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321 three fingers technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Arkhon06, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Arkhon06

    Arkhon06 Supporting Member

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    Hello all,

    I'm learning this technique (3213 2132 1321...) as my new band has some very fast parts, like 180+ bpm 16th notes.

    I've started slow (like 160 bpm) and try to increase tempo by 20 bpm each time but once I get to 240, I always get confused and my brain counts 3 instead of 4.

    Do you have tips or exercices to help me on that ?

    Thanx !
  2. OOZMAN

    OOZMAN

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    Four fingers dude.
  3. BassPlummet

    BassPlummet

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    Don't think, feel. It sounds cheesy, but you think subconsciously far quicker than you do consciously.

    Unless I am completely misunderstanding?
  4. Arkhon06

    Arkhon06 Supporting Member

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    If I'm not focused, my fingers switch to galop triplets so it's even worse. I've spent quite some time on this but it's a mess when I reach high speed tempos. Maybe someone has good exercices to practise this technique and increase speed ?

    => OOZMAN, 4 fingers is so hard when you get higher strings.
  5. BowserBass

    BowserBass

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    I use the 3 finger 16th's often. Start slow and get it into your fingers muscle memory. At first if I went to fast it would turn into a gallop.
  6. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

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    Its not physical issue as such, but a mental one, you have to do it slow and learn to say the count, then learn to feel the count.
    So start of at 60 BPM and learn to count it, then learn to feel the fact that every third pass will put you back on the 1 for the fourth pass (4x3 =12) But your count should be, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 then back to the 1 are repeat. Short counting such as 1-2-3-4 is not effective in learning what you want.

    Regardless of what finger you start on the "1" (or if you want the strong first bar beat) will fall on 1 then 5 then 9 then the 1, and so it will repeat, the same finger will always play the 1 the 5 and the 9.
    Once you associate those fingers with this playing patten you can work out where you are in a song by what finger you play the strong first bar beat with.
    You will realise that in fact that if you learn to play and count slow and even at 60BPM then the next tempo is 120BPM to practice this at.
    It is in fact twice as fast but within the same tempo.
    Prove this by setting your metronome to 120 and play along, then set it back to 60BPM and play along , but twice as fast....you will still be in tempo but playing twice as fast.

    In this way you learn to feel tempo within tempo, so you can learn to sub -divide feel.
    There are three good sub-divisions to work on, lets say the original tempo is 60BPM, the next division is twice as fast, so it becomes 120BPM, then twice as fast again 240BPM.
    So you learn three speeds within one tempo by sub-dividing the feel with the count.

    So this leads to four basic practice tempos 60, 70, 80, or 90 BPM.
    All you do is double the tempo within each on twice to get a top speed within in each of the four. By practicing three speeds within one tempo you learn to feel and forget about counting.....which is your problem.
    You are still aware of counting but it is a feeling of time passing because you know where the fingers are and as such do not need to count every beat, just be aware of the 1, the 5 and the 9 to keep you informed. :)
  7. eb3mike

    eb3mike

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    If you've just started this the muscles used for using your third finger are not as developed as your first and second. Spend some time just playing with the third finger or second and third. I was unable to play with my first finger for about three months and didn't miss a gig using the 2nd and 3rd.
  8. nysbob

    nysbob

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    The physical reason you're getting galloping triplets is your third finger isn't coming back around quickly enough to keep the notes evenly spaced. I'd work with a metronome playing two notes per click and start from wherever you can keep all the notes spaced equally, gradually bringing the speed up.

    Concentrate more on what you're hearing rather than worrying about what your right hand is doing.
  9. Arkhon06

    Arkhon06 Supporting Member

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    Thanx very much, very interesting :) other answers as well
  10. Bassisgood4U

    Bassisgood4U

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    Billy Sheehan is the master of the 321. He has a vid somewhere that shows how to play 8th's and 16th notes in 4/4, using the three fingers. I suggest watching it, if you can find it on youtube(it's there).
  11. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

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    Here is it clip, please remember you are watching over 35 years of development...and still developing, of his technique. this is not an "over night" thing, it is long hard work to develop, but constant work to maintain.....enjoy. :)

    http://youtu.be/3CAGinmT9Po
  12. Lo-E

    Lo-E

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    I think the biggest issue here is to just take your time. Don't be in a rush to speed up the tempi. Find the point at which you start to gallop, slow it down a bit and stay at that tempo for a while longer. Gradually, the point of gallop will creep up faster, but you can't really rush these things.

    Somewhere in this series of videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgUMguYktPE
    is a section where PJ explains his three finger technique. A bit unorthodox, but pretty interesting. I can't remember which installment it's in, but I think it's one of the first few.
  13. Arkhon06

    Arkhon06 Supporting Member

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    Other alternative is Bryan beller's technique, he puts 2 fingers together and use them as a pick. Looks weird but it sounds pretty good on very fast parts when you're playing on the same notes for a "long" time. I found that the 321 high speed parts are barely audible.
  14. Lo-E

    Lo-E

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    Mike Watt does this for some things as well. Calls it "the flipper".
  15. Brother Goose

    Brother Goose Kicking it live in the 315! Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    (I am actually an immortal funk-soldier awaiting return to my home galaxy)
    IF starting slow is 160bpm, I'd hate to see FAST!

    This came up with a student, last night- who plays some variety of super speed metal (or aspire to).

    I remember emulating Stanley Clarke and Les Claypool w this technique as a teen (the 90s) but wound up getting fired from bands for actually using it!

    Good luck- I hope you don't hurt yourself!


  16. Brother Goose

    Brother Goose Kicking it live in the 315! Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    (I am actually an immortal funk-soldier awaiting return to my home galaxy)
    Reach out to a really good drummer or check out Peter Erskine's technique of counting fast tempos at wider intervals.
  17. hellZen

    hellZen

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    Billy mentions finding and eliminating the obstacle to speed. FWIW .... I found it helpful to go 32.32... for awhile. Then work on scales, patterns and work out the 3 finger version of raking
  18. Arkhon06

    Arkhon06 Supporting Member

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    Misunderstanding here, sorry, I'm talking about starting at 80 bpm 16th notes, 160 bpm is for 8th :)
  19. keiththebassist

    keiththebassist

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    tap your foot on the one?
  20. jefkritz

    jefkritz

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    play this at 60 bpm (quarter notes) for an entire hour. focus on your playing, don't watch tv or anything. then, start bumping it up.

    you need your fingers to be ridiculously comfortable with the motion, and then it will be second nature, and you won't have to count it. going too fast too soon will seem to give great results, but you'll never be as natural at it.

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