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Right Hand Finger Angle...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bass2x, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Bass2x


    Jul 25, 2005
    I'm a comeback player that played with a felt pick first time around. Since I'm starting in again with regular practice I want to try using the finger method. It's coming along ok, but it's not quite the secure feel I had with the pick. In fact, on faster passages, I find the two alternating fingers getting out of sync with the beat. I'm chalking that up to as a learning hurdle that I'll eventually overcome.

    My question is, at what angle does your fingers attack the strings? It seems a bit faster to angle the fingers towards the back and pick the strings off center of the fingertip, but not as comfortable as attacking straight on (at a right angle to the string). What's best?
  2. SilentSteps


    Aug 8, 2005
    I just started learning the bass, and the first thing that much teacher taught me was how to finger-style. He told me to keep the thumb on the string before the string you're currently playing on, and don't pluck it. Just kinda 'glide' over it, and not curl your fingers. Sorry if I can't explain it clearly. So to answer your question, it shouldn't be such a large angle.
  3. Bass2x


    Jul 25, 2005
    That seems awkward to me... isn't it hard to change strings that way?
    I rest my thumb on the pickup and reach with my #1 and #2 fingers for the strings. It's easier to reach the E and A strings, so I can see where, in theory, keeping the thumb on the string above makes fingering easier for the D and G strings - just can't get used to the floating thumb. Still searchin for a comfortable position. Thanks for the feedback.
  4. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    I guess silent steps talk about floating thumb technique..

    and no it's not hard to change strings that way..
  5. ok. try this. hold your hand out flat, palm up, and notice the difference in length between your index finger and your middle finger. everyone is different and has different sized fingers and hands.

    to get a consistent fingerstyle technique it helps ALOT if you can eliminate the difference in size of your index and middle fingers. how do you do this? try placing your first two fingers on the string at the right angle... most probably your middle finger will sit slightly past the string if your index is straight on. if you tilt your wrist to the left, the middle finger will move up and your fingers will align better on the string, and alternating plucking will sound alot more even.

    as i said before, every has different fingers. i have seen guys that have almost the same length index and middle fingers, and some with severely shorter index fingers. your finger size will greatly affect the angle your wrist will be at.

    btw, don't force your wrist into this position, getting the fingers *close* to having the same attack on the string is your main aim. in other words, DON'T put your wrist at a rediculously severe angle if your index finger is really short, just enough so it's still comfortable. also, try practicing with a metronome playing eights at 60bpm or something, alternating fingers. and, if possible record yourself, that'll help heaps.

    good luck, and happy practicing!


    ps. it's also a good idea to get into the habit of moving your thumb to the E string when playing on the D and G, IMO. you will find the E string ringing out while you play on the D and G otherwise. you wanna mute that sucka.
  6. Bass2x


    Jul 25, 2005
    Apparently, the longer middle finger sorta automatically shortens itself to line up with the index finger, so the tips are about even to the strings when I play. Even so, the longer finger sometimes gets "hooked" and ruins the rhythm. Oddly enough, though, resting the side of my palm on the body with the fingers angled forward actually helps. Weird...