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Right hand rules?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by maestrox, Oct 9, 2000.

  1. maestrox


    Oct 8, 2000
    Here's my problem (one of many). After switching to a 5-string, I find my right hand technique is at odds with the instrument...this brings me to question my right-hand technique.

    I only do finger style, and tend to rest my thumb on the string above the one I'm plucking. I played a Sterling for a long time, so I'm also used to resting my thumb on thin air while playing on E (no pickup in the usual place). I damp the high strings with my left hand no problem. Problem on a 5 is when I go to play the D and G, my thumb moves to the A string, the E is damped, but the B rings. My thumb is sitting at about a 45 degree angle relative to the body...cocking it to try and lay across the E and B results in an uncomfortable situation for my plucking fingers.

    So how does everyone else deal with this...ie what is your right hand technique for finger stlye. I've played around with using my right hand like I would on a guitar, laying my palm across the string. I could probalby get used to it, but I've "grown up" seeing the typical thumb on the string, hand extended, wrist cocked position used by many other bassists.

    So I either figure out how to deal, ignore the ringing B, or go back to 4-string. Thoughts?
  2. loui


    Sep 10, 2000
    I really think you schould try to place your thumb on the pick-up and then mute the strings with your left hand. I also switched to a 5-string, a warwick thumb and also had problems in the begining because the pick-ups not are placed very good.
    But if you move your hand out from the body of the bass, the fingers would be more perpendicular on the strings instead of parrallel with the strings and then there would be almost the same distance to all strings. It's hard to bend the hand that much in the beginning but It gets better.

    By the way, which 5-string bass are you playing and which one did you have before ?
  3. maestrox


    Oct 8, 2000
    I can mute high string with my left hand, but if I'm playing on D or G, there's no way to mute the B with my left.

    I've moved between Sadowsky, Ken Lawrence, and currently a Lakland 5-string. The Lakland is up for sale (very nice quilt amber top, birdseye maple fretboard), as I've decided that 35" scale is not for me. I'm going back to a Sadowsky...the question is 4 or 5. I guess I might have to get both ;)

  4. If you have to, mute the B with your left hand thumb. However, that's not really the answer as you don't want to play like that all the time - you want your thumb on the back of the neck so you can arch your fingers properly. But the left hand thumb mute works in a pinch if you can't do it with your picking hand. My advice is to get used to using your picking hand thumb to mute the B and E simultaneously. It shouldn't be that big of a deal. Rest your thumb on the E as usual but let the outside edge of the thumb touch the B as well.

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