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What is raking and how is it done?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Captain Ahab, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Captain Ahab

    Captain Ahab

    Jul 25, 2012
    I'm a noob at bass, and I'm still trying to pick up techniques as I learn and I heard about raking, I did some searching on google chrome, but it's not finding anything, it could be how I typed the search in though:rolleyes:

    Anyways, what is raking and how's it done?
  2. Fuzzy Dustmite

    Fuzzy Dustmite

    Jan 25, 2005
    Mesa, AZ
    when you drag one finger from one string to the next lower string, instead of alternating your fingers.

  3. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada

    what he said ...just for clarity i'll add .....when you are switching strings from high to low - IE. the A string to the E string = if you play a note on the A string and your next note is going to be on the E string then the finger that plucked the A string is already there ready to pluck your new note on the E string.

    it's like sweep picking on a guitar ....but it only works in one direction on bass ...high string to lower string.
  4. Yogen


    Jul 15, 2012
    which would be better when playing really fast stuff? raking or alternating finger?
  5. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Always overcompensating Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    gebass6 likes this.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Alternate by far. Raking only seems more efficient on the surface, but it's not.
  7. FrednBass


    Feb 24, 2012
    It's funny... I never had anybody teaching me about raking or telling me what it is (for quite sometime), but i've doing it ever since the first time i played bass, felt kindda natural.

    Alternating is better for fast stuff, but raking has it's advantages too. Always learn everything you can
  8. Simple song that has some rake in it is "idiot box" by incubus, near the middle of the song. We play it out and it always goes over well.
  9. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada

    Another good one is the first phrase of Money....coming back down thru the B5 chord.
  10. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    +1. I always refer to Incubus for insights into bass technique.
  11. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Different purposes really. Alternating is a MUST to learn. Most even tone, will get you very far. Got Flea far I'd say. If you want to take it to the next level and shred it up Billy Sheehan style, learn raking. This is a cool little raking solo by none other than Les Claypool.
  12. Piggy8692


    Oct 2, 2010
    Northern Utah
    I'm in the same boat as FrednBass. This is the first time I've heard of it, and I do it all the time. When combined with alternate fingering, it can really be useful. But in some cases it could possibly throw you off when your trying to play fast. For instance, if you double your index finger, your down beat is now on that finger instead of your middle. That's if your middle is your down to begin with which is it in my case.

    Now you get to practice using your alternative finger as your down beat. Yippee!!!

    I don't know of any exercises to improve your raking off the top of my head, but I'm sure we could make one up if needed. And I would agree with Tupac as far as Alternative fingering is more of a necessity than raking. It's more of a second option to alternating if you ask me.
  13. xk49w


    Apr 13, 2008
    Never mind...
  14. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada
    this is the trouble i have ...i'm an instinctive raker and have been sinse i picked up the bass ....it can really mess me up on some patterns!

    I don't know whether to try and break the habit or just try to perfect my raking so it doesn't matter....
  15. Auguste


    Apr 5, 2012
    Thanks everyone for the explanations and link
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Break it. If you feel like raking, then you can go ahead and rake. But if you can't alternate, then when it's best to alternate, you'll be stuck with raking only.
  17. For me its a mix of the two dependind on the strings that are involved in that particular fast run....when you got to play one note in the G string and that follows another on the D, for example, it would be more "economic" to rake that segment. Its like your right hands take a breath imo
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That's exactly the kind of scenario where strict alternation can help. Now if you drop down to the G string and don't play anything else, raking can work, but if you have a flurry of other notes right behind it, take it from me, a reformed raker...alternation is much better.
  19. WildBill987


    Dec 8, 2011
    My example of raking is like if you held an E chord on G string/9th fret, D string/9th fret, A string/7th fret. You drag your index finger from high to low, striking an open ghost note on the A string before actually fretting it. I got this out of an old Ray Brown method book. Sounds a little complex, but not too diff. All the notes are grace notes before the beat, which occurs when you clamp on the 7th fret E. WB

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