So I am playing Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd and at one point there is a slide from 5th to open on the A string. It sounds awful when I do it and not Roger Waters at all
So to get round this I decided to go 10th to 5th on the E string - much better sound.
What am I doing wrong on thr A string and is this workaround something that better bass players than me would do?
Hi @gragil1! Could you elaborate a bit how or why it sounds bad?
It is a fairly short slide (one quarter note duration) and a good reason to stay on the A string is because you also pluck the open A as the next note. So, you pluck the D - slide - and at end of the slide, pluck the A.
You, as the one who plays, can always try different fingerings, for whatever reason, but I am not sure that your suggestion is necessarily better - mainly because you’d need to mute the E string at the end of the slide, and do a string crossing (albeit to an open string), and so just from a general economy of motion argument.
But, maybe there is something else that makes it sound bad for you??
If there’s a strong thump on every fret as you slide, you’re probably pressing on the string too hard.
If sound dies before you finish the slide, then you’re probably not pressing hard enough.
It’s tough because it’s got to be just right to really sound good.
I’m not sure you’re doing anything wrong yet.
Are you working from a reliable source? My first suspect is always the TAB. It might be that the original is played on the E string too. Not sure.
If you could post a shot of you playing the part (on the A) and then let us know where in the song (minute mark) the part is happening I could chime in with some more accurate and technical detail.
I clicked play on that like three times
Cool syncopation for such a simple line.
Also, that guy has hands the size of a facehugger from Alien.
Hey - I am not getting the sound of the slide at all - just seems to die, so I will need to press harder as per Theron’s comment and try that.
Really not sure that it is a pressure issue, Graeme! But, it is certainly worth a try, even though unless you actually let the string lift off from the fretboard (after the pluck and during the slide), you should get a slide even with very little pressure. So, maintaining pressure as you slide is probably more important than the amount of pressure.
Other than that: do you have very old strings? I.e., strings with almost no sustain anymore? Or do you (accidentally) palm mute your strings all the time? Or do you play with some foam stuck underneath your bridge? (I am not making random stuff up here, by the way; these are legit ways to shape your tone, namely to kill most of the sustain and the higher frequencies).
It turns out the key to this bit is practice, practice, practice. I am not sure what I am doing differently but it is beginnig to sound a bit better. I think it is by using a little pressure as you suggested. Anyway I am way happier now than earlier