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Right hand resting technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by blyve, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. blyve


    Apr 13, 2004
    when your playing bass it does make sense to let right finger strike through and land on the string behind it since you are playing into the instrument but i am getting a muted noise when i hit the string behind does this mean i am playing to hard or is this ok. also if your playing a fast solos or something do u still let your finger land on the string behind it cause it makes excess noise.
  2. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    That is called a rest stroke, most people use them. When I do one I don't get any noise. It might be beneficial to get your bass setup properly if it isn't already.

    That sound could be used to your favor by using them to syncopate your notes with mutes in between (think Rocco Prestia). If you do not want this sound then I would suggest that don't play so hard
  3. blyve


    Apr 13, 2004
    hmm i am trying to play a very fast intro and on the resting strokes my fingers sometimes even make the string sound the open note im not sure if im playing to hard or if my pluck isn't into the bass enough do u really literally wanna bring the string into the instrument.
  4. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    That means practice, till you can control which strings sound and mute the others.

    If it is fast try slowing it down and then speeding up that way you learn the part inside and out.

    Good luck learning your line :bassist:

    Are you new to bass? If so, welcome to the lows :D
  5. blyve


    Apr 13, 2004
    damn this is going to be rough, all the things i could play are now back to the beginning
  6. The answer to your question is yes. The typical way to play bass, and the way that most people think sounds the best is to always use a rest stroke, even when doing fast runs. There are certain stituations when I use a free stroke instead, but it's very infrequent. It's mostly when I'm soloing, and I want to sound more like a guitar. It's a much weaker sound thatn a rest stroke, and doesn't give you nearly as much punch.
  7. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I started doing rest strokes about 3 months ago..after about a year of not doing them. it cleaned up my sound a good amount. It was only awkward for a day, but then i got used to it and now its second nature.
  8. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    I only time I don't use rest strokes is when I want the next string to continue ringing.
  9. suicas


    Mar 12, 2004
    Hmm.. I've been playing bass for just over a month, and don't appear to be using rest strokes at all. Are they considered the right way to pluck the strings?

    I've tried doing them, but I seem to run into two problems.

    The first is that bringing my finger to rest on the next string down seems to slow my finger down a lot, at the moment the second it's plucked the string it moves back into a position to pluck again.

    Secondly, if I try and do any kind of rest stroke, my fingernail hits the string, completely ruining the soft punchy sound I'd previously been getting.
    It doesn't seem to be a case of cutting my nails shorter, they're as short as they'll go (no white nail left), but they still overhang my fingertips..
  10. Tnavis


    Feb 25, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    It shouldn't slow your fingers at all. It should make your playing more efficient, since your fingers are always moving a set distance. As for getting to much fingernail in your tone, try using more of the pad of your finger (the meaty part) as you roll across the string. That will even out the sound.
  11. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    I'm with suicas.

    I've played bass for 6 years and, until reading this post, felt that my technique was solid.

    I play only free strokes (if that's what they're called). After a right-hand finger plucks a string the finger's motion continues into the "open air" - never touching another string.

    When noodling around, I've tried rest strokes and reasoned that, because it felt unnatural, it must be an undesirable way to play.

    So are rest strokes considered superior, technique-wise, to free strokes?
  12. In my opinion, they are, because rest strokes just sound better. I think this is because when you use a rest stroke, you pluck the string fully. It's almost as if you're pulling the string up. where as a free stroke gives a much weaker pluck.

    Suicas, are you using both your index and middle finger to pluck, alternating between the two? If you are, then a rest stroke shouldn't slow you down at all, because as one finger is resting, the other finger is plucking.
  13. Bennet Pullen

    Bennet Pullen

    Aug 31, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I actually find that I get alot less open string noise using rest strokes as compared to free strokes. The reason is that when I finger rests on the string below it mutes that string so instead of making that string ring it stops it. As far as the fingernail problem goes try holding your whole hand at a different angle, more parallel to the bass body and less perpandicular. And your fingernails can always get shorter, my fingernails are about 1/8 to 3/16ths of an inch shorter than my fingers. Also, from my experience you don't want to pull the string into the body so much as you pull it accross the body, this will help you go faster, and get better tone.
  14. If you use the floating thumb technique then this isn't much of a problem as the thumb rests on the string above the one being plucked, thereby keeping it muted.

    For more info:

    I was playing bass (poorly) for awhile before learning floating thumb. Wasn't very hard to change and I must say it's made all the difference.

    - Chris
  15. I read this thread and thought to myself "what the heck kind of technique do i use?!?" so i just went and picked up my bass and YES, i use the rest stroke and the floating thumb... and I had an epifani (hehe)... This is why my fingers get tripped up on my B string! (E for you 4'ers out there). Now that i've figured this out i'm thinking about fabricating some sort of "false string" to put above my B string! it'd be like there was another string to rest on.... (and so much less gay than a thumbrest!)

    Once again a tb forum has excited me to mod my bass!!!!! :hyper: :hyper: :hyper:
  16. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    I've been using rests strokes for about a week on my 4-string.

    Anyway, I had the exact same thought several days ago - why not place a false string (above the E) to rest the plucking finger upon after plucking the E.

    I guess great minds think alike - ha ha!
  17. A false string would confuse the heck out of me. But that's just my opinion.
  18. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    I rest my thumb on the top corner of the pickup when playing the B string...

  19. That's been my technique up until now.... maybe in a couple weeks I'll come up with something to actually do this.
  20. ampeglb100


    Oct 1, 2002
    Portland, OR
    I simply rest my thumb above the string that I am playing, and on the pickup cover if I am playing the E string. If I only need one or two quick notes on the next string "down" (higher) I will use a rest stroke just for that one, as opposed to shifting my whole hand, but in general I find that this technique (i.e. floating thumb) is the best and cleanest, and allows the strongest, most consistent tone because your fingers are always stroking the strings in the same manner and at the same angle of attack. Also, the finger stroke is shorter because you don't need to follow all the way through to mute the string below the one you just plucked - so you let your index and middle fingers just do the plucking, and let the thumb and a bit of the left hand do the muting. Also, you can play arpeggios, double stops, chords, intervals, etc at any place you want.

    Just my opinion.


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