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Trylle

One Finger Per Fret- pinky not an issue

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I've seen a lot of tips for one finger per fret saying you'll be able to stretch your pinky with practice. My issue is my ring finger curls towards my middle finger, making it a chance between hitting the second or third fret in the position.

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I have exactly the same problem courtesy of a smashed ring finger that set incorrectly. Fortunately it’s on my plucking hand. I can’t see a way around your predicament.

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I don`t use my pinky either or my 3rd finger much to be honest as I had a compound fracture of the pinky finger in 1999 and it`s virtually useless. It has effected the "power side" of my left hand so I have little strength in my hand. Don`t worry about it, just adapt the way you play.

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Fret the first and second finger then move slightly up the neck and fret the third and fourth, it’s less stretching 

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I have the same condition, plus I cant feel my little finger due to a rugby injury.

You just learn to adapt.

I only play with 3 fingers on the fretting hand. Never hindered me. Yes, it's probably more difficult, but it eont stop you from playing anything.

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I don't know why, but wierdly I can reach further with my ring finger than my pinky, and as such use it far my than my pinky. 

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Not following. 2nd pic looks like your middle finger is having trouble staying under the 2nd fret but the crooked ring finger is going gangbusters?

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At that rate you should probably stick with 1 per fret and see if it improves. Fingers definitely gain sideways mobility with practice.

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 I use all four fingers on the fretting hand, depending.  Not all the time, just if and when.

I am a kit-kat bassist

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A good fretting hand technique isn't about reaching as many frets as you can in a stretch. It's about accuracy, control and flowing smooth movements across the board. How do you manage fast runs with your fingers extended like that? 

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On the plus side, that's fantastic double bass technique!

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Also worth noting that a lot of teachers would warn that 1fpf technique may not be the most appropriate that far down the neck because it forces the hand to stretch artificially. They’d say that some sort of modified Simandl technique could be more ergonomic, leaving 1fpf for further up the neck.

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I always had trouble with this, I only have 4 fingers on my fretting hand, but 21 frets.

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Nice coincidence - just after seeing this, I was watching a video of Kiko Loureiro, and when he was saying "just rest your fingers on the strings" his hand looked just the same. He seems to struggle through, so chin up ;)

 

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It's best not to try to keep your fretting hand stationary or attempt to play out of fixed positions. You need to move it constantly to compensate for a variety of issues - you may have small hands/short fingers that make it impossible to reach all the frets from one position, you may have an injury as |Hiram points out, or it may just be more comfortable for you. We all have to find our own way to get the results we want.

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Some of the "problem" could be down to the way you are holding In your bass. In the second photo it looks like your wrist is quite bent and your elbow tucked into your side. The lower you wear your bass increases the bend in your wrist (for 1 finger per fret) and tends to close your hand up naturally. This can be compounded by having your elbow too close to your body. Years a go I struggled with similar problems including bent right wrist resting over the top of the bass. My bass teacher told me to "spread your wings" 😂 and lift each elbow out and away from my body. Doesnt need to be far and it feels a bit strange to start with but I found it worked for me.

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I used to get really hung up on this stretching thing, then I thought, 'F*** it' I'm just going to play the way that feels comfortable and efficient for the way my body and hands are built, with small movements. We don't all have fingers like ET :)

 

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7 minutes ago, sammybee said:

I used to get really hung up on this stretching thing, then I thought, 'F*** it' I'm just going to play the way that feels comfortable and efficient for the way my body and hands are built, with small movements. We don't all have fingers like ET :)

 

Exactly. I am fortunate in that I can span/stretch easily, but I still move the fretting hand and don't always use the same finger on the same fret. You have to be aware of where you need to go next. If, for example, I play a C on the G string and have to follow it quickly with a G on the D string, I'll play the C with the fourth finger and the G with the third, because it means I don't have to cut the C short or scramble to get the finger across. 

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For 90% of bass lines a 2 fret or 1 octave span is all you need. Any more and you move your hand. Trying to play with your thumb routed to the spot is very limiting. A mobile left hand gets you around the fret board and is the way to create good bass lines.

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4 hours ago, chris_b said:

For 90% of bass lines a 2 fret or 1 octave span is all you need. Any more and you move your hand. Trying to play with your thumb routed to the spot is very limiting. A mobile left hand gets you around the fret board and is the way to create good bass lines.

Well it works for me anyway!

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22 hours ago, Trylle said:

I've seen a lot of tips for one finger per fret saying you'll be able to stretch your pinky with practice. My issue is my ring finger curls towards my middle finger, making it a chance between hitting the second or third fret in the position.

PXL_20210303_193410643.jpg

PXL_20210303_193439439.jpg

Don't like the look of that sharp bend in the wrist nor the way your fingers look all maxed out. If you've got "Jaco fingers" then it won't be a problem...

Using 1-2-4 below the 5th fret works fine (for me anyway) but adjusting your strap so you get a straighter wrist would definitely help. If you're going to use OFPF below fret 5, relax your fretting hand and shift accordingly.

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22 hours ago, Trylle said:

My issue is my ring finger curls towards my middle finger

That's not an issue. it should happen because of the way that the nerves are connected between the fingers. I use OFPF all the time even though I probably should ideally use Simandl when appropriate if I was going for 100% effectiveness. I don't have a problem with OFPF even on the first 4 frets because I make good use of shifting. Every day I practise shifting as part of my current daily exercises so that's probably why.

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We all have differently-sized hands so not all advice applies to everyone. However, in general, if your little finger is dead straight like that it means your 2nd and 3rd knuckles are locked in place. This limits mobility and long term is asking for trouble. I used to play like that a lot on 5- and 6-strings, now have arthritis in my little finger and recently developed carpal tunnel syndrome (not directly in the wrist but via a neck issue).
Your wrist should be as near as possible straight so from your elbow to the back of your hand is a straight line. CTS can require surgery and/or you can have permanent nerve damage. No need to stretch that far that low on the fretboard. Rest the thumb lightly in the back of the neck and pivot or shift. Your playing will be all the more fluid for it.

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