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3 Finger question

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Krowser, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. Krowser


    Feb 10, 2009
    I started using 3 fingers for plucking, a few months ago.

    It helped me a lot and I'm loving it but before long I hit a little problem.

    3 fingers is awesome for going downwards on notes,

    So lets say, frets 12-10-9,
    Left Hand P--M--I
    Right Hand R--M--I

    fingers: R-M-I (ring middle Index Pinky)

    But, for going up, it doesn't work so well

    If I do: 9-10-12
    Left Hand I--M--P
    Right Hand R--M--I

    I can't play that on anything higher than like... 50 bpm. It's like my brain won't allow me. This is the same problem than trying to turn your ankle clockwise while turning your wrist counter clockwise.

    So at this point I decided to practice going fast with I-M-R (which, for some reason, is alot harder than R-M-I)

    I was wondering what you guys did? Did you practice I-M-R or did you force you brain to accept the mismatch finger conundrum?
  2. Cyber Soda

    Cyber Soda

    Sep 24, 2008
    Well personally, my three finger technique was very slow and sloppy when first starting out, and I forced myself to do the I-M-R thing. I ended up conditioning myself, my technique got better, and ta-da! Here I am. Not nearly the best, but still, my three finger is better then it was before. I will say that you probably shouldn't stress too much over the pattern you finger in. Everyone is different and therefore has something different to bring to the table. Do what's comfortable. But again, I'm by NO means a teacher, and will never claim to be lol. There's my $0.02
  3. doot doot doot

    doot doot doot

    Aug 25, 2007
    I feel like the only person who ever had an easier time with I-M-R than R-M-I. I've always tapped my fingers starting with the index finger since I can remember, and I guess it just carried over. My three finger technique is still a little sloppy though because I rarely practice it seriously. Just give it time and keep working at it and you'll improve.
  4. spong


    Nov 20, 2006
    Ashburn Virginia
    Just keep trying and you will get it eventually. It is just a case of kicking in the muscle memory.

    Try doing scales up and down the board with 3 notes to a string. Do this with a metronome and keep a strict eye on the RMI order. After a while it will start to feel quite natural.

    eg. (in Key of C)

    F G A - on E string
    B C D - on A string
    E F G - on D string
    A B C - on G string

    Then go to
    G A B - on E string
    C D E - on A String
    F G A - on D string
    B C D - on G string etc etc

    and keep going up and down in this manner. It works great for your 3 finger technique and also great for scales etc.
  5. Krowser


    Feb 10, 2009
    Oh my god this is brutal, it feels like its the first time i'm playing bass.

    Right now I was considering getting good at I-M-R, it's going pretty well so far. Not nearly as fast as RMI but it's getting there.
  6. Greyvagabond


    Aug 17, 2007
    Los Angeles
    ...oh wait, this thread isn't what I thought it was about...pity, I had some "3 finger" success stories from last weekend...
  7. spong


    Nov 20, 2006
    Ashburn Virginia
    Try it a bit further up the neck if it is stretching your left hand too much.


    BCD on E
    EFG on A
    ABC on D
    DEF on G

    there are no long stretches in that position.
  8. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Hi Krowser i posted some points on this very thing on some other threads posted below, great points by all involved. It takes time measured years to master these techniques, so keep at it if thats what you want. The rest of this about why this is so. It goes a bit technical as it is based on a published study so take from it what you need..if any :) lol



    You highlight the foot/wrist co-ordination which is a great way to start this off and a lot of fun.
    There is a plausible explanation for the challenge to move your left foot in a clockwise direction while making a counter-clockwise motion with your left hand. The difficulty is not limited to hand/foot coordination. Most people strugle with it on the same side, but switch one over so for example you now have left foot and right hand, a lot easier is i not?

    Try this other little muscle coordination test,
    hold both arms out in front of you, bent at the elbow, palms facing one another. First, move your right arm in forward circle, like the motion of an old steam train wheel piston. Once you have your right arm moving forward in this motion, move your left arm in backward circles, the opposite direction simultaneously.

    If you cannot, no matter how hard you try, make your arms and legs move in opposite directions you are not alone. According to a psychological article by David Rosenbaum, Penn State University, published in November/December Journal of Experimental Psychology, your brain is programmed a certain way.
    The psychological article explains that the brain is the sophisticated wiring that controls our muscle movements. Because of how we are programmed, the brain naturally has more trouble coordinating movements that are in different directions, or non-isodirectional.
    Why? you ask. Give that question some thought.
    Do you more often need to use your limbs in conjunction with one another or in contradiction to one another? Here are a few activities that you may have participated in recently, or at least observed, that will demonstrate coordinated muscle movements: 1) riding a bicycle. Do your legs move in the same direction or opposite directions? If they moved in opposite directions you would never move from square one; 2) swinging a bat. Both arms must move together; 3) folding clothes. The actions are mirror images, but are still in the same direction.

    Also, do not confuse ‘opposite’ with ‘alternating’. Although some of our movements may alternate, they are still in the same direction. It came on our respective mental hard-drives, luckily.

    And why does all of this matter? There have been numerous psychological articles that have reported studies that tested the effects of stroke on motor coordination. The general consensus is that non-isodirectional movements are difficult under normal circumstances. For stroke patients, both isodirectional and non-isodirectional movements are compromised not only on the lesioned brain hemisphere but also on the “unaffected” hemisphere. The conclusion is that both the left and right hemispheres are needed for coordinated muscle movements. When a person suffers a stroke, regardless of the side in which the stroke occurred, the synchronization of motor control movements is negatively affected.

    So there you have it its to do with your brain not your muscles, so train your brain to control your muscles, that control the fingers( these muscles start in your forearms, you really don't as such have muscles in your fingers)
    have fun with it all, some of it is great party tricks after a beer or two LOL :)

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