In this lesson we’ll be looking at how mixing up your picking and hammer on’s can give you a new perspective on playing your bass lines and bass riffs.

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Mix It Up

Today we are going to take a look at how combining the use of fingerpicking and hammer-ons can give a new perspective to your playing and push you out of some old habbits. We are going to experiment with playing a straight forward riff in multiple ways to see how different combinations of techniques can affect the sound. Familiarise yourself with the riff here:

Let’s start with the first four notes. We could fingerpick each note individually, or we can use hammer-ons. Try each technique now and listen to the differnce it makes to the sound. Picking each note makes the line more articulate and adds attack. When we hammer on, it is a lot smoother. Generally, we want a mix of these techniques to give our playing some feel and conviction.

There are a few different ways to articulate the run at the beginning of this riff – try picking the first note and hammering on the rest, or vice versa. Try as many variations as you can find and listen closely to the sound.

At the end of the day, it is all about getting the feel that we want and there are often more ways to play something than the one we habitually gravitate towards. 

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