Right Hand Technique ?

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by LonesomeCraig, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. LonesomeCraig

    LonesomeCraig Member

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    How did you learn your right hand technique? What do you prefer and when was the deciding moment you knew what worked best for you?

    I use my 1st finger mostly. Sometimes both my 1st and 2nd fingers and many times only my thumb.
    I like the fuller tone that comes from your thumb.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
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  2. sprag

    sprag Member

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    I learnt thumb two fingers and slap from private lessons. I gave up slap as I left my teens and went towards flats with tone turned down. I prefer two finger as I generally pump out 8th notes and the odd 16th note fill up the neck. I occasionally use thumb during slow stuff. 1 finger is good (if the line allows) also as it's easy not stop the last note till the attack of the next
     
  3. Jay Bones

    Jay Bones Member

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    I will mostly use 2 fingers (index and middle), sometimes I'll throw in the ring finger (Entwistle style) for speed, and can also use a classical style finger picking technique where I use my thumb and index and middle fingers- usually on bass lines that alternate between the E and A or D strings.
     
  4. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    The outfit I was in for the last 6 or 7 years was almost exclusively the Ric with a pick. In the last few months I have been doing exclusively finger style. I use my thumb for occasional slaps, but primarily I use the traditional 2 finger, floating thumb technique.
     
  5. kidmo

    kidmo Member

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    You are talking about playing guitar, right?
     
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  6. s2y

    s2y Member

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    Mine is mostly based on classical guitar.
     
  7. 202dy

    202dy Member

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    Take lessons from some one who is primarily a bassist. Watch everyone live and on video.

    Then take some lessons from a guitar player. Pay attention to his right hand.

    Learn every technique to journeyman status. Then you can choose the technique that is applicable to the job at hand.

    Here's a hint: It's not how many fingers you use. It's what part of the finger you use.
     
  8. s2y

    s2y Member

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    Even with teachers, not all focus on ergonomic technique or have it themselves. Ya practically have to put "proper technique" in quotes because guys get angry if told how to play. That is, until something hurts. ;)

    My own early bass technique was learned by watching rock stars. Didn't quite jive with my hands. I had to learn classical guitar for what I thought would be an easy elective. I resisted at first. It didn't take me long before I saw how my playing improved, especially when I stopped thumb wrapping my fretting hand. Prior to that, my 5 string used to quickly cause fatigue.
     
  9. 202dy

    202dy Member

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    You are right.

    This is why interviewing the teacher before taking lessons is important.

    If a teacher does not focus on proper technique, the word "teacher" is what should be in quotation marks.
     
  10. LonesomeCraig

    LonesomeCraig Member

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    I am referring to the Bass guitar. I learned to play by myself without any proper lessons. I have developed a right hand technique that feels natural to me and generally works fine.

    Now I am wondering if I had learned the alternating two finger method from the start, It would have been helpful with a lot of faster runs and general efficiency?
     
  11. sprag

    sprag Member

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    yep.
    Just practise some slow scales/patterns daily using 2 fingers. gradually get quicker without sacrificing clean notes and add songs/passages you play in your music.
    when your playing for reals don't worry about technique and soon enough it will switch over automatically
     
  12. 202dy

    202dy Member

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    You are wondering if you had learned to do it like most teachers would have taught you if you would be able to do things better?

    As much as I believe that everyone should take some formal lessons, the answer to this is a resounding, "Maybe."

    If you put in the time to develop a solid right hand technique-even if it was something that you made up- chances are that other techniques or a different technique would enhance your playing but not necessarily make it any better. On the other hand, if you did as most do and just learned enough to play some tunes chances are that formal lessons would have put you miles ahead.

    Formal lessons are the ultimate shortcut to excellence.

    If you're still having problems playing passages, find a teacher.
     
  13. makefast

    makefast Member

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    2 fingers, 1 finger, thumb, or pick depending on what voice I want. Mostly use two alternating finger on electric and one finger on upright. I will play a lot with the thumb (electric) for a rounder more muted tone on slower songs.

    On my 6 string I keep to the alternating fingers or PIM/PIMA for chords.
     
  14. Igotsoul4u

    Igotsoul4u Member

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    It definitely would help. I learned the wrong way and forced my self to learn how to use alternating 1st and 2nd finger. Makes a huge difference IMO. I start all my students with this approach and it helps them play cleaner and faster quicker.
     
  15. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    proud pick player forever (and yes, pick bass is almost nothing like pick guitar), but just within the past few years began to get my fingerstyle together. my personal milestone was when i subbed for a country band and for the first time played the whole show fingers.

    two fingers and ideally floating thumb but often thumb on the P pickup.

    the one mildly different thing i have worked out is to do it sort of rob deleo-style, bass hung low with the right elbow out, so as to keep the plucking wrist straight.
     
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  16. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Time Warped

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    That is my issue, arm is resting over the body and my fingers are almost 180 to my forearm. I've read a lot about proper position and dropping the bass to my knees since I have monkey arms. What do my teachers suggest for playing sitting down? Hang the bass off to one side of my legs. Well that's not going to work to well in the pit I have to play in.

    Then, looking at reference players like Sheenen, Paco, and others they all rest the forearm on the body like I am doing. So I am confused. I've almost decided to throw some of these idea's out the window.

    The example:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  17. s2y

    s2y Member

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    I find that Billy's technique puts a lot of bend in the right wrist, which can cause some tendon and nerve pain in the long run. It also makes the right hand a little weaker. His left hand technique is basically standard among guitars and bassists. It's probably why he doesn't like 5-6 string basses or thin necks, which is a common side-effect of that left hand technique.



    His technique start at about 2:12
     
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  18. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    I think Geddy Lee does something similar, his right hand comes straight at the strings from the right rather than the wrist folding around the other way.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  19. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Time Warped

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    I can sure try the classical position. Thank you.

    It is really interesting how many amazing players use the arm rest hand arced over the body, I looked up famous bass players just to see how many are doing what I am doing and was surprised to see Victor Wooten, Leland sklar, Stanley Clark, and many more.. I can see how this could confuse new bass players like myself.

    Thanks for the video.
     
  20. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    AKA the "chicken wing".
     

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