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right hand fingering on octaves


a boy named sue

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Here's a really specific question. Lets call one note G and the octave g. If you're playing quickly in the pattern GGGg GGgg would you alternate fingers, or use one for the G and one for the g, or use two fingers on the G and the ring finger on the g? I was playing this the other night and used one on the G and one on the g but it didn't feel smooth -- it sounded OK though.
A man is not usually called upon to have an opinion of his own talents at all; he can very well go on improving them to the best of his ability without deciding on his own precise niche in the temple of Fame. -- C.S.Lewis
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I wouldn't use the ring finger.

 

I would probably use first finger the entire time.

 

Actually, what I'd more likely do is use the thumb on the low note and second finger on the upper one.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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An exercise which I practice (and make some of my students practice) is to play this pattern:

 

ggGG ggGG (small g's are low octave and big G's are high octave)

 

Use four right hand fingering patterns:

 

1122 1122

 

1212 1212

 

2121 2121

 

2211 2211

 

Have fun with the fourth one!

 

Now switch it around and practice the same four right hand fingerings with:

 

GGgg GGgg

 

When I play I don't ever think about my right hand fingers, I have practiced every possible combination so that my fingers just go where they need to.

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When I play I don't ever think about my right hand fingers, I have practiced every possible combination so that my fingers just go where they need to.
Thanks for the exercise. I didn't think about it until after I started and noticed that I wasn't alternating. I think this is due to lack of speed between strings which your exercises should help.
A man is not usually called upon to have an opinion of his own talents at all; he can very well go on improving them to the best of his ability without deciding on his own precise niche in the temple of Fame. -- C.S.Lewis
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Thumb on the low note, Pinkie for the high note, at least for the situation you describe. If the octave is in a line or chordal pattern I will usually alternate with my Index and Pinkie, just depends on the situation. But if I am just jamming or walking on octaves it's Thumb and Pinkie for me. Octaves are one of my usual warm up exercises.

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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I'm the same way. If i have to play an octave like that I just do it how ever I happen to do it. If I'm playing really fast I'll do it slap style except I'll use the pad or my thumb to get a softer tone and I'll use my 2 finger (the bird) to stroke the higher octave. If you change the part of your finger you play with you can make it sound like your playing regular finger picking style.
I didn't come here to play. I came here to make babies.
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These might be awkward but it usually works for me...

 

T I T M T I T I

 

now without the thumb

 

I M I R I M I M

 

anyway...feels like a good linear pattern for some retro beats...

If Jaco's bass sound farts, please forgive me for doing it always!

 

ONCE A LEVITE, ALWAYS A LEVITE.

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Originally posted by jeremyc:

When I play I don't ever think about my right hand fingers, I have practiced every possible combination so that my fingers just go where they need to.

That's it! Practice every weird combination imaginable and then let your right hand look after itself. Some of you may have read the infamous interview with Tim Commerford wher he mentioned that he now uses as few fingers as he can get away with - I think that's an excellent approach if you want to have an even, punchy sound (that Jamerson bloke had some good ideas didn't he?)

 

Rather than use my thumb to ease string skipping I prefer to keep it for when a softer, more mellow tone is required.

 

Alex

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Jeremy's advice is spot on. I still work on excercises like he outlined in his post to this day. They are excellent for building finger speed and dexterity.

 

When I'm actually just playing, I never think about my right hand. It just does what it needs to do so the notes come out.

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I would alternate 1212 1212, but I'm eager to try Jeremy's exercise to see whether another pattern might be more comfortable.

 

I tried to incorporate the ring finger for about a year (several years ago). It was comfortable but really confusing, especially when crossing strings. I'd literally get "lost" as to which finger should come next. :eek:

 

I had to go back to using two fingers (index and middle). It's all that my brain can handle. :D

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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Rocco, arguably the King fast octaves, would use alternate index & ring fingers. So would I. Check out those lightining fast triplets in "Credit."

 

Jeremy always has to mix it up, and I will also try that exercise.

- Matt W.
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I sat down with a bass last night and did experimented a bit.

 

Like jeremy, my fingers kinda take care of themselves. I tended to gravitate toward all first fingers here.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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It depends on how fast I'm playing them. If they are relatively fast, I will play the lower note with the first (index) finger, and the octave with the second (middle) finger. If I am playing relatively slow, I will either use one of the first 2 fingers, or the other technique I mentioned in the last sentence that you jsut finished reading.
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