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what am I doing?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by bassinplace, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008

    I am pretty much a newbie at bass, and recently I seem to be developing this method of playing where if I want to move up or down in pitch, I just go up or down either one half or whole step and one string. This causes my fretting hand to be moving in a diagonal direction at all times.

    It seems to sound pretty good, but I'm not sure why. Is this valid or am I just goofing off? Thanks for answering my dumb question.
  2. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Not sure I know exactly what you mean. It is correct that if you want to go up or down in pitch you do so by a whole/half step on one string. Ideally, your fingers should be parallel with the frets, with your thumb behind the neck, in line with the middle and ring fingers.

    No rules are written in stone, if something works for you, that's fine, however, there is a tried and trusted technique for the left hand. This allows you to get the best out of your playing, and also helps to prevent physical injury (carpel tunnell) at a later stage. Below is a link that shows good L/H technique.


    For R/H technique you could also search You Tube for "Floating Thumb" technique by Todd Johnson.
  3. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    Cool, thanks for the links. Yeah, it's hard for me to describe without showing it. It's basically founded on a diagonal pattern across the strings to move up or down to the desired pitch.
  4. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    I "think" I know what you're talking about, because I do the same thing...I think. If I'm playing a descending C major scale, I'll play C, B on the G string, then A, G on the D string, F, E on the A string and finally D and C on the E string. So, while you're descending in pitch, your hand is actually moving up the fretboard.

    I don't see anything wrong with that; it's a tool I use to warm up and keep my fluency over the entire fretboard up and running. The more ways you know how to work around the fretboard can only help you.
  5. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    Yeah, you've got the picture. I seem to naturally fall into this pattern a lot. It seems to work pretty well a lot of times, but just don't want to fall into any bad habits.

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