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> Bass: String Skipping
jimmypw
post Jun 7 2009, 09:04 PM
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I seem to be having problems getting out of the habit of using the same finger more than once when practicing. Im fine when im consciously thinking about it but as soon as i stop thinking or play something ive known before i notice myself doing it straight away. Or, is what i'm doing correct?

Could someone help clarify this technique for me please.

As I understand it:
Single string - Alternate fingers no questions asked
String to adjacent string - acceptable (encouraged?) to use a single finger technique known as raking
Is this technique more important than finding a comfortable playing style?

J


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 7 2009, 09:51 PM
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Hey man smile.gif

What seems to be the exact problem, I'm not sure I undestand.. unsure.gif



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jimmypw
post Jun 7 2009, 10:15 PM
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Hi,

I think I've sussed it, the video i was referring to is https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/string...sing_workout_1/

QUOTE
Your picking hand should alternate between index and middle finger all the time. You need to focus on this and do not allow your picking hand to play two notes in a row with the same finger. That would be called raking the strings and it is considered as a mistake when practicing alternating finger picking.


I misunderstood the purpose of the exercise and tried to apply it to other things that made some songs intensely harder to play. As I understand it now raking is a mistake in this exercise but not as a play style.

J


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Kristofer Dahl
post Jun 7 2009, 10:27 PM
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Well I am not a bassist - but I think I have noticed with bassists I have played with that the staccato feel is somewhat interrupted with a rake (just as with economy picking on guitar).

QUOTE
String to adjacent string - acceptable (encouraged?) to use a single finger technique known as raking
Is this technique more important than finding a comfortable playing style?

So if your goal is to play super technical stuff where you want the staccato feel I would go for 100% alternate. However for some groovier stuff I can imagine that raking gives a cool effect (and should be considered acceptable).

Don't listen to me though - let's wait until we get a bassist opinion!


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 8 2009, 11:01 AM
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Hello my friend! smile.gif

Let me shed some light on these alternating exercises.

When I say alternating I mean strict picking hand finger alternating (index-middle-index-middle). That is a very important technique to master and have under your "belt". Alternating is proficient technique that splits your "finger workload" by half so it will ultimately enable you to play fast and precise with ease.
Now there are no rules with this at all. Idea is to master the alternating technique in opposition to raking technique (which seems very logical to use when we start etc).You want to be good at both techniques and then your mind/hands will automatically choose which technique to use when you want to execute a bass passage. Thing is that when you are playing single notes on the same string naturally you want to alternate. On the other hand , when you do some string skipping you naturally want to rake the strings when going from higher ones to lower. But, once you practice alternating for some time, you will notice that it will feel more natural for you to alternate those lines instead of raking (which gives you a different sound and can be slow sometimes depends what you are playing).
Regarding my String Skipping, Technique exercises etc - there the alternating is a must because its one of the technique practice goals. My advice would be to practice alternating as much as you can and not relay too much on raking as a substitution to it (which is useful too). Also it would be cool to try just as a practice - to play some songs you know with the new technique (alternating) - it will be very hard at first as you are used to a different concept but you can try to see if it will feel more natural after some practice.
In the end, everything comes to what is comfortable and there are no mistakes if you are going to play a groove with just your index finger of the picking hand for example (if you can play the groove easily and right that way). Idea is to learn all the techniques and then use one which is comfortable for you to help you execute your bass lines/ideas easily.

edit: Its very common to consider raking an easier and more comfortable substitution for alternating, but that is just a presumption (and I don't think it actually is "better solution") as we often don't practice alternating much when we start.
But with some more practice our point of view to raking will change and we will learn when to use which technique only regarding to sound we want to get.

QUOTE (jimmypw @ Jun 7 2009, 11:15 PM) *
Hi,

I think I've sussed it, the video i was referring to is https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/string...sing_workout_1/



I misunderstood the purpose of the exercise and tried to apply it to other things that made some songs intensely harder to play. As I understand it now raking is a mistake in this exercise but not as a play style.

J


Yes , raking is a mistake in those exercises but not at all as a play style. But its not wrong to apply it to other things too (and songs you play), it will be only if the actual song/bass line is made to be played especially with raking smile.gif

Cheers and if you have any questions - ask smile.gif

edit two: To sum everything up, its very good to practice and to be aware of alternating but its not a must. You will feel if a certain technique is stopping/sabotaging you from playing something you imagined and then you will just switch to a different technique that will enable you to play the same passage with ease.

This post has been edited by Bogdan Radovic: Jun 8 2009, 11:47 AM


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jimmypw
post Jun 8 2009, 03:31 PM
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Very useful!

Thanks for the info,

J


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jimmypw
post Jun 9 2009, 07:18 AM
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I think ive found a system that works for me, Ive numbered my fingers 1 and 2, I say the alternating numbers on each picked note as I play and so far my fingers are following.

J


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 9 2009, 01:07 PM
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QUOTE (jimmypw @ Jun 9 2009, 08:18 AM) *
I think ive found a system that works for me, Ive numbered my fingers 1 and 2, I say the alternating numbers on each picked note as I play and so far my fingers are following.

J


That's a very good idea! I may use is when giving tips about alternating in the future since it seams like a very good system to use when practicing! smile.gif
Glad to hear its working! smile.gif


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