Right hand bass technique is vital for developing speed and fluidity, no matter what style you are playing. Developing a good right hand bass technique is one of the first things all bass players should start with. The first thing to do is look at hand placement. The most common way to start is to anchor your thumb on one of the bass pickups, the edge of the body or the edge of the fretboard. This will generally keep your hand steady while you use your fingers to pluck the strings. Sometimes when playing the D and G strings on the bass it is harder to reach, which means you can use the E or A string as an anchoring position.
When you pluck a string, rather than pulling the string, draw your finger across towards your body. Once the string is played it should rest on the lower string. Unless you have played the lowest E string, in which case the finger should rest against your thumb if you have anchored it in a good position. It is best to try and alternate your fingers when plucking a string. Although there is no such thing as a right or wrong way to pluck the strings, its a good general rule to start off by alternating your fingers.
Right Hand Bass Technique Exercise
A good exercise to start off moving across the strings is to simply play each open string four times. Once you are comfortable with this, the next thing to do is to try and not let the string you have just played continue to ring. Getting the next playing finger onto that string will mute it and give you a more staccato feel. It will also develop your string control for when you come to playing ghost notes and more rhythmic bass lines.
Part of the series of guitar tips. Right hand bass technique written by guitar tutor Nick. Guitar lessons are available at Booths Music in Bolton town centre on a daily basis. Please ring 01204 522908 for more details or enquire in the form below.
See also: Tuning Your Bass with an Electric Tuner
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