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Technique for Fast Octaves?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by rydin4lifebass, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. I'm working on this song and it's obviously quite simple in nature but the speed on the octaves just isn't my thing. I'm not sure if I should play the note with my index finger and the octaves with my middle finder or rather the note with index and then middle-index (or index then middle) for the octaves. Any thoughts?
  2. what song are you referring to?
  3. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I usually play them with my index finger and ring finger. Depending on the song I sometimes play both notes at the same time or pedal back and forth between them.
  4. Index & ring. OR thumb and finger.
  5. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    Practice ...
  6. Sorry..thought I mentioned the song. It's YMCA by the village people. I started practicing using index-middle-index-index-middle...for note-octave-octave-note-octave. Feels OK, just needs practice obviously but I wasn't sure what everyone else does.
  7. hellofromming


    Jan 18, 2012
    Practice slowly first... then gradually increase the speed

    It is the only way to tackle any technical difficulty for me
  8. neebs


    Oct 25, 2011
    Manteca, California
    I slap and pop the root and octave.. or I use thumb and middle/index finger.

    For me slapand pop.. I have super weak timing.. but it sounds good. I rather use thumb/index if its fast. Sounds cleaner ... but it gives me incentive to practice slap.
  9. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    +1 for this
  10. johndough247

    johndough247 Supporting Member


    don't "cheat" by slapping it, work your way up to it slowly
  11. CTC564

    CTC564 Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2011
    Toms River,NJ

    I have NEVER been able to cop that octave "disco" bass line technique
  12. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    I found that a metronome is the only way. Also, make SURE that you can play the above octave with your index finger too, most people seem to not to that.

    When you get real good, work up to this!
  13. Thanks guys. I broke the rhythm down into five notes to practice moving back and forth between strings as noted below:

    Root - Index
    Octave - Middle
    Octave - Index
    Root - Index
    Octave - Middle

    Is that the "pattern" you guys would follow or do you suggest something else? That seems to be the most natural to me but I'm open to suggestions. By the way, the video I watched for this is at THIS LINK . His fingers move too fast so I can't follow what he's using on his right hand.
  14. I think the gut in that video was actually doing this:
    Root - index
    Octave - index
    Octave - middle
    Root - index
    Octave - index

    I think slapping it would be cheating, too, wouldn't get the same tone. But if your thumb is good you could play the bottoms of the octaves with your thumb and the fast upper notes index-middle. Otherwise your proposed pattern is fine if you can get it working.

    I would probably do it the way you have suggested as well because my thumb isn't that good. It would be tough for me, I may have to work on it just for that reason!
  15. Thanks..I suppose not everyone will play it the same way, nor do they have to. My main question was if my "pattern" was OK or if another way might be better for one reason or another.
  16. hellofromming


    Jan 18, 2012
    Of course it is ok as well as it suits you

    I am doing air bass right now... And I would play the same way as you've mentioned
  17. Lulz


    Jun 5, 2009
    < Here's a good way of doing the octaves, and the cover is FAR superior, technique wise, sound wise, every which way wise to the video you linked.
  18. lucam


    Jun 6, 2010
    That's the biggest truth! Just practice regularly and give yourself some time :)
  19. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Blocked in the US on copyright grounds.
  20. Wish I could see the video..I thought the one I posted was impressive, so I'm interested in seeing a better version. Right now I have the chorus on loop at 75% speed and am working on nailing it before I go any faster. My index and middle finger get crossed up and the fingers on my left hand have trouble during the transitions but that comes with practice I suppose. I'm going to work on isolating the parts of the song and working on them at a slower speed and then building up the whole song. Thanks for the advice and talk everyone!