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Question on "strumming" with finger style

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by nostafa, Jun 22, 2005.

  1. nostafa


    May 23, 2005
    Hello all,
    nOOb here. I would like to know the proper technique of strumming more than one string at a time while playing with the fingers. I'm learning a "Bach for Bass" song that requires hitting the A and D strings at the same time, followed by the D and G strings. I initially started by trying to use the left corner of my right thumb but could not get a smooth strum. I then switched to trying to hold my thumb and index finger together, like holding an invisible pick, and then strumming with the top of my index fingernail. This seems to be working out better for me than the thumb method, and closely resembles the sound I'm hearing on the recording of the song. Is this an ok, not ok, technique to use? Is there a "proper" technique used to strum while playing finger style? I am taking classes at a local music shop, but have not covered this yet with my teacher. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Either way you've tried will work, or you could pluck the two strings with two fingers. For Bach, the way you're doing it will probably be best.
  3. burntgorilla


    Jan 24, 2005
    If it's only two notes, picking with two fingers would probably work well. Though for three and more, I find raking is easier, though you get a different tone, what with using your nails. Imagine your fingers are curled round (to the slap and pop type position, if you've done that), and just quickly straighten them out. Works well, I think.
  4. The way I strum usually is to pretend my thumb is a pick. I will extend my thumb all the way, and use my pointer finger for resistance. I place my point finger right in the center of my thumb pushing back on the extended thumb.

    As for your situation though, as previously stated, if it is only two notes on seperate strings that is your dilemma, then I suggest plucking by using your thumb and pointer/ring.
  5. OrderingEntropy


    Jun 17, 2005
    i used to find that really annoying, as alot of songs i learned had octave notes at the same time as the root note, so i would have to play on two strings at once (e,d or a,g). what i eventually did was just assign one finger for each string when i need to do that (thumb on E, index on A, middle on D, and ring for G). it works great for me. depending on your style it might or might not...
  6. All good solutions, but I like the sound of the fingernail for classical pieces.
  7. nostafa


    May 23, 2005
    Thanks much for the suggestions and info all. I'm finding the fingernail method is working out best for me, and more closely duplicates the sound I am hearing on the recording. Thanks much again.

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