3 and 4 finger style questions

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by pigpen02, Apr 6, 2002.

  1. pigpen02


    Mar 24, 2002
    hi. i'm switching from pick playing to fingers, and have purchased a new six string bass as well. i'd like to really develop my right hand technique playing w/ 3 and/or 4 fingers. i like how quick and smooth i can ralready attle off triplets and quads, and can only believe that this would be awesome with practice and improvement. any body know any good sites for exercises and patterns? i'm starting to think that using this many fingers requires me to play over the neck pick ups and rest my thumb there; any thoughts? anyone ever install a thumb rest on their bass to facilitate the switch from pick to fingers?

    also, i'd really love to find a good bunch of scales for six string bass, anybody got some?

  2. LifeSpitter

    LifeSpitter Guest

    Apr 6, 2002
    Bass Heaven
    Im also in the process of making the same change as you are and i have the same problem....

    Ive heard of taping fingers together in order to adjust them to movement but this seems absurd to me. I can do triplets using my ring finger but i have to think about it way too much, and i am not comfortable enough to do it live yet.

    About the scales,...just figure em out yourself, you will learn more in the long run and it will help your ear also.
  3. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Well, other than just continual playing with the fingers to build up strength and dexterity, there are a few exercises... Try to move each playing finger INDIVIDUALLY, without moving the others. (ie, put your hand on a flat surface and lift your fingers one by one). Taping your fingers while playing does help, for the same reason - getting them "used" to playing, using stronger fingers as a sort of guide.

    Personally I'm sticking with three fingers (not including thumb). I tried four, but it didn't seem to increase speed that much more, and my pinky fingers are tiny, so I really had to alter my hand position. Also, play slower and/or mid-tempo stuff, so you can hear if each finger is producing a clean and consistent sound.

    As for scales on six-string bass, they're exactly the same, but you can now three-octave versions of them!
  4. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    Don't try to jump into it so fast. Thats like saying if I can play a piece by jaco or Victor wooten i can play anything. Well yeah that might be true.. But you can't expect to be able to play that way if you don't have the basics down.

    If you have always played with a pick, just use two fingers... Besides more often than not, you probably won't be using 3 fingers frequently. I use three fingers... but it also took some hard practicing before I could use 3.. heck it took a long time before i was using 2 correctly. unless i solo, i usually play with 2 fingers. You can still play pretty fast using 2 fingers..

    That said.. Some excersizes i did/do are just playing triplets... play the same note... 123,123,123 combination.... try getting your hands on a metronome or drum machine. and increase the speed gradually..
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