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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by lburton2, May 12, 2012.

  1. lburton2

    lburton2 Les Is More

    May 15, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    Originally I learned to play strictly alternating index and middle.. As of about 2 years ago, I was taught to use raking.. And I've been doing it ever since. A few weeks ago, I read on here that raking is an improper technique, and can sound less precise than raking..

    I understand that some songs call for certain techniques, and that "if it works for you, do it.." and that there are no "wrong" ways to play.. BUT

    To my understanding, it seems that raking causes a better economy of motion.. If my finger is already there, why not use it? I just want to know if I should relearn strictly alternating or not.. Thanks fellas :bag:
  2. jabsys


    Mar 30, 2011
    I don't see anything wrong with raking, it doesn't sound any different to me & I find it faster, it certainly didn't hurt Jaco's playing.
  3. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    I asked Adam Nitti, he said to learn both well enough that your brain can use which ever one works better subconsciously. But we're probably never going to get to that point, lol. My personal opinion? Strictly alternate, all the time. I had been raking for the past year and just now started strictly alternating. It feels SO much better. I can play so many things that stumped me before. Don't underestimate it, it IS faster in many situations. Just be sure to practice the major scale over and over again with different lead fingers and you're good.
  4. lburton2

    lburton2 Les Is More

    May 15, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    thx - i've already begun lol
  5. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    My take is this:

    1. There are certain styles and parts that cannot be played without raking (much of what I play, for example).

    2. Everything else can be played using either strictly alternating or raking, although it is hard to play very fast parts evenly using the raking technique.

    Thus, as in most things in life, it's good to become proficient at both, but it is theoretically possible to do everything with a raking style, but I don't believe that it is feasible to do everything with a strictly alternating style.
  6. germ_77


    Jul 16, 2011
    I am trying get fluent at both depending on what I am playing.

    Things like pink floyds money would make no sense not to rake in my opinion, would be a lot of wasted movement.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    2 yes, 1 I don't agree with.
  8. thefaceofbass


    Feb 19, 2008
    SLC, UT
    Jimmy are you that familiar with FretlessMainly's playing?

    Show me one bass player that can play one note per string in an ascending arpeggio across all 4 strings using alternate mid/index as fast as a descending arpeggio using a rake. Maybe someone can, but I''m unaware of them.

    The Frank Gambale's, Yngwie's etc have shown that sweep picking is faster when using larger intervals, and raking is just a downward sweep.

    Just because it's not required to rake in some styles of music doesn't mean it's not more efficient when a passage calls for it.
  9. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada
    Raking is great it's just hard to get out of it once your hand is used to it......i can't undo my raking habits....
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ah, the old sweep picking parlor trick ;) OK, if you're into that kind of thing, I guess you have to rake to do it. And I'll refrain from editorializing on it, but you are right...it's hard to sweep pick unless you sweep. OK, congratulations...you got me :p
  11. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    If you do a sweep ( up and down ) yeah right, it is kind of raking ... but it is really fast, while raking by bass player involve 2 or 3 notes accross 2 or 3 strings and it isn't as fast as a sweep... stuff that can be done alternating.

    I think that if you don't do lighting fast arppegio, alternating should be a priority just because everything is clear and even. You have more control.
  12. lburton2

    lburton2 Les Is More

    May 15, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    you're right about it being a hard habit to break. Relearning strict alternation is becoming one of the hardest things for me to do on bass.

    If i'm comping chords lightly and I don't want to do double stops or do a flamenco rake downwards, i'll do a rake upwards with the tips of my fingers.. which I guess you could call raking.. So there's no way I would do something like that with alternation.. Obviously there are exceptions, but I'm starting to see/hear how strict alternation is highly beneficial in most instances.
  13. Hi Guys!
    Forgive me asking but:

    By Raking you mean moving one finger across 1 - 4 strings going from (for example) G string to E string?

    If yes, I can`t see anything wrong with it...I do that when there is a need for it (usually in slow and medium tempos) when I have more time to control it.

    If song is very fast I`m alternating fingers as it seems to be faster to me.

    People are raking were raking and will be raking. Can`t see anything wrong with it, most of instructional books I came across talks about raking on first few pages.
  14. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Well, unless you considering increasing your skill capacity a parlor trick. I personally don't really like raking because my action is too high for it and it's less comfortable.
  15. I have been a strictly alternating finger player from the get go 13 years ago. However, there are styles of PLAYERS that you can not imitate with alternating fingers. Anything can be played either way but there is a feel that Gary Willis has in his descending triplets that I could not pull off. I could get the notes just as fast, but something was missing. It was the raking. I agree with JimmyM 100% on most everything he says on this forum. However, no matter what, you can't make alternate fingering sound like a rake. I know, duh, right. So to reinforce Adam Nitti, learn both.
  16. Icculus

    Icculus Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2010
    Brotherly Love
    The problem with raking is that it can easily be out of time in faster licks (Good Times, Bad Times for example). As long as you're conscious of that and it's not a problem, why not do it?
  17. Raking unacceptable seriously ????? ... Then is slapping not okay.. Is muting not okay??... Is thumbing bad???...No pick???... How many fingers is okay?...2. 3. 4. I'm disturbed by this.. Is this the salem witch trials.. Use whatever you want to as far as I 'm concerned ... If everyone played the same it would be boring... I rake... And I use mismatched cabs.. Burn me! Lol I've even used a drum stick on stage to beat the strings!!!!
  18. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    If you produce an intended note on time and with the correct amplitude, what can possibly be wrong about it? :eyebrow:
  19. Raking the lawn! Raking the lawn.... :)
  20. I play at church, and most of what I do is root fifth octave sweeps, and without raking I would stumble over notes. Plus it allows me time to perform a third or forth, or even a sixth when I'm feeling up to it, and hit the root right after. I am trying to practice not raking, but so far that's killing my rhythm and speed.