8th/16th notes: touching the thumb/next string when plucking stops

I’ve been mindful of Josh’s instructions about having your plucking finger touch your thumb or next string when you finish the pluck. But when I’m practicing something that has say eighth notes or something chug-chuggy like AC/DC or ZZ Top, my fingers don’t touch the thumb/next string. If I consciously try to make them do that, I slow down or lose the rhythm completely. Plus I sound like a robot.

Is it just a matter of practice and time, or do fingers NOT have to touch the thumb/next string when playing something faster?

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I find that I don’t follow through to touch my thumb or the lower string when I pluck fast lines. Following through is proper technique, so it’s the way to go when you can. But all’s fair in love and bass playing when you gotta speed up.


It is a matter of… Does it sound good?
If yes, don’t worry about it.
Fundementals are just that, and they allow you to do things like go faster, etc.
On sax for example, my fingers are never supposed to leave the pearl key touches.
If I focus on that, I cannot play, lol.
But what I focus on is embedding the line in my fingers and brain and then noticing when fingers fly up. What I find is the better I know a passage, the less they fly.
But when going fast, they end up staying close on their own.

Net / net - work on the fundementals so they ooze into your playing at all levels and you will be fine. (and it takes a lot of time, lol).


I agree with @MikeC.

Normally I always mute the lower string, however on very fast passages I don’t.

Let’s say I’m plucking open E and I need to pluck the A string just once and go back to open E). For that, I don’t mute the E string to pluck the A.


It’s a good rule of…

…thumb :sunglasses:

But yeah, don’t sweat it too much. I barely even think about it now.


Thanks everyone. Some days are just like massive brain farts in my fingers. Yesterday and today I simply could not do The Chain bassline and messing it all up as soon as I was focusing on plucking, going really slow too. So frustrating sometimes.

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Just take it as past of the deal.
This isn’t going to change ever. Even pros have “throw it through the window” days.
Just a signal to take a break, go look at your family & friends, and hit it again tomorrow