I’m not sure exactly why, but my worst challenge on playing With or Without You, which I really like, is a clang I sometimes get when moving from the E string back to the A string at the end. It doesn’t happen every time, but, per @JoshFossgreen’s suggestion, here is a video. My phone’s microphone is barely picking up the bass at all, but you can hear the clanging sounds pretty clearly. How am I making this much racket??
Can we see the plucking hand too?
it sounds like the skin of your fretting finger is sticking to the string when you release it, which would cause it to make that noise. I’m only speculating here, so that may not be it.
Can you try sliding to change position/string instead of abruptly releasing the string to see if that helps?
Again, this is only my guess at the problem.
It sounds like you may be trying to play a note at the time you’re pulling off the E string. My guess is sometimes you’re plucking the E string one extra time instead of getting the A at the start of the next measure. Try focusing on the right hand a bit. 8th notes are a tricky tempo to lock in.
Hail @tamaraster! Thanks for posting the video!
What you are doing is playing with absolutely perfect technique here. Your left hand is playing each note, and when you’re done, you’re moving on.
In fact (ominous music cue) too perfectly.
The sound you’re hearing is the release of your left hand off the E string when you’re done playing that last G note.
This is a problem that will be solved over time by your left hand getting stronger and feeling more comfortable on the neck.
You can solve it now by:
Step 1: Slow everything down about 20-40 clicks on the metronome so you can watch and control what’s going on.
Step 2: When you’re done playing the G and you’re getting ready to go back to the D - do not let your left hand come off of the strings!
This is huge.
Release the pressure, but not the string.
You release enough pressure so that the E string is not being pressed against the 3rd fret.
BUT! You leave your hand - resting ever so lightly and maintaining contact - on the string as you transition up to the D.
Try this, and if it needs more explanation, holler!
Here it is with both hands. I get very nervous recording these and have a lot of thoughts in my head, so I don’t play as well and I’m a little self-conscious posting this, but whatever.
You’re probably right, and I will try that. But I can’t reach with my pinky while leaving my middle finger on the third fret of the E string. (This picture shows my maxumum stretch and that was with a lot of strain.) Maybe I should try using my index finger for the previous note? But I wonder if that won’t just push the clang back to the previous transition. Anyway, I think you’re right and I’ll try it!
Thanks for trusting us, and thanks for the video.
I hear you loud and clear about the hand not being big enough.
If you slow things waaaay down, you’ll get a good feel for how much time there is between the G and the next D.
In that time, after you play your last G note, as you’re moving your hand up to prepare to play the D - make sure you don’t release the E string.
Release the pressure, but keep your fingers on the string, if that makes sense.
Everyone’s baking these days, so - a baking analogy.
You’re kneading bread = playing the note.
When you’re done kneading, just lightly rest your hands on the dough. Don’t push, but don’t pull your hands away. There has to be contact without pressure.
That’s what you have to do with that E string when you’re done playing the G.
The shift to the D will require you to move your hand, not just stretch your fingers.
I’m hoping you can move your hand while keeping your fingers in contact with the strings.
NOT PUSHING DOWN - not with any pressure - but rather than pulling your fingers away so that there is air between your fingers and the strings, you move your hand while your fingers are gently in contact with the strings.
Please let me know if that’s at all helpful!
Thank you - I’ll try it and get back to you!
As a fellow student, I wanted to second this.
Very cool of you to get out of your comfort zone and post the video. Just remember, we’re all still learning here and if you’re having trouble with something, chances are good that someone else is struggling with the same thing. So, keep the questions coming.
Yep. Maybe I’ll get brave enough to post mine!
@tamaraster That’s a sweet looking PJ! I like the blue color its got!
I don’t really know what a PJ is (even after looking it up) but thank you! It’s the cheapest Yamaha and I love the color too.
And you should totally post a video! It’s secretly fun despite being scary.
A PJ is literally a (Precision + Jazz ) Bass Pickup combination. I have one and I like it!
It’s shorthand for the pickup design. P/J comes from the original basses that had those pickups.
P is a reference to the Fender Precision Bass that had a pickup that looked like the one closest to your neck (the one that looks like two off set blocks). Like this…
J is a reference to the Fender Jazz bass that had two pickups like the one closest to your bridge (the one that looks like a straight bar). Like this…
There is also an H, which stands for Humbucker. This one is an H…
None of this is required knowledge. It’s just convenient to know.
Thank you, that is helpful!
Or, as Warwick put it, a “double-buck”.
Keep at it! Its a great song and fun to play. I’ve been a U2 fan since '83 and the songs on the Joshua Tree album are great for beginner bassists. They are simple but elegant. You don’t need to be flashy to be solid bassists. You need to do what is best for the song, and in With Or Without You, its the same four notes repeated. And its perfect for the song. As a teacher myself, I am so proud of you for posting the video and getting out of your comfort zone. Keep practicing and the improvements will come. There will be frustrating days, but you just need to keep at it.
Great work and great effort in sharing with everyone.
I’m not an expert but I think that if you overtime can stretch your fingers you wont even have to move up the fret board, you can use pinky on D then use index on B and middle on G so it’s easier to get pinky back to D.
I struggled with getting my fingers to stretch out over 4 frets but it does get easier.
I used a technique to help called the spider which involves crossing from index finger on E string to pinky on A string 4 frets away to develop the stretch.
You can add D string and as you develop drop to G string and use ring and middle fingers as well to fill the gaps, then alternate starting with the pinky on the E string and index on the A and working the same down through D and G.
I just remembered where I got it from.
Many years ago I came across it on YouTube.
If you search John patituci you will find his spider exercise.
I thought this was a pretty cool U2 story from @muff …