1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Right hand staccato technique.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by BehindTheMoon, May 27, 2003.

  1. I'm developing a way of playing rapid, very crisp staccato notes by stopping the ringing string with the next plucking finger. I just wanted some feedback on what I'm doing in case there's some more sensible way of going about things.

    It's pretty basic - imagine you are playing a stream of notes on one string with two fingers (1 and 2). Shortly after a note is struck by 1, 2 rests against the string, muting it, and remains there until it's time to hit the next one, where it's already in position. Changing strings is similar - 1 strikes the string, 2 mutes that string, and then 1 moves off to strike the next note. Unfortunately this means string changing takes double the finger movement. I have no doubt that smooth steady 16th notes are possible using this string changing method, and I've had some progress already, but I'd like to get rid of the extra finger movement if I could.

    I could mute the string with either finger on the right hand, a third finger brought in just for muting on string changes, possibly RH thumb or palm, or do it with the left hand.

    The problem with some of these options is that the interval that the string is left ringing is critical, and getting it even a little bit wrong screws up the feel. I can get this right using just two fingers - once the groove is happening the timing of the whole thing seems to almost happen by itself - but using something else to mute such as the left hand often results in the note ringing too long.

    What do you think I should do? Work on the string changing problems on the two-finger method, or bring the left hand muting into it and force myself to get the timing right?
  2. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Maybe, like you supposed, you could get your left hand muting the note when you want it to stop. Also, maybe the finger plucking the string can come back and mute the string on the "backswing" as it were. The only drawback I see is maybe your fingernail will cause some noise if you try to mute the string with the top of your plucking finger.
  3. Hmm, hadn't thought of that. The fingernail could be a problem, but I'll give it a try.

    I worked on it a bit last night. The two finger thing seems to work best, but it's difficult to get it up to speed.

    More practice. :)
  4. GrooveSlave


    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    Just keep working on the two finger muting technique. It will come. You should be able to play stacatto open strings with the two finger method. Be sure to practice this with a metronome.

  5. Coypu

    Coypu Banned

    Feb 24, 2003
    You should learn gary willis 3 finger tecnique, that way you will have more muting control.