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Strumming A Bass

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by OysterBoy, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. OysterBoy


    Sep 19, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    What is the common opinion of this? I understand the bass is primarily fingerstyle and slap, but are there practical uses for strumming a bass? Perhaps during a solo for a bit of "psych" funk.
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I strum plenty. I know quite a lot of chords, so, I really play my bass like a guitar quite often. Personally, I think it is a good vehicle for solo and/or bass-centric composing. It's also fun to just rock out with it. Um... Here's an example of what I'm talking about... these are just ideas, not a song, and it's very sloppy, but you can get an idea what I mean.

  3. OysterBoy


    Sep 19, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    Whats this? A quick response on TalkBass ?? :eek:

    lol. Neat stuff, lots of pretty rad sounds coming from that. I'd be very interested to know how you did that; I can play contrapuntal (Alternate between strings / tunes), but this is something else entirely.
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Well, it's 2 tracks of bass. The first track consists largely of some primary ideas I've been kicking around for a bit. The 2nd track I layered on top of that and it's mostly soloing.

    Both tracks are highly improvised, in that, while there were some concrete ideas on the 1st track, the structure and form was off the cuff. The 2nd track was 100% improvised, reacting to whatever was on the 1st track as it came along.

    That's about it really, just a crash recording, the whole thing took about 6 minutes to record. nothing special, I do this stuff quite often as a way to both come up with ideas, and also to analyze my playing from multiple angles.
  5. OysterBoy


    Sep 19, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    Ahhh, right. I was under the impression it was just a quick recording, with 1 track.. lol. :oops:
  6. If you are talking about specific technique, what I do is use the back of my index nail with my thumb and index finger pressing together. I find more success in this than using my thumb. Figure out some blues style chords and mix in slap lines with RnB like guitarish chords, it works well on bass.
  7. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    oh yea, technique... heh... I typically strum with 2 or 3 fingers in a mock-flamenco style. but really, I just do whatever feels best at the time and/or makes the most sense for what I'm trying to accomplish.
  8. Is that your Fodera bass, Robot? Sounds spectacular!
  9. the_vza1


    Jun 15, 2004
    that mp3 is great
  10. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Strumming is great and I use it a lot - having the high C on my six string does help as being able to play higher notes and on thinner strings stops it sounding too muddy. I make particular use of it at church when I'm leading the music (about once a month) and will often strum to establish the rhythm, pitch and feel for a song and then drop back to a more traditional bassline once everybody else has picked it up.

    I've also found that it's much easier to strum and sing than to pluck and sing. I've not idea why but I'm starting to experiment with this a bit more to free me up in singing backing lines with the 'Teeth. Even just strumming a single note line (like playing with a plectrum - my finger and thumb normally come together like I'm holding an imaginary pick) is easier to sing over! Anyone else find that?

  11. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I knida do a pick-strum thing. I pick all teh chrodal tones at once with different fingers instead of actually brushing and strumming like I would on my ol' banjo. Chord stuff is fun, especially when you play tenor basses.