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When not to rake?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Funkateer, Sep 18, 2002.

  1. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    My fingers are wired to do i-m alternation both up and down, but recently I have discovered how much better things groove when you rake when moving from a higher string to a lower string. Especially at faster tempos. Is there any time you don't want to rake when moving from higher strings to lower strings?
  2. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    If you want to put more emphasis on one of the notes you may want to alternate fingers when you switch strings so you can "dig in" but that's just me. Try raking down three and four strings too and from low strings to high using your thumb. Over in the guitar world they call it "economy picking" I bet you see why now hah.
  3. I find raking gives a much smoother sound, as in the transition from note-to-note is a lot smoother than if you were to pick each not individually.

    Of course, that could have something to do with my being lazy and raking without muting very well etc. :p
  4. i'm not familiar with the term "raking"...
  5. It's when you drag a finger across the strings, hitting each one along the way.
    For example, if you have to play an open G, followed by an F on the D, then a C on the A, then you can press down on the third fret of the A and D strings, then drag your finger from the G to the A, hitting the D in between, thus sounding out a G, F, A.

    Did that make sense?
  6. sure did...thanks for the info!
  7. You don't want to rake when the rake sounds inferior to the altered fingering. Other than that, go for it.
  8. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    True that.

    If raking sounds better, perhaps you should concentrate on your fingering style, to try and make switching from string to string (whilst fingering) the same as chainging string whilst raking

  9. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Geez, I've always raked, it just came naturally, and now I'm having to fight to get my fingers to stick to alternate plucking! :)
  10. If you throw your ring finger in when crossing strings upward a la Gary Willis (and me), alternating index and middle when going down strings makes alternation easier than raking.

    Just my $0.02.
  11. You dont want to rake when you know it wont fit well with what your playing. I have and still do get into patterns of playing and early on raking was one of them. It became too much of my playing and when you start seeing things like that, know that a change is needed. Sometimes just being as spontaneous as you possibly can be is a good cure. Jamming with a drummer is where youll really learn your style and get comfortable with what you want and dont want to do.
  12. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    I started this thread and am surprised that some players feel raking is something to be avoided. At the very least it gives you a different kind of articulation. I understand that whenever a technique sounds bad, you should avoid it :), but I don't see raking as a sounds good/bad issue, but more of a question of deciding when it works and when it doesn't.

    Based on my very limited experience, I would offer the following:

    - if you need to cross three strings (e.g. G->D->A), raking almost always will allow you to more easily produce a legato at higher tempos, and allows you to regulate the finger pressure during the raking action to control dynamics and phrasing.

    - if you are playing scale passages, raking may foul up your i-m alternation, and make playing these passages smoothly problematic.

    But, as Dennis Miller says, "that's just my opinion, I could be wrong"...
  13. Some people think raking should be avoided but I'm actually trying to get in the habit of doing it more often ever since I saw Jaco do it :).
  14. Stu L.

    Stu L.

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    I use raking when playing alot of Iron Maiden stuff. I'm not sure if this is how Steve does it, but I can get that "gallop" sound and speed. I only use it on other stuff when it sounds good. It just won't work with some things.

    Hope I helped a little

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