How to make your bass notes sing

In this video Simon walks through how to make your bass notes sing. Sometimes in music we have glorious prominent melodies in the bass. And while our normal right-hand technique can make a nice clear bass tone. It doesn’t really compare to using rest stroke, vibrato, or nodal points. We’ll look at each of these in turn.

Right-Hand Position

One way to make your bass notes sing is to alter your right-hand position to get a different, thicker sound from your thumb. If you move your arm forward to exaggerate the arch in your wrist, it is much easier to get a clean rest stroke on the basses. This really thickens the sound. What it requires, however, is to really push the arm farther than you think you should. Once the arm is in this exaggerated position, you will push in and down on the string with the thumb. This is a lovely way to get a sonorous and deep tone out of your basses.


The next thing that will make your bass line shine is the addition of vibrato. Adding in vibrato gives a warble to the sound that really mimics the voice. We don’t have to add vibrato on every note. But adding a bit of vibrato on longer notes can be quite effective.

Nodal Points

A nodal point is where we find harmonics. This gong-like sound adds a hollow, interesting tone to your notes. An easy way to find the nodal point for each note is to play with the thumb 12 frets above where you are fretting in the left hand. It’s the same process we use to find artificial harmonics. So if you’re familiar with that technique, you’ll be setup well for nodal points. The key here is to follow each note in a melody by playing on the nodal point.

Following all of these tips will really help your bass notes begin to sing.