Improve Your Alternate Two Finger Picking

2019-01-09T15:04:38+00:00January 22nd, 2014|Categories: Bass Guitar Technique|3 Comments

Some great exercises and tips on alternate fingerpicking for bass guitar. The lesson covers odd accent groupings, odd time signatures and advanced string crossing.

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  1. Bob P March 25, 2014 at 1:39 am - Reply

    Another great lesson. Thanks. I was taught that I should rake when moving down from a higher string. Is it your view that we always should alternate fingers, and only rake when necessary?

  2. Marko May 18, 2016 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    Mark, do you stiffen your finger joints (the ones connecting nail with mid part of the finger) deliberately in order to get “harder” and louder sound?
    I have noticed that this joint of the 1st finger is naturally stiffer than of the 2nd. Thus, when alternating, I get harder sound with my first and softer with my second. Also, the top part of my 2nd finger (the nail part) gets bended upwards when I pick a string. This part of the first finger almost never bends.
    What do you suggest?

  3. Grayson Smith September 19, 2016 at 5:04 am - Reply

    This was really difficult the first time I tried every exercise. I have the habit of the raking on descending, so being so rigid on following the I,M,I,M pattern in each of these flavors, I realized how much of a habit my “alternate” picking was/is. If one does these slowly and concentrates on alternating like Mark suggests, it will eventually free up the right hand and make it way better! Mark, you have gift for breaking everything down and generating a ton of useful information in one lesson. You also expand the concept and give several areas to hit the same theme: alternate means to alternate. I’m sure once this is drilled in, you will discuss raking and how to approach bass lines with an open mind to playing them the best way, which would be whichever way is most efficient and sounds the best. If we put in the work to get our technique correct, it will become just another tool to express our bass playing. I think working on the alternate picking fascist style ultimately works to break habits down, destroy them and then build them back correctly. I for one am loving the discipline! Thank you very much for your great lessons. I have improved in just the one month I have been practicing and using your resources. You deserve a lot of praise for sharing your hard-won talent.

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