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That Matt Garrison four finger thing correctly...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Goregrind29, Oct 5, 2005.


  1. So I have been trying it for about 2 months now, not super religiously, but i have been putting in substantial time every week. I seem to have hit a wall around the 16th notes at 100bpm mark. I can only think that i am just not doing it correctly, because well, that isnt fast at all.
    I am going T-M-I-R, my thumb is parallel to the strings, and I strike the strings with the tips of my other three fingers. I pretty much hit the top of the string with my thumb, and bottom of it with my fingers.
    I am comfortable playing any pattern i can think of this way, but i just cant get past 100 bpm. It took me about a month to get to 100 bpm and ive been there about a month.. I can play straight 16ths faster on one string but i cant play scale and skips strings etc. at anything greater than that

    I do not have a ramp, is this the problem? should i get one?
    How long did it take you guys to get this technique?
     
  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Do a search, there was a huge thread with discussion and videos of it not too long ago. GREAT thread. Defnitely worth the read.
     
  3. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    It's always harder to play fast while moving between strings- playing with four fingers sometimes makes it more confusing when switching strings frequently (classical guitarists switch to two fingers when playing really fast string-skipping passages, IIRC).

    I'm not sure how fast I can play while skipping strings quickly using this technique- constantly skipping quickly as in playing a major scale with two or three notes per string going up then going back down. Probably only about 110bpm with 16th notes. I know I can play 16ths at 140bpm-155bpm or so when staying on the same string or keeping my hand in a similar position (ie small skips or playing an arpeggio).

    A ramp should definitely help though- I don't think I could play this way without one. Was that a typo or do you really play T-M-I-R? Most do it T-I-M-R, and some T-R-M-I.

    I can probably make a little video if you want to show how my plucking hand looks when playing.
     
  4. I have been working on this for a month or so . I've topped out at about
    16th's at 110bpm. I do not have a ramp so I try to play with all fingers over the bridge pickup and that helps a little. I also slo-mo'd the Herbie Hancock DVD during Matt's solo and the thing I noticed that helped, was he keeps his fingers close together as he curls in the I-M-R part. Like so many other aspects of technique, ECONNOMY. Make sure you are VERY relaxed.
     
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    +1 on playing VERY relaxed.

    I found it somehow easier to go (R-)M-I-T than T-I-M-R, so I do this.
     
  6. Hmm i made a mistake in the previous post i play T-I-M-R.

    Anyways yea ill try and keep that relaxed thing in mind, my fingers do tend to get tense.

    I remember that big post on this topic, but it is no longer around, i assumed it was because the guy who started it is making an instructional dvd and so alot of the stuff that will be on the dvd was there.... maybe? im not really sure

    If any1 could make a video of any aspect of it that would be greatly appreciated.
     
  7. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Ok, here's a quick video I made- sorry about the poor quality (it came out too dark so I had to adjust the brightness up a lot so you could see what my fingers are doing). It's mostly 16ths at 140bpm. I try to keep my hand very loose and play very lightly, and I also curve my hand more than Garrison does...it just works better for me this way. My thumb hits the string VERY lightly, and I almost always descend leading with my thumb, as it's hinged to do that better than the other fingers. I also have a ramp on my bass as you can see, which helps A LOT. My biggest problem is keeping the notes consistent.

    Four fingers demo

    It's about 15mb.
    I can make another if you'd like if there's anything else I can demo. I'm still not great at this yet, but I work on it all the time.
     
  8. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Sweden
    That was actually pretty cool :bassist:

    but i wonder, is there really any use for this technique except for the fingerpicking stuff... ?

    I play with 3fingers and i can play 16th notes at 180bpm with no effort(each finger only plays a dotted 8th note)... i can do scales at about 150-160bpm and i have played with 3fingers for about 1/2months....
     
  9. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    :confused:
    Each finger is playing a dotted eigth note? It sounds like you're playing scales with eighth notes at 160bpm. Do you have any sound clips or video?

    If you've seen Matt Garrison or Bill Dickens play, then you can see the technique can be used for standard fingerstyle.
     
  10. how are you guys muting the other strings? I'm having a lot of trouble thinking a way of doing this :(
     
  11. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Fretting hand. You can probably work out a technique to dampen the strings with the palm of your plucking hand, but I can only do it when playing slowly- otherwise I need my hand raised so my fingers can move quicker. I always did most of my muting with my fretting hand anyways.

    Putting a hair scrunchy around your nut will help (the nut on your bass, that is). I don't have one on the bass in the video, but I usually do.
     
  12. MacGroove

    MacGroove Brother of the Groove with a 'Pocket Full of Funk'

    Oct 5, 2005
    Calif.
    Matt Garrison has a CD+DVD available called Matt Garrison 'Live'. It's a live recording in a studio/audience performance. It will give you a great chance to listen and see him perform. You'll be able to check out his right hand technique. www.garrisonjazz.com
    For right hand muting, the position you use your bass has a lot to with good muting accross all strings. Higher the position the better. Anthony Jackson uses RH muting a lot, he can mute or play open string as he pleases this way. He sits when he plays so it makes it a more comfortable RH position. Fodera makes a muting accessary you can mount infront of your bridge.
     
  13. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    You actually get a better view of his plucking hand on the Herbie Hancock/Future2Future DVD. Matt plays bass on it, and while it's older and Garrison is obviously not the star, the production quality is much higher with great detail and some good closeups of his right hand. Both are good DVDs to have, but the Hancock vid gave me a better idea of what he was doing. He doesn't appear to really do any muting while using the four fingers, as it's more like a classical guitarist's freestroke technique, which keeps your hand curled above the strings.
     
  14. MacGroove

    MacGroove Brother of the Groove with a 'Pocket Full of Funk'

    Oct 5, 2005
    Calif.
    Thanks for the heads up Bryan on the Herbie Hancock Future DVD. I mentioned the muting info in the same post because a few posts earlier muting was discussed.
    You should check out Dominique DiPiazza if you haven't already. If you're interested in RH thumb and 3 finger technique, Dominique is phenomenal. He uses a thumb pick in his playing. He has great chordal sophistication and his playing appears so effortless. He's also great on fretless. www.dominiquedipiazza.com
    If you're at the NAMM show, he is usually at the Fodera/Epifani booth playing each day.
     
  15. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Sweden
    G||----------------------------------|
    D||----------------------------------|
    A||----------------------------------|
    E||5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-|
    ||-R-M-I-R-M-I-R-M-I-R-M-I-R-M-I-R-|
     
  16. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    That's a tab- it doesn't show any signs of note durations or bpm. Those could all be whole notes.
     
  17. Bryan - I believe he's saying each finger only attacks every third sixteenth note (dotted eighth). Much in the same way Victor does o-h-p-p and his wrist only moves for the quarter note.

    This is the same principle with 4-finger. When playing straight 16ths, each finger only attacks a note each beat (quarter note). Of course, this isn't really the hard part (IME) of this technique. It's the consistency of attack that's difficult.
     
  18. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    You may be right, but I was taking it that he meant he was playing a dotted eighth note per finger as in an accented eighth per finger (as those dotted notes also stand for staccato), which is still just eighth notes at 160bpm.

    Playing a single note per beat doing 16ths at 160bpm while running scales across the strings is pretty difficult to say the least. I sampled the speed below.
     

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