Plucking hand technique question


#1

When I pluck the A, D, or G strings I try to have my plucking finger come to rest on the lower string (so if I’m plucking the G, it comes to rest on the D). Often I can hear somewhat of a thump as my finger contacts the lower string. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?


#2

Hey Lucas, having your plucking finger rest on the next string down is a good thing, for starters.

I’m not positive I know where that thump sound is coming from based on your description… If you could film a short video of your plucking hand up close, that would help a lot!

Or maybe someone else has an intuition?


#3

I’ll try to make a video. Audio-only is easy through the amp’s DI…would that be useful?


#4

Video and audio would be the most helpful, by far. Audio can even be crappy quality, just a mobile phone video quality will do!


#5

I’ll try to put something together tonight.


#6

I made short video and audio clips. I turned all EQ settings flat. The audio was recorded from the DI out of my amp.

Here’s the audio link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Fcglltx1K7TqjV8E-ed6sc4_SOmUiI2O

Here’s the video link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YBR8IX3LV_JOPaTTDEiQdnhz1U7q_XJ5/view?usp=sharing

Hopefully those links work!


#7

Nothing wrong that I can see or hear. It’s the follow through that makes the sound? It doesn’t really come across in the video.
The video seems like lovely technique.


#8

Maybe try the audio-only file, because the sound is much better on that. And thanks for the kind words :grinning:


#9

Thanks @lucas9000, that helps a lot. I second what Gio said, I don’t hear anything “wrong.” What I’m hearing in the audio:
1.) The sound of the note (most fundamental frequency + 1st harmonic, for the spectrographically inclined)
2.) The natural “thumpy” attack of plucking with your fingers
3.) Some higher overtones popping out, which will change based on where you anchor your plucking hand, and you could minimize with EQ (roll down high mids or treble) if you wanted to, but it doesn’t sound “bad”, it’s just something I noticed.

Video looks/sounds fine too! You have to keep in mind, as a bass player, almost nobody is going to hear your exact tone unless you do solo gigs. Those little tiny clicks and thumps will totally disappear in the mix with drums and guitar going.

Here’s a wild example - the isolated bass track for Cult of Personality (Living Colour) is full of INSANE GNARLY TONE, even some sloppy playing

But in the mix, you can’t tell at all, it just sounds good -


#10

THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER.
Perfect illustration for everyone who gets too close to the microscope.