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Question about fingering on frets

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by havik180, Oct 9, 2005.


  1. havik180

    havik180

    Oct 9, 2005
    SF bay area
    My name is Rich and I'm new to bass (2 mos.) and have yet to take lessons. I have a few books for beginers but they contradict eachother on what fingers to use on the fret playing hand.

    One says to use all 4 fingers (one per fret per string)the other says use all 4 fingers but the ring and pinkie play the same fret on the same stringas one, making it more like 3 fingers.

    Which is right ? or are they both legitamate ways to play ? do any of you use the ring/pinkie combined method ? which one should I use ?


    Thanks
     
  2. Hello Rich
    I do the '1-fret-per-finger' thing when I'm practicing, but when I'm playing(in a group setting)I tend to bunch my 3rd & 4rth fingers together(most of the time). You have to move your hand around a bit more, but stretch less. There's no set-in-stone 'law' that says one method is always better that the other, & I imagine most players mix it up. The '3'-finger method is kind of upright(Bass violin)technique. BTW, welcome to the low end! This is a graet site for info- I've been fooling around w/bass for 27 years & still learn a lot here, as well as find a lot of entertainment.
    Steve
     
  3. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    (Just my sole point of view on this topic)

    You must learn the 1-finger-per-fret technique, but that doesn't mean you must play all the time like that. In theory, if you're going to play an alternating root-fifth bassline in the lower register (say Bb on the A string, 1st fret and F on the D string, 3rd fret), you should play index-ring, but that's very awkward. I play that with index and pinky. What I NEVER do (well, not exactly. Keep reading) is using two fingers for playing two adjacent strings on the same fret (a perfect fourth) unless that's a double stop. Let's say that I add a Bb on the G string, 3rd fret to the example above. I play that note with my pinky after playing the F on the D string with the same finger. Maybe there are lots of players who would play the F with ring and the upper Bb with pinky (and I'd do it if both notes were played at the same time), but that's not a good idea in my opinion. Why? Because if you ever want to play a fretless bass or an upright, you can't play a perfect fourth that way without going horribly out of tune. IMO, no matter if you aren't interested on playing a fretless bass, this philosophy should be applied to a fretted instrument as well.

    Again, just my point of view. Hope it helps.
     
  4. havik180

    havik180

    Oct 9, 2005
    SF bay area
    can anyone give an example of when the 3&4 method might be used ? also what tips do you have for beginners as far as what to focus on ?


    Rich
     
  5. I don't know about fretless bass, but I know from being a primarily upright bass player that playing on adjacent part of the neck (or frets) with two different fingers doesn't necessarily give me unfavorable intonation, and rarely does.

    The 3&4 method IMO is not really a method for virtuoistic playing. I mostly use it as a relaxed postion. That's really its only purpose. It's used ALL the time on "easy" lines, or if you favor using the open strings and frets behind the 5th fret.

    Your second question is very broad. Ask many smaller specific questions and/or browse the technique of general instruction forums.
     
  6. chrisb7601

    chrisb7601

    Aug 30, 2005
    Hi Rich,

    I'm new too, about 3 months now. I agree with the others, practice both, you will need one-finger-per-fret to hit a lot of notes fast, but don't do it all the time. I posted about wrist pain I was having that turns out was caused by constant 1-2-3-4 lobster-claw fingering. 1-2-4 fingering, and moving the fingers as a group, helps prevent wrist problems.

    -Chris