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Jazz Bass Lessons: Right Hand Position

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Now it's time to deal with
right hand position on the bass.
The Italian word that they use in
musical terminology is pizzicato.
This is for plucking or
picking the note with your right hand.
Now there's several different
ways you can do it.
I think if we cover four basic ones,
it'll give you lots to work with.
The first thing that I'd like you to
learn is to use two fingers together.
>> And use the fleshy part of your finger.
Think of the motion as using the entire
weight of your arm and letting it drop.
[SOUND] Pulling the sound.
You pull the string and
you rest on the string below it.
In classical guitar they
call that a rest stroke.
Where you pluck a string and
you go through the string.
Notice my two fingers are going
right through the string and
they're resting on the string below it.
So you can practice playing open strings
with the two fingers right next to each
other for the maximum meat on the string.
Then there's also this
technique with one finger.
This is something that
Ray Brown used quite a bit.
The great bassist in Jazz music,
Ray Brown, one finger.
Similar motion though make sure that
the forearm is relaxed, and the wrist too.
So you're pulling a sound,
remember you pull the sound out of a bass.
You use the weight,
the relaxed weight is how you do it.
So, there's one finger technique.
I should've added before that
the two finger technique.
You see Ron Carter,
the famous jazz bassist,
using that a lot, and many bass players.
So there's two finger and then there's one
Then there's an alternating picking style
that many bassist use as well.
So it helps us play two different strings.
One after the other.
So you can use your
forefinger on the G string.
And the middle finger on the D string.
When you wanna go from low to high,
it really helps.
Your finger is built for this motion.
Your middle finger's a little
longer than the first finger.
So it enables you to do
these string crossings.
[SOUND] Just go between the strings,
and practice that motion.
Finally, sometimes if we have
to play a little quicker and
move around the bass a little fast,
you can take your hand and turn it around.
Notice what I'm doing.
I'm not at this angle any more, which is
where the fleshy part of the finger
is against the string, now we moved.
Where the fingers
are perpendicular to the string and
they're alternating.
Now I'm still thinking of the weight
of the arm and the forearm.
It's still in the stroke.
It's not just the fingers cuz, fingers
alone do not have enough weight for this.
The forearm needs to help us.
And you can practice
alternating on one string.
These four picking styles will get
you through all kinds of music.
And as we go deeper into the curriculum.
We'll choose at certain points to use
any one of these to serve the music.
That's another important thing.
When we're talking about
producing our sound the right hand
is the driver of the sound.
Our right hand,
you have to use the weight right, and pull
a beautiful sound out of the instrument.
And we do this to serve the musical,
whatever setting we're in.
Whatever kind of music we're playing,
we're gonna choose the type of sound that
we need to put a foundation on the group.
We're the bassists, we are the foundation.