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Is this normal? (hand position)


dohhhhh6

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Alright, with an increased practicing/ normal regular practicing schedule, I've decided to clean up my technique.

 

This includes playing lighter, playing while standing up with my hand in a grip similiar to the one Benloy has in his avatar, and learning to play with my thumb planted on the pickup/E string at all times for comfort.

 

However, the latter is proving the most difficult. As my fretting arms goes higher on the neck (index finger on the 6-7th fret), I always raise my my right, plucking arm to an upright angle, as opposed to having the wrist rest against the curve of the top of the bass.

 

So, I looked into it, and I'm doing this being I have trouble peddling with my 2nd finger when my fretting hand gets higher on the neck. So basically, my index finger has a constant agility no matter where my fretting hand is, however, I have much trouble playing with my 2nd finger when my fretting hand advances on the frets... is this normal? Am I supposed to compensate for this strange lack of mobility when my fretting hand goes out of 1st position? Am I weird?

 

The reason this is an issue, is because my plucking arm not resting and in a constant upright position, I tire quicker.

 

Thanks for the help guys! I REALLY appreciate it!

In Skynyrd We Trust
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Da Lady:

 

I'm not sure I understand...you have difficulty picking with your middle finger on your right hand when you move your fretting hand up the neck...is that right? Do you have your bass unusually low-hung? Does the angle of the bass change when you move your left hand up the neck? Give some more details, and I'm sure somebody can make some suggestions.

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Misinformation, it happens much more when I'm sitting down. I hang my bass pretty high, at around the level I do when I'm sitting down. Again, I have a much harder time playing licks the further my fretting hands goes up. By the index on the 7th fret, I HAVE to stand my plucking hand up, not resting on the bass to do pretty much anything dealing with the E string, is this normal?

 

Thanks, I hope to get to the bottom of this technique crisis soon.

In Skynyrd We Trust
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If I understand your description of the right hand posistion your problem could be trying to rest your right hand on the bass body. This is a definite no no . The wrist should not bend up from the forearm, but slightly down. Bending it up leads to carpal tunnel and repetitive stress injuries.

Try to rotate your wrist so that both fingers (when held together) touch the string at the same time.

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You don't HAVE to rest your thumb on the pickup, you should play what works for you.

 

I don't understand why anything would change with your picking hand as your left hand position changes.

 

Try taking a picture of yourself doing this and post that. (you can put the time delay on your camera so that it shoots automatically)

 

 

jason

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Hmmm...I hope this isn't my fault. :D

 

You'll have to be more specific and use "left" and "right" descriptions religiously when describing this problem. I got confused.

 

So, I looked into it, and I'm doing this being I have trouble peddling with my 2nd finger when my fretting hand gets higher on the neck. So basically, my index finger has a constant agility no matter where my fretting hand is, however, I have much trouble playing with my 2nd finger when my fretting hand advances on the frets... is this normal?
So...you sell things with your index finger while playing? :confused:

 

:D Sorry, givin' you a hard time, Lady. See if you can be more descriptive and we might be able to help you.

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Playing on the low frets:

 

http://www.hourglassband.com/photos/Clark/clwjuly242.jpg

 

Playing on the high frets:

http://www.hourglassband.com/photos/Clark/clwjuly241.jpg

 

My right-hand position doesn't change. Knuckles not quite parallel with the strings, forearm in the same place.

 

We definitely need pictures, pink dress. You're doing something unusual, possibly harmful in the long run (or even the short run!)

 

Also, lots of players use the floating thumb technique, where your thumb hangs out on the string below the string you're plucking, generally. You can see me doing it in these pictures. It was hard to learn at first, but I don't give a second thought to it now.

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I can only keep my bass quiet if I let my right thumb follow the plucking fingers. My right hand technique is similar to what Ed Friedland recommends in his book on constructing rock basslines: my thumb is on the pickup when playing the E and A strings, on the E string while playing the D string, and on the A string when playing the G. With a 5-string, it's the same idea, just make sure the thumb leans against the B and E strings while playing on the G. I haven't experienced problems. It's quite comfortable and lets me do everything.

 

I guess the point is that there isn't just one way to play fingerstyle with the right hand; try some other methods since keeping the thumb on the pickup doesn't seem to work for you.

- Tom R.
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Yep - more info needed. Clark's photos (thanks so much) are helping me ask a question.

 

You play "low". So your fretting hand is down by the nut, and your plucking hand is in the BenLoy-illustrated position - all is fine. What strings are you playing? Any of them? Works fine playing the lowest A on the G string and the lowest G on the E string?

 

You play "high". Your fretting hand is around the 12th fret (or anywhere away from the nut). Your plucking hand is not doing well, and your fingers are not working well together. Same questions - what string are you playing?

 

Hoping that the answers to these questions and photos might help us diagnose this.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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I might be able to get photos, but I'd rather not go through the burden (have to get it hosted, etc).

 

Alright, here's me being more descriptive...

 

I ride my strap pretty high, however, this issue occurs in its worst form when I'm sitting down.

 

I try to keep my plucking hand's wrist rooted on some edge of the bass's body. I use the thumb rooted on pickup for E and A and thumb on the E string for playing on the D and G (if that matters).

 

My problem is that (usually when I play higher on the frets, especially high up on the E and A string and with my fretting hand at about an angle similiar to a right angle from the neck,), I tend to raise my plucking hand's wrist off from its resting position on the bass because it seems like the only way I can physically play these some of licks flawlessly.

 

So normally, I play the lower stuff with my plucking arm's wrist rooted on the bass, but when I get for the higher stuff, I raise my wrist so it's floating instead of rooted on the bass. I do this out of a seemingly necessary reason of being able to play certain licks better. Otherwise, playing on the E and A seems to be harder.

 

Is this normal? The reason I'm concerned is I've been getting a little pain in my joints (not much though, I've started stretching before practice) and my shoulder gets weary fast because to get my wrist floating off the bass's body, I bring my upper arm to the same angle and height from my shoulder with my elbow forming a right angle and my lower arm going straight down.

 

I've been trying some different strap lengths and etc, and I've gotten mixed results with moving my wrist's resting spot closer to the neck and the strap lowered.

 

Any particular suggestions if you understand what I'm saying?

 

Sorry for taking awhile to respond, I had a jazz ensemble concert last night.

In Skynyrd We Trust
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Maybe try angling your right wrist pinky side toward the ground, parallel to the strings?

 

I have noticed that when I play low, a la Nirvana, my technique goes to the birds. But, when I raise it up to the upper bout just about 3 or 4 inches below my chest, my technique vastly improves and I can reach almost every fret effortlessly. Perhaps just a playing height adjustment will solve the problem.

 

When I play, my right arm from the wrist up stays relatively motionless. But, I may be a bit odd, so, don't listen to me.

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Originally posted by ClarkW:

Playing on the low frets:

 

http://www.hourglassband.com/photos/Clark/clwjuly242.jpg

 

Playing on the high frets:

http://www.hourglassband.com/photos/Clark/clwjuly241.jpg

 

My right-hand position doesn't change. Knuckles not quite parallel with the strings, forearm in the same place.

 

We definitely need pictures, pink dress. You're doing something unusual, possibly harmful in the long run (or even the short run!)

 

Also, lots of players use the floating thumb technique, where your thumb hangs out on the string below the string you're plucking, generally. You can see me doing it in these pictures. It was hard to learn at first, but I don't give a second thought to it now.

This is good technique. Try and emulate this and see if it helps.
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