1 finger per fret, almost impossible for me

I have been practising for over two years, and though i can see much improvement in many areas i still have trouble with the one finger per fret method. As soon as my fingers curl round the neck, they curl together, even on the higher frets (9-12 for example) probably due to a previous arthritic condition i had in my 30’s and 40’s (i am now 67 BTW). Does anyone else have this problem because i don’t seem to be able to make my fingers any more straight so i accept that this is the way it is going to be.

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There is no law that says you need to make it work. I can’t do it below about the seventh fret and above the seventh fret it isn’t confortable anyway.

So I don’t bother and do kind of a modified Simandl instead.

I wouldn’t beat yourself up over it. Nothing wrong with shifting. It takes longer to get as fast but it is still a fine technique. FWIW only one of my bass heroes does OFPF anyway, and she is a beast to begin with. (besides @JoshFossgreen and @Gio of course :slight_smile: )

Josh has a good video about this.

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Hey there @leftyclawhands ,
As Howard @howard has mentioned, it’s not for everyone and it wont prevent you from playing songs, it just means you have to use a different technique and if that’s the case, it whatever works.
Some on here micro shift , Pam @PamPurrs plays this way.
I use one finger per fret, and it takes time and practice to build strength and dexterity in all 4 fingers for this technique, if you do decide to persevere you will be able to achieve a great outcome :+1:
Cheers Brian

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Thanks for that Howard, and for the link to the video.

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Cheers Brian, thanks for the encouragement, I am certainly getting better but there seems to be a limit to my dexterity and i have adapted my style accordingly.

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@leftyclawhands I’m substantially younger than you, but I led a somewhat misspent youth and ealy adulthood… come to think of it early middle age as well. As a consequence, each and every one of my fingers has been cut/displaced/sprained/bruised into immobility. Thus, I can only properly straighten out my thumbs and 3 of the remaining eight. It’s not stopping me from sounding perfectly horrible :slight_smile:

Microshifiting is what saves me. Of course we all want to play as well as we can and have musical goals, but most of us are people who picked up the bass late in life for reasons of our very own. For me it’s a middle finger to all my lifelong naysayers, who said I’d never learn any instrument. Whatever the intended endpoint, the main goal is to enjoy the journey.

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I do play one finger per fret, but I’m unable to spread out my fingers like @JoshFossgreen and @TNKA36 do, so I microshift instead. It’s not that difficult to do, once you get used to it. Like everything else, it takes practice.
Here’s a short closeup clip of me micro shifting on my recent cover of Beds are Burning. Notice, I use all the fingers, although they are very close together; thus the need to microshift.

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Looking at the video I’m another simandl of sorts player.
I’m finding my pinkie gets used more than my ringie nowadays.
When I practice scales etc I do use one finger per fret but it seems to go out of the window if I’m playing songs

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My “in person” bass teacher DannyMo, just uses one finger to fret for a lot of what he plays, as he uses the other fingers to mute the strings, to get a Rocco Prestia type sound. You can see it in the video, it’s just a matter of finding what works for you and let’s you get your sound you want. around 5:57 into the vid, you can really see it in practice.

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Thanks MC, i am much encouraged by what you have said, i have found that my fingers if left alone, find their way around quite naturally, just needed to hear it from a real person, all the best and keep on enjoying your playing

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Thank you Pam, appreciate your helpful advice and the short clip.

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Thanks Mac for the reply

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Thank you Sully, much appreciated and i shall be more relaxed about it from now on

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“Keep the fingers close to the fretboard”. Great advice!

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He has good taste in bass guitars too, @Sully . . . :wink:

Cheers
Joe

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I have been working on that recently, and find that my fingers almost automatically stay closer now than they used to. It certainly has helped when i practice riffs that before were more difficult but now are becoming easier.

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He definitely does…such a great guy, very fortunate I get to study with him one on one.

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My in person teacher uses ofpf when he plays guitar, and Simandal on bass. When he first picked up the bass, his teacher had him tape his pinkie and ring together to get him used to working together with them.

My hand doesn’t comfortably cover 3 frets so shifting it is.

Though as I have recently discovered, it’s easier on a short scale bass

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Thanks Wombat

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I have always struggled with the one finger per fret method on the E String above the 4th fret. Though my hands can open really wide the shape of them lends to not being able to spread and grab the notes with each finger and get really clean tone. If my index finger was just a bit longer I would be in heaven. So I shift a lot and it works well for me. I also use the Simandl method a lot. I think each bass player needs to find what their thing is. Good instruction points us to the best ways to play and lets each person take it from there. When I first started playing there was a point where I just said there is no way I will ever play notes on the E String on frets 1 &2. That went away with lots of practice but now being older it can still be a struggle to stay spot on with a hard pounding rhythm. Hence my several basses that are set up for B E A D tuning. Or I grab a 5 String and move up the fretboard similar to the 4 String tuned to B E A D. To be honest when playing on the B E A D basses I never miss the G String at all.

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