finger across both frets but press down hard on the D string (right under the first joint of my finger).

    The D string will ring, but the A is muted by the soft pad of my fingertip.

    When it's time to switch to A, I move the pressure to my fingertip so now the A rings and the D string is muted by the meat of my finger.

    Sounds complex, but it feels fairly natural to me.
     
  8. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I play a lot of old style county and use option #1 (one finger per string) most of the time for root/fifth patterns. A good example is Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash.

    Option #1 works great in that context. However, it can trip you up depending on what comes after. I would practice both methods, then use the one that works best for each particular song.
     
  9. spuds

    spuds

    Mar 10, 2005
    Thanks for the feedback.

    I started this thread coz I had to play a few songs where the bass line was a simple "1 note per chord" thing, sustaining right to the next chord change.

    Sounded simple enough to me, but I ran into problems with this finger thing. I was using #1, but there was this annoying pause in between changes that i found a bit unsettling.

    I guess for situations like this I should use #2... but #1 for other times.
     
  10. Bigwig

    Bigwig

    Dec 27, 2003
    Grimcity
    im playing pretty fast stuff, and im constantly using two fingers. sure it gets tiring, but boy its worth it. i love the way i play with my fingers, and i tend to write alot busier basslines when im feeling the strings with my fingers .. as opposed to a pick.
     
  11. twofifty

    twofifty

    Mar 5, 2005
    Did you even read the thread man?
     
  12. Lorenzini

    Lorenzini

    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    That's great man.. But what are you talking about?
     
  13. spuds

    spuds

    Mar 10, 2005
    =)
     
  14. Really? I find nicely sliced carrots work much better to get that feeling of groove. I dunno what you're doing, but...

    Leigh
     
  15. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I don't have any hard and fast rules, although I do aim to keep my hands as relaxed as possible while still playing accurately.

    If I find a particular passage tends to get my fingers tied up or sounds messy, I'll slow it down and experiment with different approaches, listening for the tone of the notes as well as the ease with which I can move from one note to the next.

    I also try to remain open to other approaches. Sometimes I'll settle on what I think is "best" and then a few months later stumble upon another way of playing it that seems to fit better.

    Wulf