What are your thoughts on raking?

Discussion in 'Ask Adam Nitti' started by Tupac, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Raking as opposed to strictly alternating fingers when progressing down strings. I used rake 100% of the time, but now that I've tried strictly alternating for a week, I feel like a much better player. Will this impede me in some way in the future? What are you thoughts?
  2. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    well ... we could say that sweeping is some kind of raking and it is pretty neat but otherwise I think alternating just make everything clean, very important for tricky part.
  3. adamnitti


    Nov 29, 2001
    hi tupac!

    for most players, raking will by default feel like the more natural movement, due to the fact that the 'pulling' motion is conducive to moving across the strings in a descending fashion towards your body. however, i am a huge proponent of diligently practicing strict alternation in the practice shed in order to improve the level of your plucking hand's technique. alternation is important because it evenly splits up your right hand workload amongst your picking fingers, thereby making your picking more efficient and promoting economy of motion. Regardless of whether you use two, three, four (or more!) picking fingers, alternation is a key concept that will help you to be more proficient. you might not see the immediate benefits of alternating for grooves or phrases you might already be comfortable with; however, if you push yourself to play outside of your comfort zone on a regular basis, you will quickly notice the technical advantages of being able to alternate at a consistent and predictable level... for example, if you are playing phrases which have you skipping strings in a descending direction across the strings, you will be able to avoid the little 'stutter steps' that would normally occur if you were raking through that same phrase at a fast tempo. my personal philosophy for alternating, which i implemented into my practicing for many years until the point of it being completely subconscious, is to make it and the raking technique equally as easy for me when playing the bass. in other words, your goal should be to be equally proficient at both, so that in real world musical scenarios on stage, your body will be able to spontaneously select the most appropriate method for executing your phrase. alternating is not 'better' than raking; neither is raking 'better' than alternating. they are 2 different technical disciplines that you should master in my humble opinion. also, don't forget to practice using different lead fingers for each exercise... in other words, be able to lead with finger 1, 2, (or 3?) with the same level of comfort and skill. hope that helps!

  4. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Great answer, thank you!

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