1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

technique question

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by juancho, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. juancho


    Mar 22, 2006
    Hi everyone, I´ve just got my first bass and I´ve been reading some stuff, and I found a book by Glenn Letsch, in which he talks about two techniques for the fretting hand: 3 fret and 4 fret sktretch.
    I have played guitar for almost 10 years, so I am used to use my four fingers, 1 each fret, so I don´t have to move my wrist too much. But now with the bass things are different, I find it very hard to get a "clean, bright" sound when i use my little finger (finger n°4) in a "four fingers over four frets" trechnique.

    So, my question is: should I start using my fingers over three frets or keep practicing until I get more "strenght and ability" in this fu--ing little finger??

    thank you all.
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Truth be told-
    The pinky is stronger than the ring finger...you'll see.
  3. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
  4. Jehos

    Jehos Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    DFW, TX
    Keep practicing. The bass just takes more finger strength--you'll thank yourself later if you develop your pinky strength now rather than learning to work around it.
  5. mothmonsterman


    Feb 8, 2006
    like i've been doing for the past 7 years:scowl:
  6. juancho


    Mar 22, 2006
    hey!...thanks a lot
    ....and ok... If you say so, I will keep myself pinky-exercising

    see you
  7. Get your bass set up so that the action is not a chore and you will find that the 1 finger per fret thing is not so hard AND will benefit you greatly in the long run. So my vote is for the 4 finger, 1 per fret solution.

    But playing on a bass that has really high action (or just plain bad action) can make everything technique-wise more difficult, so I would start by taking that baby in for a nice adjustment. Your hands will thank you.
  8. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    It's true. I use pinky more than I use ring. For octave-playing especially, it's usually index-pinky - not just because of 'strength', but because then the ring is left in a more-natural position to hit the fifth, like to come-down with a 8-5-1 'lick'. (the current band that I'm with specializes in disco and funk - hance the octaves and 8-5-1s...)

  9. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Yep. You gotta work with the pinky. Sometimes, the 1-finger-per-fret method isn't the most efficient way to get things done. It's a useful technique to know, but not always the right answer. Also, that big a stretch at the nut end of the fretboard can put a lot more strain on your hand than is healthy. Carol Kaye recommends using the ring finger as little as possible and using the pinky to play even a 3-fret span (i.e, 5 to 7). Her contention is that heavy use of the ring finger in a 3-fret stretch puts strain on the tendons in a way that leads to carpal tunnel syndrome.
  10. One day you will be rock climbing, and between you and death will be your pinky finger...keep that in mind

    I think it's helpful to have a strong pinky, even if it is used rarely its another tool to have
  11. Rocknrolljunkie


    Jan 29, 2006

    i normaly use my 3th finger to support my 4th (pinky). like they are 1finger. to get my note as clear as possible. but sometimes 4fingers/4frets is also the way to go. like if i go from the 5th to the 8th fret chromatic. i use 1finger for each fret. if a go 5th to 7th fret i'll end up in the 7th fret with both my 3th and 4th finger. if that is what you mean offcourse :bag:
    conclusion = all your fingers need to be trained in strength:p

    a little exercise you can try:
    put your 1st finger on the 5th fret (or wherever you want) and then hammer-on the 2nd finger on the 6th fret, hammer-on the 3th finger on the 7th fret and the pinky on the 8th fret. and only pluck the 1st note with your right hand. make you sure your fingers are bowed and not flat on the fretboard.
    do this very slowly so you hear every note very clear and then speed it up. as you improve try it on the thicker string above etc.
    you can also start with your 2nd finger on the 5th fret and hammeron the 3th finger on the 6th fret and the pinky on the 7th. or start with the 3th finger on the 5th fret and hammeron the pinky on the 6th fret.
    normaly that should help if you do that every day a couple of minutes
  12. juancho


    Mar 22, 2006
    Hi everyone...first of all:
    ajajaj that´s very true...

    I don´t mean to be rude, but I don´t know if that´s 100% true, I´m in med school and I ´ve studied that pathology and....I mean, in medicine we always say that "2+2 is not always equal to 4", so my point is not to fear of using (or not using) the finger-ring..

    And about the technique itself...I think I´ll keep on praticing, because I don´t know if I am right about this but I really like the idea of using all my 4 fingers instead of moving my wrist so much when using 3....I feel that I could get more speed in that way, and you said that with more practicing I could sound clearer....so what do you think?
  13. juancho


    Mar 22, 2006
    jeje and thanks
  14. clockworkwar


    Mar 20, 2006
    Just keep practicing you fingers will get stronger over time!
  15. rylche


    Oct 27, 2005
    Practise would solve your ailments! Over time your pinky would be strengthened. I think tZer gave a real good advice, bring your bass down to the local music store and give it a real good set-up. Then start practising on that pinky. Don't work around it, overcome your obstacles!
  16. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Nothing rude about it. I was just passing on some info from one of the most respected bassists in the game (and who has been in the game a very long time). If it doesn't work for you, then do what does. Rock on.
  17. sapikinek


    Apr 3, 2006
    hi ı m not goog at slap technique do you recommend a exercises or sth like that
    and also may be a book
  18. sapikinek


    Apr 3, 2006
    may be a right hand exercises
  19. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
  20. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Depending on the situation, you may need to take your ring and pinky finger and keep them together and use them both, weather it be on the same fret or one finger per fret. Drop both on the fretboard and it will strengthen your pinky and in return, make your notes ring out better.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.