#1
I started playing bass, and I was hoping you guys could suggest me some good right hand exercises. I also have these questions...

How many fingers should I use? (right hand)
Where do I rest the thumb? (right hand)
How do I play slap bass?
Do you only do upstrokes? (right hand)


P.S: I already know how to play guitar, so my left hand fingers are ok.
Just need work on my right hand.


Thanks,
Last edited by MaddMann274 at Feb 10, 2012,
#2
Since I can't slap to save my life, I'll leave off the last question. None of my heroes were or are slap players, but there are many, many good instructional videos on the various slap techniques in use these days. Basically, you hit the string with the side of your thumb in a percussive fashion until you get the proper sound. It ain't as easy as it looks, but if you practice, then you'll nail it.

Good right hand exercises? Chromatic exercises, and chromatic exercises with string skipping are two of your best friends. Get a metronome, start slowly and bump up the tempo when your playing becomes smooth, fluid and even. Boring, but well worth the effort.

How many fingers should you use? As many as you want and/or as many as you can. The more fingers you use to pluck the strings, the more you can do and the faster you can do it. There is no rule for how many fingers to use. Billy Sheehan is a virtual machine with his right-hand technique. He uses four fingers and occasionally all five. But he'll tell you to start with one, and if that works, then use two. If that works, use three. If it doesn't, then go back to using two. If it works, try four. If that's too much, then go back to using three. Again, use the metronome and chromatic exercises to develop multiple finger capability.

Most people play only upstrokes, but you can use alternating up and down strokes in what is called "flamenco" technique. Geddy Lee of Rush is a big proponent of this, but he often plays with only one finger, too.

Where do you put the thumb? Anywhere that feels comfortable. A lot of people anchor it on the edge of one of the pickups. Others anchor it at the edge of the fretboard. Still others just press it against the body of the bass wherever it makes playing easiest. And some people use a "floating thumb" technique in which the thumb isn't anchored anywhere. It just sort of floats over the strings, which allows complete freedom of movement.

Welcome to the Low End, my friend!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
Last edited by FatalGear41 at Feb 10, 2012,
#4
Quote by laurence1108
You could just play with a pick


No.


Quote by FatalGear41
Since I can't slap to save my life, I'll leave off the last question. None of my heroes were or are slap players, but there are many, many good instructional videos on the various slap techniques in use these days. Basically, you hit the string with the side of your thumb in a percussive fashion until you get the proper sound. It ain't as easy as it looks, but if you practice, then you'll nail it.

Good right hand exercises? Chromatic exercises, and chromatic exercises with string skipping are two of your best friends. Get a metronome, start slowly and bump up the tempo when your playing becomes smooth, fluid and even. Boring, but well worth the effort.

How many fingers should you use? As many as you want and/or as many as you can. The more fingers you use to pluck the strings, the more you can do and the faster you can do it. There is no rule for how many fingers to use. Billy Sheehan is a virtual machine with his right-hand technique. He uses four fingers and occasionally all five. But he'll tell you to start with one, and if that works, then use two. If that works, use three. If it doesn't, then go back to using two. If it works, try four. If that's too much, then go back to using three. Again, use the metronome and chromatic exercises to develop multiple finger capability.

Most people play only upstrokes, but you can use alternating up and down strokes in what is called "flamenco" technique. Geddy Lee of Rush is a big proponent of this, but he often plays with only one finger, too.

Where do you put the thumb? Anywhere that feels comfortable. A lot of people anchor it on the edge of one of the pickups. Others anchor it at the edge of the fretboard. Still others just press it against the body of the bass wherever it makes playing easiest. And some people use a "floating thumb" technique in which the thumb isn't anchored anywhere. It just sort of floats over the strings, which allows complete freedom of movement.

Welcome to the Low End, my friend!


Much appreciated answer! Thanks man.
Last edited by MaddMann274 at Feb 11, 2012,
#5
You shouldn't open multiple threads, I think you can get warnings and bans from doing it. Just a friendly fyi
#6
You play whatever style you develope best. way back in 1990 after 38 years of using a pick I suffered a double Colles fracture to my right wrist that required going into the theatre, up until then I'd always a plectrum/pick but that was impossible with a plaster cast on so I developed a 1st finger thumb technique which gave me my up and down strokes.

BTW I never went back to using a pick.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#7
Quote by John Swift
You play whatever style you develope best. way back in 1990 after 38 years of using a pick I suffered a double Colles fracture to my right wrist that required going into the theatre, up until then I'd always a plectrum/pick but that was impossible with a plaster cast on so I developed a 1st finger thumb technique which gave me my up and down strokes.

BTW I never went back to using a pick.


Is theatre British for surgery (under the knife) or did your injury inspire you to become a stage actor?
#8
Quote by MaddMann274
No.


Keep an open mind. Depending on the style a pick can achieve the tone you're after.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#9
How many fingers should I use? (right hand)
At least 3 if you want to play fast stuff.

Where do I rest the thumb? (right hand)
What's comfortable for you. On the pickups and strings. I rest my thumb on the neck pickup and the B string on my 5 string.

How do I play slap bass?

Slap with the side of your thumb. Pluck with the side of your fingers.

Do you only do upstrokes? (right hand)
I'd say learn to play chords by brushing your nails across the strings.
Main Basses:
Warwick RB Corvette 5
Douglas Sculptor 825 NA Fretless 5


Main Rig:
Sansamp>GK Backline 600>2 GK BLX 210 Cabinets
#10
I'd say the biggest thing to worry about is playing philosophy. Is important to remember that the bass is not a guitar and plays a different role in many cases. It's unlikely you'd sit down and play say a Koto like a Guitar. Admittedly this is an extreme example but it's something to consider. Bass CAN be a melody instrument and can be used very well as such in some cases. However in many cases it's a glue instrument, the groove you lay down holds the drums into context with the guitar.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#11
Quote by ChemicalFire
Bass CAN be a melody instrument and can be used very well as such in some cases. However in many cases it's a glue instrument, the groove you lay down holds the drums into context with the guitar.


This^ a band sounds very bad if the bass and guitarist are both trying to out wank each other. There is a reason for calling the low notes the money frets, play a walking or root note riff will always fit a song, even if sometimes more would be better (or more fun).

Cream is kind of a good example, Jack Bruce was incredibly melodic or groovy, but mostly an incredible ass who pissed off the drummer (biggest no no in the realm of bass).

As with all things just practice an do the right thing at the right time.
#12
Quote by askrere
Is theatre British for surgery (under the knife) or did your injury inspire you to become a stage actor?
I meant operating theatre.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn