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3 fingers

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by fink_91, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. fink_91


    Mar 13, 2008
    I am new to the Talk Bass forum but I have been playing bass for around a year in half. I currently use 2 fingers to play and I want "upgrade" to 3. I am practicing the 3 finger technique and I know its personal preference of how you want to do it. But I want to know what you guys think and which way is the fastest.

    I currently go index, middle, index, ring, index, middle...etc.
    and index, middle, ring, middle, index.

    Any advice, I will appreciate greatly.
  2. HollowBassman


    Jun 24, 2007
    Hancock, MD
    The fastest way will be the one that feels most natural.
  3. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    Try odd rythms to get your fingers moving. For three fingers start with straight 1/8s and accent 1 and 3. This will put the accent on a different finger each time. Once you get used to that move to more complicated rythms: 1e& ,2 &a, & , a.... and move accents around.

    Practice both backwards and forwards until any finger pattern feel normal and then practice again :)
  4. fink_91


    Mar 13, 2008
    The index, middle, index, ring way feels natural. But the other way does as well. I think I can move faster with the index, middle, index, ring way.

    The akward thing about learning to play with 3 fingers is that it feels as if I am starting to learn all over again like string skipping.
  5. fink_91


    Mar 13, 2008
    Thanks Mikey for the advice

    Gonna break out the ole metronome
  6. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Lots of good advice above.

    For what it's worth, I find that I get the most speed from 132132...etc., Where 1 is index, 2 is middle, and 3 is ring. It is like drumming your fingers but with an added 1 at the very beginning. As with any such pattern you need lots of practice to even out the 16th notes to sound in groups of four.
  7. Kennethfaria

    Kennethfaria Banned

    Mar 12, 2008
    master bassists of metal ( =P ) get 14 to 16 notes each second . INSANE!
  8. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    +1. For me, thats Ring Middle Index Middle, etc. For a friend of mine, it's Index Middle Ring Index. Another guy I know plays Index Middle Index Ring. Whatever works for you. Try a few patterns out.
  9. jschwalls


    Sep 4, 2007
    Savannah GA
    Here is a VERY SIMPLE video I posted on youtube so my students could access it for reference... it is my technique. It may spawn a new idea for you.. which is always my goal with any of my students. Also there are some other exercise videos that may be useful as well..

    Have fun, enjoy, and be the kind of bassist YOU want to be.


  10. This I learned from Steve Bailey. When practicing on the metronome, try to use your three fingers doing five notes per beat. So, let's say you're at 40bpm, get five strikes on the beat, and on the next. It will ensure that you'll use three different fingers for every beat.

    As for the sequence, I just do what's natural. Imagine you're at a cliff with only the three fingers keeping you alive: how would you use them to 'carry' back on top? You can do this on a table, just use your imagination - it should help you decide your natural sequence.
  11. There is one problem with your technique,

    If you use Index mid index ring or index mid ring mid index, you are absolutly not gaining speed at all because you always are alternating with one finger. In the first case, the index is used twice as much as the other and it doesn't have the time to get back in place any faster to hit the string.

    The only way you are going to gain speed is by going, 123123123123 or 321321321321. because everytime a finger strikes a string it has two strokes from other fingers to get back in place to pluck again.
  12. fink_91


    Mar 13, 2008
    Woah lots of good advice and I apreciate all of it.

    I'm going to try the index, middle, ring, middle, index way or maybe the index, ring, middle, index way and look at the video when I get home...since I'm at school and youtube is blocked AND I don't have my bass with me.
  13. Lunatique


    Nov 23, 2007
    Lincoln, CA
    I've been drilling myself on three fingers for the last few months and I'm getting really comfortable with it at this point. I find the order of which fingers sort of naturally corresponds to the order of the left fingers. So if I'm playing a something that on the left hand goes index, ring, middle, my right hand naturally mirrors that. I actually find it hard to force my right hand to use 123-123-123 regardless of what my left hand is playing.

    And yeah, 3 fingers to me is smoother, since most scales you play with the left hand, it's almost always either 3 or 2 notes per string, with 3 being the most dominant occurrence, so it makes sense that your right hand mirrors that.
  14. And Matt G does 32nds at 172. So?
  15. fink_91


    Mar 13, 2008
    I have noticed like with what Lunatique said about the right hand mirroring the left hand and its really hard to force myself to not follow the left hand but if its not a problem I'm not going to worry about it.

    And also I'm not noticing any speed increase in my hand. I can do 8th notes now like nothing but can't quite do 16th notes. I don't know if its a with time and practice you'll get faster kinda thing or if I'm doing it wrong.

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