Post Number: 1632
|Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 - 1:37 am: |
I've recently been giving some more bass guitar lessons to a friend of mine whom I originally started teaching about 6 years ago. After a couple of years she did a tour with 'The Beat, aka "English Beat" in the USA. After the tour she stopped playing and now wants to get back into playing bass again.
However, now that I've started helping her again, I notice that when she frets notes she is also pulling the string downwards causing it to go sharp up to about 1/2 a semitone and sometimes more at the middle of the neck on the deeper strings. We have tried to find out why she does this to no avail.
So I have advised her to play some simple scales and some simple one finger per fret exercises over 4 frets across the neck very slowly so that she can watch and hopefully control her finger positioning.
Does anyone have any idea's of how I can help her got get over this. She is about 5'9", has a good hand span that seems to be fine for her Peavey Millennium 5 AC BXP bass as this has a much narrower neck and string spacing than my Europa bass.
( if you are not sure what I mean, It's exactly like that technique many players use when a string looses pitch in the middle of a song, you apply a bit of string bend to bring the note to correct pitch, then re-tune before the next song.)
Post Number: 291
|Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 - 2:05 am: |
Jaco emphasized that firm finger placement behind each fret instead of the middle of each fret will help avert fret noise and other idiosyncrasies of fretted Bass's.I find that this technique is useful and a good pedagogy to instill in students that you might be coaching in their pursuit of clean playing.I like to use just a bit of finger vibrato on each note as well to help blend intonation anomalies on the more" legato" motives.
Post Number: 2286
|Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 - 4:04 am: |
Couple of suggestions come to mind ...
Make sure the fretting hand is straight across the strings. The starting position for the fingers should be straight across, too.
The fingers may be arched a bit, but no clawing.
Check if she's fretting with the top of the finger, with the inside, or with the side. And when she's playing a bass line in one position, does she change the position of her wrist in any way?
It may help if she puts her thumb as close towards the edge of the neck on the G string side as she feels comfortable. She could even try to fret strings with a limp thumb, just as an exercise. - This is probably also a good way of telling whether the bass is hanging at the the right strap height for her.
Post Number: 169
|Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 - 6:08 am: |
I would try to isolate it first but observe her playing sitting down and then standing, correct hand position with the fingers placement just behind the fret is the proper position for best intonation, her curvature in her wrist, playing with the flatted fingers instead of fingertips or too much hooking the finger tips and does she have long nails on the left hand?
Too much arch in the wrist could all be issues of her pulling too much, you are going to have to watch her play up close on top of the hand and try to catch exactly when you hear her pull tell her to stop dead and don't move her hand so you can see all the positioning elements that might be causing the problem. (look at the thumb, fingers, hand etc..)
Be sure to have her sit and play, then stand and play the same notes or scale to compare any changes within it so you can see if she does it only standing or sitting.
The more you can isolate and eliminate the faster you'll head to the cure.
Post Number: 1031
|Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 - 7:21 am: |
'Muscle memory' is difficult to re train but all the above suggestions will work.
It is like riding a bike..once learnt never forgotten so it will take her some time to re train her hand to fret the note correctly.
In addition 'Mirror in the Bathroom' was a great song..1980 I think then, they did a fast reggae version of 'Tears of a Clown'.
The guitarist left and went with the Fine Young Cannibals.
Post Number: 2287
|Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 - 7:35 am: |
I remember both bands - The Beat (US, aka Paul Collins Beat) - Don't Wait Up For Me, that wasn't half bad either.
Post Number: 8681
|Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 - 8:09 am: |
I agree with everything Adriaan and John suggested. And I too teach the "limp" thumb exercise. Have her play her scales and fingering exercises without touching the thumb to the neck. This exercise focuses the attention on the amount of tension and stress being applied to the thumb. Identifying and reducing this tension helps relax the entire hand while playing. The teacher can from time to time reach around and try to pull the thumb away from the neck while the student is playing.
Post Number: 2419
|Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 - 9:08 am: |
I'd also look at the neck angle. Playing with the headstock too low can affect your ability to fret cleanly and accurately. I do much better with the neck above a 45 degree angle than at flatter angles.
Post Number: 292
|Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 - 9:13 am: |
I as well agree with Adriaan , John and Dave. i might add that the elbow position is relevant to correct hand position to align the fingering hand as for-mentioned by both John and Adriaan. That would be away from your ribcage rather then tucked in . That is effective on Double Bass (upright) as well as electric fretted or fretless Bass.
Post Number: 104
|Posted on Wednesday, September 02, 2009 - 1:49 am: |
Its all about the thumb.
Keep it right behind the neck. Pointing up.
Squeeze a squash ball to build up strength and stamina
when you are not practicing/playing.(fingers straight not bent)
Not too much be careful of overdoing it - RSI!
Post Number: 1635
|Posted on Wednesday, September 02, 2009 - 4:01 am: |
Thanks for all your advice, I will have a good read through before we next meet up for a session.
Post Number: 293
|Posted on Wednesday, September 02, 2009 - 8:47 am: |
But wait_ there's more! ___
Many good points have been made here but I wanted to add a few more points that I feel have validity. With the elbow , hand and thumb in proper alignment as pointed out in this thread by our various individuals I in addition suggest HAMMER ON /PULL OFF exercise technique to build a strong fingering hand ; in context of muscle memory.The plucking or picking technique also comes to play a roll__ it's all conducive to clean playing. If the plucking contact method is kept at 90 degrees to the strings it will of course keep string rattle to a minimum.I like to pluck with just the fingertips of my index,middle and ring finger and occasionally my thumb. Very importantly I use my thumb and palm primarily as a mute as well as integrating finger muting for staccato playing , of course I like to play other styles as well .A whole bag of emulating styles can evolve from plucking technique. You all know that, but I wanted to shine the spotlight on what I was thinking about to help contribute to this thread.
Sonic Regards _______