Fingerstyle, pick or thumb n index?


#1

Having started my bass playing journey as a strict fingerstyle player but wanting to progress my playing to higher levels, I realise that for some genres, they recommend using other styles of playing such as slap, pick or using the thumb n index. I have been trying to learn the thumb and index style but it just seems so difficult. I struggle to play with that style worse than when I started learning. Any tips and views on this?


#2

Hey Grant, what are you doing to try to learn the thumb and index style? Any particular exercises?

I’m not intimately familiar with how players learn to do this in the Soukous style, but I do that kind of plucking for my own purposes a lot. A couple things you could try -

  1. Try playing anything you want, as long as you pluck each note twice. Could be scales, bass lines, finger pattern exercises, but make sure you pluck thumb and index before changing notes. That way you don’t have to deal with splitting them up yet, and you get good at doing both plucks on the same string. I would spend a lot of time here to make sure you’re comfortable.
  2. Then try playing single notes slooooowwllllyyyy, maybe just on a single string, pick a few notes and just go up and down, noticing if it’s hard to change notes while in the middle of a thumb-index plucking pattern.
  3. Then add in string crossing, which will be the hardest part, I imagine.

#3

Thanks Josh, These are good exercises… Just for your reference on the soukous style I was talking about see this.


#4

I really like these Soukous videos… but he’s starting at the point AFTER you’ve already made the technique your best friend.

What I mean to say is - there is a TON of work to do before you try and play this bassline to just play with this technique… and everything that Josh suggested above is perfect to get to the point where these videos will be the next best step.


#5

Thanks @Gio the point you make is exactly what I was saying… I am still learning the technique. the melodies and the music behind, I understand perfectly thanks to the B2B course by @JoshFossgreen. I guess I just wanna improve my skill set and versatility as a player. I am determined. One day I will get there.