#1
I am new to bass although I have played guitar for about 8months and after reviewing a lot of posts here I picked up the first edition of the hal leonard bass method books. I really like it thus far as it runs very intuitively. The only thing I am having trouble getting a hold of is that the author uses a 3-finger fretting method where you use your index finger, middle finger, and pinky. I am so used to my ring finger being a primary mover on guitar that this is hard to get used to. Is it ok to ignore this from the book? I do notice that the 3-finger system does make it more comfortable for my small hands however when I watch every bassist play they use all four fingers with those fingers spread wide.

Secondly, I am taking lessons from a guy who I really like both as a person/musician and as a bass teacher (not so much as a guitar teacher). He advocates keeping my thumb planted on the pickup as a reference point and uses his index and middle finger to pluck and the ring and pinky or sometimes the thumb of his fretting finger to silence open strings to prevent ringing. The book suggests a moving method where as you go down to pluck different strings, your thumb (being the anchor) moves down on top of the E and A strings respectively to not only anchor there but also silence them. This seems like a lot of moving to me that could potentially become problematic in the future when one comes across fast bass lines with lots of sweeping and what not. Opinions?
~Nick
FOR SALE:

Alvarez FD-60 acoustic electric- $295 obo (perfect condition, amber finish)
Lindy Fralin Blues Special Strat pickups (as set, perfect condition) - $175 obo

PM me if you are interested!
#2
just use whatever makes you comfortable. i mean i would use 4 fingers because u get way more notes and some songs you will need 4 fingers. it depends on what songs ur playing
Quote by Mad Marius
DBZ guitars, love'em. Especially their Les Piccolo model.
#4
When using a 4 string bass, I rarely anchor my thumb on the A string. Most of the time it's on the pickup, but when I go to play something on the G string I usually move my thumb down onto the A, subconsciously. It doesn't seem to get in the way of fast lines, it only makes them easier because I don't have to stretch my hand a LOT to reach the G string.
#5
Quote by watchingmefall
Use all four fingers, get used to the neck with exercises.

If I had a dollar for every bassist/guitarist that complained that they have "small hands"...

Yea same here, if you cant reach then move your hand, My fingers on my left hand are a bit longer now anyways than my right and i can stretch my index and pinkey between the 12 and 5th fret, i cant play something that far but can stretch that far.
LIFE IS TOO SHORT NOT TO LET YOUR MIND SPREAD WINGS AND TAKE FLIGHT

Quote by KeepOnRotting
+Infinity. This dude knows good metal.
#6
Quote by LaGrange
Yea same here, if you cant reach then move your hand, My fingers on my left hand are a bit longer now anyways than my right and i can stretch my index and pinkey between the 12 and 5th fret, i cant play something that far but can stretch that far.

You have got to be kidding me. That is ridiculously far. I can do 5-9 with ease and might be able to do 5-11 on a guitar...maybe. Anyways ya I do have small hands but there are plenty of good bassists out that that do. Not using it as an excuse but merely stating the facts. The hand position for bass has already become much more intuitive for me and causes a lot less pain than it did when I started 3 weeks ago or so.
~Nick
FOR SALE:

Alvarez FD-60 acoustic electric- $295 obo (perfect condition, amber finish)
Lindy Fralin Blues Special Strat pickups (as set, perfect condition) - $175 obo

PM me if you are interested!
#7
Quote by LaGrange
Yea same here, if you cant reach then move your hand, My fingers on my left hand are a bit longer now anyways than my right and i can stretch my index and pinkey between the 12 and 5th fret, i cant play something that far but can stretch that far.

this is the bass forums.
not guitar
Quote by brandooon
Buy both pickups. Rub icyhot on both of them. Sandwich your penis between them and walk to the nearest homeless shelter with your brand new icyhot penis sandwich.
#8
what i do when playing the a, d, or g string is use my thumb to mute all the strings in not playing.
#9
You will eventually NEED 4 so I'd start getting used to that, it makes it easier to hit different notes and gives you a wider range of access on the fretboard.
#10
I usually just use the 3 whenever I'm below, say, the 5th fret, simply because I'm good with my pinky and don't find myself doing just a whole lot of chromatic work. Especially once we get to fret 10, however, the ring finger is a must.

As far as the right hand, both methods are accepted. I personally hate floating my hand. I keep my thumb on that pickup and don't move it.
Les Claypool
Geddy Lee
Robert DeLeo
Flea

Weileder

...Coincidence? I think not.
#11
I had a teacher that is like musically trained at one of the most reknown schools for music... And he told me to use 3 fingers and claims that a lot of big bassists only use 3 fingers (fretting fingers) i think its retarded especially because i have massive hands...

If i were you i would try and learn all 4 fluently.
Referring to Victor Wooten
Quote by Nutter_101
"Wa wa wa English is my first language, music is my second blah blah blah wank wank wank I rule, love me suck my dick."

That's all I heard in that entire interview.

My Band:
http://www.myspace.com/closedfortonight
#12
It's another technique known as the Simandl (sp?) technique.

It's what classical double bassists use to keep in tune, due to the instruments longer scale length.

However, four fingers can be used on fretted and fretless bass.

As far as the anchoring question, I personally only use pickup anchoring (even on a 6 string) unless I'm slapping, in which case I use no anchor at all.
In the bass chat:

<Jon> take the quote of me out your sig plx
<Jon> i hate seeing what i said around lol


Leader of the Bass Militia PM to join!



And now on BANDCAMP!


Officially the funniest member of the Bass Forum.
#13
About the fingers, I would put the work in now to stretch out your fingers and get used to using 4, it saves having to break a habit later on when 3 fingers would become a hinderance.

I use the "movable anchor" technique and have no trouble playing fast, I find it's just personal preference when it comes to how you anchor your thumb.
Quote by Bumper
Looks like you had a big bowl of Downs Syndrome for breakfast.



Member of the Bass Militia, PM Nutter_101 to join

Lover of Ashdown? Join the Ashdown Army!
#14
Quote by Woogles
this is the bass forums.
not guitar

I realized this, but what i said applies to both guitar and bass. You cant expect to leave your hand in one spot and stretch everywhere so regardless of hand size being a good playin just comes with practice ( yes i know bass frets are farther apart then guitar )
DOnt mean to sound like another douche bag of a guitarist because some of us are actually resonable
I always thought bass sounded awesome anyways, i just ended up playing guitar.
LIFE IS TOO SHORT NOT TO LET YOUR MIND SPREAD WINGS AND TAKE FLIGHT

Quote by KeepOnRotting
+Infinity. This dude knows good metal.
#15
Well, heres my 2 cents.

I was an electric bassist for a while. I tried to keep a solid 4 finger pattern, and it worked. Then at a jazz camp, they wanted me to learn double bass...for a concert...the same day. Talk about baptism by fire. Well after that, I continued to pursue double bass. In which case, you HAVE to use a 3 finger technique. Keep in mind that your counting your ring and pinky as one finger. So If i played something with my 3rd finger, id play it with my 4th too.

So then I began doing this on electric without noticing it. Its much more comfortable, and I feel like I can do more with it. But theres still times I NEED (not often) 4 fingers and I can do that when I need.

So what Im trying to say is, learn the 4 and 3 finger methods (the real 3 finger method), and use both as you see fit.
#16
Don't they call it the Rake technique or something like that? Because you're just starting on bass, the movement probably wouldn't hinder your playing. I used the Hal Leonard books, and that right hand technique was really helpful, because it reduced the stretch to reach the next string. But for sweeping, I have no clue.

For the fretting hand, I just ignored the first, second, and fourth finger rule. I found it too hard to use my pinky when my ring finger was already at the fret anyways. If you use the One Finger per fret, your pinky will play the fret that's close to it, though you may need to stretch when you're lower on the neck.
#17
The three finger technique is a Double Bass technique, alot of bassist use it because it is easier to fret this way, thus making them able to play for longer.

Usually if you arn't playing anything difficult you wont need another technique. but its always good to have the four finger technique up your sleeve.

as for Right hand technique

I was taught that technique, I just found it annoying, so my teacher told me to just rest my thumb on something

so, I do

usually the pickup, or the E string if I need to play lower then that

Alot of the time I play with my thumb and two fingers, easy to palm mute to get a double bass sound, and much easier to play chords, and I noticed the two finger are plucking slightly upwards rather than straight down to rest on the string, I also noticed this makes the tone much clearer

/off topic banters
"Whats that noise??"

"... Jazz"
#18
You have to remember that the Hal Leonard books are to beginners of ALL AGES. For younger kids the 1-2-4 fretting is a good technique that doesn't force them to overstretch their fingers and cause pain. For most people a 4 finger technique is the best. As for the floating thumb technique, that's personal preference. Try anchoring and try moving your thumb around while you're playing and see which is comfortable. I started with a floating thumb or movable anchor and when my teacher showed me an anchor technique I never went back. It's much more economic to me.
#19
4 strings, 4 fingers, 4 fret range. It's part of the appeal of the bass to me. I laugh when I see people play the "Schism" riff, doing the hammer on with index and ring...I play all riffs using the most efficient hand position.
#20
Quote by Anjohl
4 strings, 4 fingers, 4 fret range. It's part of the appeal of the bass to me. I laugh when I see people play the "Schism" riff, doing the hammer on with index and ring...I play all riffs using the most efficient hand position.


Why do you laugh at that?

There is a fret gap between the two notes. If you're following the most efficient rule of 1finger per fret, then move, you get index and ring finger.
In the bass chat:

<Jon> take the quote of me out your sig plx
<Jon> i hate seeing what i said around lol


Leader of the Bass Militia PM to join!



And now on BANDCAMP!


Officially the funniest member of the Bass Forum.
#21
My two pence.

Anyone regardless of hands can use the one finger per fret method. Practice spider scales and it will be easier. I can do it, you can do it, a typical 11 year old can do it. Period. I'd recommend it for anyone, esp. when you start out because it does add efficiency over time.

However, with that said, I do use the Simandl method for fretless. Not because I can't do OFPF, but for accuracy and the transition to EUBs, I find I have a better level of accuracy, esp. on the lower frets.
#22
Because the next note in the song is a fret back, so it's the most efficient to start with your middle finger.

There's no excuse for the average stringed instrument player to shy away from any given finger. Tony Iommi can do it, so suck it up!

Seriously, a bassist wants to move their hand as little as possible, that's how I was taught. Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency!
#23
4 fingers=more notes
3 fingers=endurance.

The way I play is to play 3 fingers on everything I can (which is 95% of what I play) and break out all 4 only when I have to.