Do Bass Players basically use classical technique?

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twistedblues
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Do Bass Players basically use classical technique?

Post by twistedblues » Tue May 16, 2017 12:42 pm

Do fingerstyle bass players essentially use the same right hand technique as a classical guitar player? If not.. what technique changes would a bass player have to make while transitioning to classical guitar technique?

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Re: Do Bass Players basically use classical technique?

Post by igycrctl » Tue May 16, 2017 6:00 pm

Not a bass player, but I have heard of a technique called the "rake" in which when moving from a higher string to a lower one we use the same finger rather than alternate. My teacher keeps telling me to stop doing this.

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Re: Do Bass Players basically use classical technique?

Post by doug » Tue May 16, 2017 6:14 pm

I played an acoustic bass guitar in a church choir for a while, and I would alternate i and m. You have to be really careful not to break a nail ! I kept my nails fairly short while I was playing the bass.
I replaced the steel strings with nylon tapewound strings, and I liked them quite a bit better than the flatwound steel strings. They gave the guitar a "softer" sound....more like an upright bass, and they were not as rough on my nails. I would say that fingerstyle bass technique is a LOT like classical technique.
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Re: Do Bass Players basically use classical technique?

Post by mmapag » Wed May 17, 2017 5:09 am

The short answer is no. I am a long time bass player (40+ years). There is very passing similarity in the right hand technique of electric bass and 0 similarity in double bass or upright.
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etorgerson
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Re: Do Bass Players basically use classical technique?

Post by etorgerson » Sun May 28, 2017 9:47 pm

agreed. I have tried learning fingerstyle guitar in my youth and have played upright and bass guitar in classical, jazz, pop, and rock. While there are some bass players- in particular strolling bajo players- that employ fingerstyle technique, imho it is rarely used by bassists.

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Re: Do Bass Players basically use classical technique?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Tue May 30, 2017 3:38 am

I play bass guitar and when I play my wrist is bent so that the fingers are perpendicular to the strings. When I play CG, my wrist is not bent, well just a little. I only use classical technique when playing arpeggios out of chord formations. P-I-M-A, and this I only do when I play Bach arrangements for bass, or teaching Iron Maiden to one of my bass students.

However, now that I am playing the ole Rickenbacker everyday as I do with CG, I've had to resign myself to playing with a pick, as I find playing bass to be the quickest way to destroy my nails, even with flatwound strings. So no CG technique there anymore.

Alan Green
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Re: Do Bass Players basically use classical technique?

Post by Alan Green » Tue May 30, 2017 5:55 am

I stepped in as a last-minute bassist for a musical earlier this year. My CG skills meant that I was able to articulate the phrases and keep up with the speed using mostly i and m fingers, but there the similarities ended.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Do Bass Players basically use classical technique?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Tue May 30, 2017 9:56 am

I've often watched bass players and wondered how they manage to play so fast often with just one finger. I guess its how they train themselves, but it must be really inefficient, for those that do it thus. (Its the same with pizzicato on violins - they only ever just use their index finger (according to those I've asked)).
But I have seen electric bassists use a very flat hand alternate fingers apoyando quite a lot too.
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Re: Do Bass Players basically use classical technique?

Post by ddray » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:53 pm

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Tue May 30, 2017 9:56 am
I've often watched bass players and wondered how they manage to play so fast often with just one finger. I guess its how they train themselves, but it must be really inefficient, for those that do it thus. (Its the same with pizzicato on violins - they only ever just use their index finger (according to those I've asked)).
But I have seen electric bassists use a very flat hand alternate fingers apoyando quite a lot too.
I would imagine there are a lot of bad habits a bassist would bring with them in playing CG. I know that from my steel-string days I'm constantly fighting the urge to anchor my 3rd and 4th r.h. fingers on the soundboard. :D

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Re: Do Bass Players basically use classical technique?

Post by setecordas » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:46 pm

I actually saw a youtube video of a professional bassist, semi famous one at that, giving a mini lesson on his particular technique and it was a perfect adaptation of classical guitar technique to electric bass: wrist position and angle, plucking from the big knuckle into the palm, and included a pulgar technique for fast thumb work that I've seen taught to for flamenco. I cannot remember his name and I cannot find the video, but his was the only bass technique I've seen that was essential classical technique. If I find it, I'll post it.

Edit: Found it! Victor Wooten https://youtu.be/U-N54p2YlQg
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Re: Do Bass Players basically use classical technique?

Post by cgratham » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:41 am

I'm not much of a bass player, but my son is a professional bass player. From my observations of him, I'd say that bass players only use a similar technique to CG in the sense that the fingers (or arm) set the string in motion. But other than that, I'd say they are quite different. Even in the bass world the electric bass, classical pizzicato technique, and jazz pizzicato technique are quite different. Here's video with a good close-up of typical jazz pizz technique:


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https://youtu.be/iJ99qaJV3XQ?t=2m30s[/YouTube]

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ddray
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Re: Do Bass Players basically use classical technique?

Post by ddray » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:20 am

ddray wrote:
Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:53 pm
I would imagine there are a lot of bad habits a bassist would bring with them in playing CG. I know that from my steel-string days I'm constantly fighting the urge to anchor my 3rd and 4th r.h. fingers on the soundboard. :D
And after saying that I notice Rob MacKillop does pretty much the same thing. I must be a natural-born no-nails (mostly) kinda guy.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Do Bass Players basically use classical technique?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:48 am

ddray wrote:
Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:20 am
ddray wrote:
Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:53 pm
I would imagine there are a lot of bad habits a bassist would bring with them in playing CG. I know that from my steel-string days I'm constantly fighting the urge to anchor my 3rd and 4th r.h. fingers on the soundboard. :D
And after saying that I notice Rob MacKillop does pretty much the same thing. I must be a natural-born no-nails (mostly) kinda guy.
There are great similarities between historically appropriate lute and early guitar technique, and modern 'self-taught' technique, and I think the reason is fairly obvious. But its not necessarily a no-nails thing to rest fingers down like that; certainly I do that for baroque guitar and I got nails.
I'd suggest that even if you are nailless, on a modern guitar you will benefit from the hand free, regardless of Rob's approach.
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ddray
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Re: Do Bass Players basically use classical technique?

Post by ddray » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:25 pm

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:48 am
I'd suggest that even if you are nailless, on a modern guitar you will benefit from the hand free, regardless of Rob's approach.
I'll certainly follow your advice. Mr. MacKillop is obviously at such a level to form his own style or technique, while in myself it just encourages laziness.

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Jim Davidson
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Re: Do Bass Players basically use classical technique?

Post by Jim Davidson » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:41 pm

The difference is huge.

Rest stroke is way more prominent, the hand is oriented more perpendicular to the strings, and the thumb is used differently. "Raking" is also a must know technique on bass, but is far less prominent (if not discouraged) in CG technique. Then there's slap technique....
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