Jump to content
Greefy67

Video doesn’t lie.

Recommended Posts

I’m very new to playing the bass. Got a couple of simple tunes nearly there. White stripes. Stand by me. 

Ive been practising hard at alternate fingers for plucking and one finger per fret. 

And the practice exercises are going ok. 

So just for giggles. I stood the iPad up and recorded myself to see if I could spot my problems. 

I was certain I was alternate plucking. And I’m really really not. My index finger is doing all the work!! My fretting hand doesn’t look as bad as I feared  it’s not good by any stretch  but not entirely dire.

Any tips on how to translate the practice to an actual tune?

thank you  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As regards your fretting hand, a finger per fret is always the way to go, many tunes can be played without the need to shift your left hand position, this may require  you play a usually open string fretted, often a bit of a stretch at first but in the long runs pays dividends, plus, if you are ever required to transpose a tune up or down and you have learnt the tune using open strings then you will have a problem.  when I began playing I took it upon myself to only ever play the E string open, you also have far more control of a fretted note, just be sure to warm up and rest if any unusual pain in your left hand or arm starts. 

As regards your right hand plucking hand. Try to practice playing quavers with a different attack with alternating fingers. The first note (first finger) being louder than the second (second finger) this second note can even be muted. And then alternate attack,

Edited by wal4string

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely "start off" with one-finger-per-fret BUT make sure you're comfortable and not stretching too much. You might find a comfortable range - for example frets 3 to 12 - where this is good for you. And for someone with smaller hands, that range might be eg 5-14, or whatever.

Be aware there is a big "debate" on whether one-finger-per-fret is the right thing or not. My opinion is that it is, but be aware there's the "1-2-4" school of thought, and also other more stretchy fingerings (such as "diatonic" - ie 2st finger plays, then 2nd plays 2 frets up, third plays 4 frets up, little finger plays 5 frets up - this is only really possible much higher up the neck though). And I'd definitely recommend not overstretching.

I didn't learn properly, I just did one-finger-per-fret and suffered discomfort until I kinda got it and adapted. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ETA eventually you'll get into what fingerings are best for what keys, or phrases; and know that some phrases are impossible without a shift of some kind or another.

Regarding right hand, its worth knowing that there's lots of variations so initially, no need to worry overly; but eventually you'd learn to know and use all the variations to best effect

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, wal4string said:

As regards your fretting hand, a finger per fret is always the way to go,

 

I try to stay out of these things because debating them over the Internet never seems to work, but here goes...

I would like to respectfully disagree with this - I'm relatively fanatical about only using one finger per fret where necessary and using 1-2-4 at all other times.

For those who are interested, here are some thoughts on alteratives to one finger per fret (video should start around 13.20):

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes there's a valid debate to be had. Would it help the OP? I don't know.......Let's put it another way: there's 2 ways to learn a musical instrument:

1. Have someone teach you
2. Try to learn yourself.

Only with method 1, with a proper teacher, you'll know, because its obviously different when someone is asking/obliging you to do something (or not do something) compared to self-motivation. Or, "you don't know what you don't know". 

Without actually seeing you and knowing what level or experience or skill you are, I don't know whether exploring beyond "1 finger per fret" or "124" will actually benefit, or just confuse you, or isn't actually relevant anyway. A teacher would be able to identify the key area(s) to focus on, and not worry or mention other aspects which might be irrelevant at this stage.

Of course, its another topic entirely, being able to find a decent teacher.......

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, TKenrick said:

I would like to respectfully disagree with this - I'm relatively fanatical about only using one finger per fret where necessary and using 1-2-4 at all other times.

 

This.

One finger per fret is not the best thing to do if you are playing below the 7th fret. 1-2-4 is the easiest, simplest and most effective fingering down where the frets are wider apart. Show me a video of a good player using OFPF. They just don't do it. . . . because stretching is not a good thing. It is uncomfortable, slows you down and is unnecessary.

Here is the great Chuck Rainey and Rocco Prestia. Watch how they frets the notes. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TAFWwqeHko

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puY2_cRLMbQ

 

Edited by chris_b

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's plenty of real-world proof that to be a brilliant bass player you don't have to use one technique or the other. But it does pay to think about your technique and try and improve it, which is what you are doing by videoing yourself.

Right hand

You say you are mostly using the index finger? Didn't do James Jamerson any harm!

I built up my right hand technique by plucking the edge of my steering wheel while I was driving! Just do it steadily and build up speed and consistency.

Then move on to doing triplets with three fingers and discover how easy it is to do a Billy Sheehan trill on the G-string.

 

Left hand

I started bass by being lent a Precision for a month on the condition that I played it one-finger-per-fret!

Whether you are happy doing so at the far end of the fretboard really depends on how big your hands are and if you have a short scale bass. I have long fingers (I can do an octave +1 on the piano) so I generally play 1 per fret.

But in the real world I find some music is easier to play with 1-2-3 fingers and some with 4. Chiefly because the little finger is harder to control for bends and can lack power for hammer-ons. The little fella doesn't like doing lots of slides either.

I can't imagine playing Crazy Little Thing Called love with 3 fingers, but for Song of A Baker my pinkie doesn't get used once!

What I NEVER do is the 1-2-4 double bass technique of doubling up the ring and little fingers. Perhaps because I started on guitar but also I can't see why you wouldn't just use your ring finger and keep things simple - this isn't double bass where you need two fingers to have the strength to fret a note cleanly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember asking a well-respected pro player about the one-finger-per-fret thing a long time ago, and he said that's what you should do. So even the experts disagree.

It might have been all right for him, but I've been a lot happier since I reverted to using 1-2-4 in the lower positions. If you've got small hands, you should definitely give it a go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, TKenrick said:

For those who are interested, here are some thoughts on alteratives to one finger per fret (video should start around 13.20):

That video looks deliberately exagerrated - had me doubting myself so I just checked my own technique. OK, I grabbed an SS because all my other bases are cased up...

Doing one finger per fret on the first four frets my wrist is virtually straight, nothing like the video. Also, my hand only moves about 1/4" between fretting 1 and 4. One point of 1 per fret is that your hand hardly moves when playing across the neck.

I think he's exaggerating to prove his point.

All I can say -  I'm glad I've got big hands!

Edited by Stub Mandrel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What Tkenrick says. One finger per fret not the way to go for a lot of playing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the ofpf and 1 2 4 fingering debate is worthless without knowing the size of the players hands.

If they have small hands, use 124 and move faster, simple as that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carol Kaye on Bass Fingering:

image.thumb.png.404f00b431fc10f3220c1dc2071520dd.png

I can't argue with that 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 03/06/2019 at 16:27, Stub Mandrel said:

That video looks deliberately exagerrated - had me doubting myself so I just checked my own technique. OK, I grabbed an SS because all my other bases are cased up...

Doing one finger per fret on the first four frets my wrist is virtually straight, nothing like the video. Also, my hand only moves about 1/4" between fretting 1 and 4. One point of 1 per fret is that your hand hardly moves when playing across the neck.

I think he's exaggerating to prove his point.

All I can say -  I'm glad I've got big hands!

Having tried this on a Mustang, it appears that even on a short scale bass I can't get my wrist straight when playing 1fpf on frets 1-4 without doing some extremely dodgy things with my thumb. It appears that not everyone is built the same way...

On 16/06/2019 at 14:58, bazzbass said:

the ofpf and 1 2 4 fingering debate is worthless without knowing the size of the players hands.

If they have small hands, use 124 and move faster, simple as that

For me it's not just a matter of hand size - I have a pretty big hand span but still use 124 in order to have minimal tension in the hand and remove harsh angles from the wrist where possible.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...