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Rake or strict alternation?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Suckbird, May 17, 2005.


  1. Strict alternation

    40 vote(s)
  2. Raking

    107 vote(s)
  1. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    This is not about what technique is best but wich one you use..
  2. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    When doing really fast scales and fills, I tend to rake.

  3. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    rake rake rake. But, in all honesty I have my doubts about the merit of raking. It's hard to get the same 'feel' between strictly alternating and raking, so it tends to fit better with certain tunes/patterns than others I find.

    To be honest, I'm working on strict alternation whenever I can help it, I just don't mind my natural tendency to rake.
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Rake it. Economy of motion, people. Move less, play more, play longer.
  5. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    I have been raking all along. I thought it was the "proper" way to play. I am participating heavily in another thread where I'm learning that a lot of people do strict alternation. I'm working on it right now to see how things go, but for the record, I have to say I'm still in the raking camp.
  6. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004

    thought it was going to be 50/50 =)

    anyway, i'm working on my strict alternation i have to think everytime i play to not rake...
  7. La Garrida

    La Garrida

    May 20, 2005
    I use strict Alternation, that way I can generate better structured rhythms.

    When raking I find that I always rake back to my dominant finger (in this case my index) which I assume is one of the main reasons for raking.

    Besides it doesn't bother me that I have to put a little more 'effort' in my hand movement-I've played seven hours straight before and still had energy to muscle on!
  8. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    The finger you last used before going to the next lower string is the finger that rakes. This may not be true of all rakers, but this is my experience. Designating one finger as a raking finger would certainly send me to strict alternation in a hurry.

  9. :meh: How come 50/50 is not an option? I do both, I practice alternating a lot these days although raking feels and sounds great a lot of the time.
  10. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    I know what you mean. Since I've practiced some strict alternation I have used both. When it comes down to playing, I've heard, "If you think, you stink." I usually go with what my fingers do to make the music happen.

  11. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    I started play strict alternation this week and i found out that i use
    it more and more without thining about it, i like this technique and it gives me control..

    i used to do arpeggios raked, and man did i pull myself out of rhythm...
  12. I totally agree with if you think, you stink. What ever works and comes natural does turn out the best. I'm with suck though, the more I've been practicing alternation the less I think about it....although if I were to catch myself raking a bunch at a show I wouldn't beat myself up over it as it would have come naturally. :)
  13. Raking, I tried always alternating, I didnt like it at all.
  14. Rake...thats when you use one finger to go down two or more strings right? Yeah i do that...its not worth it to me to practice strict alternation - everything i do kinda comes spontaneously - i mean i won't play with my teeth and i try to do one finger per fret- bt most of the time spontenaeity comes over
  15. I used to rake alot, but now I feel that alternate gives me better control over the tone....I dunno, but if feels "cleaner"
  16. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I use both, depending on how fast I need to go, or what sound I want out of it.
  17. jeff schmidt

    jeff schmidt no longer red carded, but my butt is still sore.

    Aug 27, 2004
    Novato, CA
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You know, I have no problem with rakers...I'm all for doing what you think is best to make the music in your head come out to your fingers. But what I have a problem with is people saying that raking is a more efficient and easier way of playing than strict alternation. It just isn't so.

    If you think it's easier, it's only because you haven't practiced strict alternation enough. There is more of a learning curve to SA than raking, but you do something that initially slows you down, then you get better at it, then you start to realize the benefits. People who say raking is easier haven't allowed themselves to get good enough with SA to see the benefits.

    And when you rake in the middle of a fast 16th note riff, you reverse the pattern of your picking and turn your leading finger into the following finger. Jaco may have raked, but I would bet dollars to donuts that he'd never rake in quick 16th note riffs like in "Teen Town" or "Donna Lee" because it would throw your fingers out of rhythm and cause a stumble. That's not nearly as efficient as keeping a steady back and forth between two fingers.

    And this "If you think, you stink" stuff...good technique doesn't have to equal "non-creativity." You just develop the good technique until you do it without thinking. Creativity is in your ideas, not your technique.
    zcwilkes, k.graz and quickfix like this.
  19. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Raking, I think, makes the most sense. It is more economical since there is less movement, since the finger has already been placed on the next string as soon as the note has been struck. I can do both effectively, but for the most part I stick to raking.
  20. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I strictly alternate... or is that alternate strictly?

    When I started playing I had enough problems trying to think about using 2 fingers, that trying to use 2 fingers.. and rake... just wasn't happening... now it's habit. trying to pull a thiurd finger in the mix, now too.. so raking prolly won't happen.

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