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Rigth Hand Technique - ( Old style )

Discussion in 'Ask Lynn Seaton' started by David Casillas, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. Hello, I'm a jazz bassist with a classical background. Unfortunately I never really get to find a solid rigth hand technique.

    I have been given instruccions from many pro's around here (althougth I cannot keep a steady class since they live to far). I have read many interviews from Top-Players and view many videos of the greatest of all time trying to find their techniques.

    Since there are many different aproaches I will start saying that I fell better when I play in the classic way ( one finger most of the time in a Mingus style ), and I never feel at home playing the two finger style perpendicular to strings .

    These are the main concerns, which really get worst as tempo raises:
    1. - Trying to keep a balance between relaxation and sound.
    2.- Finding an aproach that works to me to keep the motion: the "Chiken Wing " from Rufus Reid's DVD vs. the wrist motion a local pro teach me vs. the " just finger movement" I read in an interview with great bassist I can't remenber now vs. etc...

    Since I understand it's imposible to get any input when you not even have see me play a note, I will just ask for any serious resource if you know where I can find some help.

    Unfortunately there is a big gap in this area of technique in terms of instruccional material, ( although people seems to find their way ).

    P.D: I have discovered a really nice trio recording with sax Peter weniger and Jeff Hamilton on drums (no piano), a great oportunity to get all the nuences of your great sound.
  2. ryanhagler

    ryanhagler Supporting Member

    Looks like Lynn missed this one. If it's not a faux paux, I'll gladly chime in.

    The right hand is not really an easy answer. I've seen many bass players get great sounds with pretty unorthodox techniques. Typically though, the Mingus or Ray Brown style one-finger is the best home bass. Here are two things that are most important for getting that big fat sound most guys are going for:

    1. Pick all the way at the end of the finger board, but not past it. If your hand creeps up the finger board, the string isn't as taut, and the sound isn't as focused and powerful.

    2. The "bigness" of the sound also comes from getting as much meat on the pad of your finger into contact with your string, and pulling across the string (toward the next lowest string). By doing this, you will also get a nice "pop" when your finger hits the next string and the finger board. Listen to PC for a great example of that nice woody thump sound on every note.

    Hope this helps!
  3. Lynn Seaton

    Lynn Seaton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    Denton, TX
    Sorry about the delay. For some reason, the notification function that tells me when someone posts a question was turned off for a long time. I realized that a while back and got it fixed, but missed your post. When Ryan posted, it did send me a notice.
    Ryan has posted a clear answer to your question and I agree with him completely.
    The 1 finger for walking is the standard set by many masters. Some great players do move the wrist like pumping the gas on a motorcycle. The fact that the energy does not go into the production of sound on the bass when you pump the wrist makes sense to me. That is why I don't play that way.

    Rufus Reid is a master and gets one of the greatest sounds ever. Here is a recent video that shows his right hand extremely well:

    I hope this helps too!
  4. Nice links, I will keep my search. Unfortunately you forget to add the Mingus Link.

    Tanhk you very much.
  5. Lynn Seaton

    Lynn Seaton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    Denton, TX
    Here is the Mingus link:

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