3 Finger technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Kylethedudeman3, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. Kylethedudeman3


    Dec 28, 2009
    Hey, I was told awhile ago that sticking your pinky straight out (while comfortable) is a bad technique. Trying to play like that with my pink tucked in, is extremely uncomfortable so I don't use 3 fingers. My question to talkbass is -- Is this really a bad technique? And if it is, how so? :help::help::help::help::help:
  2. There's no right or wrong technique. Do what ever works and is comfortable for you.

    Personally I use a 1-3-4 technique, because that's what works for me.
  3. Getaway Driver

    Getaway Driver

    May 31, 2009
    Omaha, NE
    I don't see how having your pinky out could be bad, particularly if it's comfortable for you. That the key. If it hurts, don't do it. That's how your muscles tell you that you're doing something wrong.
  4. grifff


    Jan 5, 2009
    Towson, Maryland
    While picking or fretting?

    I'm assuming you mean picking. When I use 3 finger technique I try to stay as relaxed as possible, so my pinky kind of just hangs there. If it is uncomfortable then it is most likely not a good way to play.
  5. I heard that it's because by having your pinkie extended, you're adding stress on the tendons in your other fingers instead of having them relaxed, which will allow your hand to move more naturally and cause less stress on your hand over longer periods of playing. I use the 3 finger technique for playing but I do tuck my pinkie in under my hand while the other 3 are plucking. I also include my thumb into my technique sometimes as well, ala Matthew Garrison. If it doesn't cause you problems or get in your way then you're alright. However, if it's possible then try it out. Try to get used to having your pinkie tucked in. I'm sure it's just a matter of practice. It may keep you from further problems down the road.
  6. Essen

    Essen Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    I can't really move any of my fingers 100% independently. If I tuck in my pinky, I can't move my ring finger at all. As long as you don't deliberately extend your finger, you're better of than if you where deliberately holding it back.
  7. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Good question but a common problem in the plucking hand is about where the fingers swing from. If the right hand technique is correct then the little finger will curl in everytime, it becomes so hard to leave it out.

    The hand is designed to work with the joints and transfer loads through them....not over them as a bad technique will do.
    In a bad technique a player swings from the 1st knuckle from the wrist, in a good technique a player swings from 2nd knuckle from the wrist.
    If you you bend all the fingers from the 1st knuckle the fingertips are all different lengths. So if you swing from this
    1st knuckle joint you get a wide longer sweeping arc to the strings and the load go over the joints.

    If you bend the fingers from the 2nd knuckle, the fingertips are now all level, the arc is steeper and shorter, and the loads go through the joints.

    You will find in the 2nd knuckle technique the fingers not used ( apply this to 1,2,3,4 finger techniques) remain flexed in. The is the natural position for a relaxed hand is to have a slight curl to it, so all we do when in this position is to enhance that flex. In this position you never have the "flicking" little finger because it is being occupied by having to curl.

    The subject is a bit more deeper than just these points but these are a few of the main ones.
    For more info check out the blogs at
    or drop me a PM:)


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