Right hand technique

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by armidex, Dec 9, 2000.

  1. armidex


    Apr 28, 2000
    Australia, Sydney
    Umm yeh ive just started playing bass for round about 2 months
    i know all the theory, musicianship stuff because i studied piano and violin fer 8 years

    do you have any points on fingering and fretting
    ie hand position etc and any exercises that are good

    playing violin induced me to stick my hand, arm and wrist in awkard postitions for playing bass so im not really sure whats right or wrong

  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    With both right hand and left hand tehnique it is imperitive to use a technique that efficient and balances your ability to get a good sound without puting too much stress on your hand.

    With my plucking hand I use a very soft touch and rely on the amplifier for the volume. I try not to dig in. Bassists such as Matt Garrison and Gary Willis actually have a ramp installed under the strings that prevents them from digging in too much. This puts less stress on the hand, allows for faster playing and, IMHO, lends for a beter sound

    With the fretting hand I try to have a relaxed but ready position. My fingers are never more than a few millimeters away from the fret. I keep a nice curvature to the hand to allow the natural bone structure to bear most of the stress (as opposed to the muscles). I fret the string with as light of a touch as possible with still allowing the notes to ring. This allows for faster playing, less stress and you will not be constantly bending the notes out of tune.
  3. lildrgn


    Jul 11, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Hi Mike,

    Good reply about using a light touch. For years, I've played with (IMO) too heavy a touch on my right hand and have tried to lessen the force by doing what you suggested (higher volume, lighter touch) but have a really hard time doing so.

    Everything you said makes sense, but any suggestions as far as how to apply it? I guess I should just do it, eh? Really nothing else to suggest, it seems.....

    New Year's Resolution #1: Play with a lighter touch and the quickness will follow!

  4. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    For a long time I could do the light touch thing during practice, but becuase of the excitement of the gig and the adrenaline flowing, I would tend to dig in on gigs. Much of it has to do with understanding the cause of the problem. Once you can pinpoint the problem it becomes easier to fix. You van try the Willis/Garrison trick and have a "ramp" installed in your bass. But probably the best thing to do is to remain consious of our goal and find those things which are blocking your path. Take on one problem at a time.
    Hope this helps.