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Who invented the standard right hand technique?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by AZNBassist, Apr 24, 2004.


  1. AZNBassist

    AZNBassist

    Jan 14, 2004
    Denton
    hey, we all know that larry graham invented slapping, and some other bassists (or guitarists? i cant remember...) invented picking and two handed tapping...

    but does anyone here know if there was any one person who invented the standard two finger plucking technique for the bass guitar?
     
  2. I don't think anyone "invented" it, since that was the standard way of playing a double bass before the electric bass was created.
     
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Not entirely accurate. The standard way of playing the DB pizzicato is with the side of one finger, not the two finger technique that's standard right now.
     
  4. I think in the 50's when the electric bass was still a baby, most electric bassists played with one finger, like Jamerson. I suppose with creation of rock in the 60's and 70's, speed was necessary and then someone thought it would be quicker to use 2 fingers instead of one. And then that became the norm.

    Maybe.
     
  5. interesting question- in the pics of the first P basses in the Fender Bass Book the players all seem to be picking with their thumb.
    also I wonder who was the first to take the pickup cover off and pluck over the pickup.
     
  6. Davehenning

    Davehenning

    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    That had alot to do with the great Monk Montgomery. He played with his thumb and was one of the very first electric bassists.
     
  7. but didn't he come from a double bass background?
     
  8. Davehenning

    Davehenning

    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Yes, he did.

    But he was one of the first guys to blaze the trail and gain some notice. I think it is logical that people observing him might have copied his approach.

    Both he and his brother Wes played with their thumbs.
     
  9. it's just strange that a double bass player, used to plucking with their finger(s) would choose to pluck with their thumb on the bass guitar- maybe Leo F's placement of the fingerrest led him to choose this approach.
     
  10. Davehenning

    Davehenning

    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    I have thought about that too. The only thing that makes sense to me is that since the E bass is similar to a guitar, Monk probably got the idea from watching his brother Wes, who always played with his thumb on his guitar.

    On a side note: I read an interview with someone recently and they mentioned that Wes picked up the Fender one night just after his brother got it, played bass for a set and blew everyone's minds. The Montgomery Brothers are something else....
     
  11. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    The original Precision was designed to be played with the thumb. Leo's fingerplacement was no accident. The first electric bass players were guitarists, not double bassists.
     
  12. Davehenning

    Davehenning

    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    You are right, I forgot about an interview I read with Leo that he wanted to provide his guitarist friends with a means to double. To "Free them from the Doghouse" is what he said. IIRC.

    But Monk was one of the first and he came from a doublebass backround. An exception I guess.
     
  13. although by the late 60's/early 70's the fingerrest had mutated into a thumbrest above the strings due to most players using their fingers...

    also it seems like a happy accident how the P and J pickups are so well-suited to resting your thumb on, considering that Leo F intended them to be hidden by the chrome covers.

    IIRC in the interview in the Bass heroes book Chuck Rainey says he started on guitar, but played bass with his fingers (actually just one finger)- he complains in the interview about the pickup covers being in the way- the problem of a guitar company making basses.
     
  14. Rbassliner

    Rbassliner

    Apr 24, 2004
    Michigan
    I dont know who invented it, But one bass player definitly comes to my mind is. . . Victor Wooten. This guy grew up playing this way. His brother Regi taught him how to do this. I think its very cool and sounds fun !! :D
     
  15. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    ...what, playing with two fingers?
     
  16. Excellent topic!


    I do not know the answer but, here's a couple of great articles on the subject!

    Who invented the standard right hand technique?

    And this article HERE: The History of Touch-Style

    http://www.pnc.com.au/~beehive/introbass.html

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  17. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    So who was the first DB-er to play with the 2-finger technique?
    The old-timers I knew who played with the side of one finger(for walking/grooving) would always change the angle of their wrist & play with 2 fingers for flurries & solos.
    A guy like Robert Hurst plays like this all the time(IIRC). ;)
     
  18. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    I have a Guitar Player mag from '76 & Rainey mentions this...yet, in the article itself, he sez he anchors "on the plate"! The picture even shows him playing his P-bass(with a Jazz PU in the bridge position) in that manner! Weird.
    BTW, Rainey started on trumpet prior to guitar & bass.
    ;)
     
  19. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    I have the Monk Montgomery Electric Bass Technique book(or whatever it's called)-
    Montgomery talks about playing with a pick...not his thumb.
    I'll doublecheck on that when I get home.
     
  20. Davehenning

    Davehenning

    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    I don't know if Monk ever played with a pick, but somewhere in my piles of madness, I have an interview with Monk from the early 70's.

    In the interview, he mentions playing with his thub a bit, but laments that he has a dry-skin disorder. The disorder causes his skin to crack and break. He said he has to put vaseline on his thumb in order to play the bass.

    He also mentioned that he liked using his thumb because he felt the tone was more consistent.

    Anyway, I will try to find the interview. (It was from just a few years before he died)


    .