Right hand technique
Hi everyone. In this lesson we will talk about right hand technique, or simply said how to pluck the strings. First of all, I want you to think of your index and middle finger as your legs: just like alternating your left and right leg when walking, you will “walk” your fingers over the strings by alternating index and middle finger.
So, let’s start walking over the strings! An important piece of advice: when you pluck the open E, your thumb will sit on the pick-up, as shown here.
When you move to the next open A, D, or G, your thumb needs to cover the “previous” ones, because of resonance. So, if you’re on the E string, in order to avoid the resonance you need to mute the A, D and G ones, same being said when you’re on any other one. Again, remember that if you don’t block the strings with your thumb or left hand, strings will resonate, and the notes played will have an echo, blurring your bass line. Let’s move on and check how to mute each string and have a clear sound.
E string: your right hand thumb on the pickup, as in the above image, while you mute A, D and G with a light pressure of your left hand on the fretboard, as shown below here.
A string: in this case, a combination of both hands comes into place. To mute the open E, move your thumb from the pickup to this one, lightly pressing on it. D and G will be muted with your left hand.
D string: move your thumb to the A string, and to lightly press on the E and A string. The G string will be muted with a light pressure of your left hand.
G string: simply move your thumb forward, in order to cover the open E, A and D strings, muting all three just with your thumb.
I know that all of this might seem tricky at first, but it seems more complicated than what actually is. In all reality, when musicians play, they don’t think at all about technique and even less about the theory behind that, they already internalized both of those in their practice room.
In all reality, you won’ t be perfect at muting the strings overnight, and that’s perfectly normal, since muscle memorizing each movement on your bass is a matter of time.
All this being said, the next exercise will get you started. Set your metronome at 60 bpm, following all the instructions I gave you, and muting all the strings when you move to the next one.
That was it for this time, don’t be discouraged if all this looks like overwhelming at first, we have all been there. As I always say, time and practice will be on your side to become a better musician! In the next lesson I will give you a series of technique exercises useful to improve your hand dexterity. Remember that practice makes perfect! Thank you for reading and see you in the next one!