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Sliding rake technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by CJK84, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    I play fingerstyle using rest strokes. I take advantage of raking whenever I can.

    That is, if I pluck the A string with the middle finger, the middle finger comes to a stop - or rest - on the E string. If I pluck the E string next, I'll again use the middle finger since it is already resting on the E.

    For consistency of tone, I generally like to pluck each string at a different distance from the bridge. I pluck the G string farthest from the bridge while plucking the E string closest to the bridge.

    When raking, therefore, after my plucking finger has come to rest on the lower string, I often quickly slide it toward the bridge before plucking the lower string.

    Anyone else employ such a "sliding rake" technique?
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Not sliding, I think my tone is consistent enough over all strings.
    The raking stuff I do too.
  3. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    For regular playing, no

    For intricate stuff with a ton of string skipping, yes. That or use my thumb and first finger like fingerpicked guitar.
  4. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    Now I'm confused.

    I'm trying to get a good fingerstyle rock/blues tone. My goal is to emulate the tone that, for instance, Leon Helmsley achieves on Skynard's popular Gimme Three Steps.

    If I pluck each of the four strings at the same spot (the same distance from the bridge), I'm not satisfied with the tones I get from my Peavey Cirrus 4 going thru an Ampeg B100R combo (1 x 15 solid-state).

    When I pluck each string at the neck pickup, the A string sounds good, but the E string usually sounds too rounded, while the D, and especially the G sound too thin.

    For consistency of tone, I like to pluck the G between the neck pup and fretboard, and pluck increasingly closer to the bridge as I play successively lower strings.

    I'm surprised that others like JMX and abark are able to achieve consistent tone without adjusting the horizontal position of their plucking.

    I use .50, .65, .85, .105 strings. I use the "big" G string to avoid the relatively thin, guitar-like tone that I dislike.

    Perhaps I change strings too seldom. I usually play a set of strings for about 150 hours before changing.

    I know that this is pretty abnormal, but I like the tone I get (though I must adjust my plucking position to get it).

    Am I doing something wrong?
  5. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    I think maybe you are getting too intensive with your methods.

    First of all, the Cirrus is a zingy bass, maybe you should experiment with different basses to find your sound. Also, I would cut the highs (if the cab has a tweeter, turn it off) and boost the bass.

    Other things to consider are strings. Maybe you could experiment with flatwounds to get a thumpier tone similar to the LS recording.