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4 finger Picking

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by IMsher, Jul 1, 2002.


  1. IMsher

    IMsher Guest

    Mar 13, 2002
    Coos Bay OR.
    I am tring to add my pinky finger to my right hand technique. Because it is so much shorter then the rest of my fingers, I am having trouble getting a clean sound and to get even time. So! I guess my question is, do I need to put my hand in a special position or is it going to be just a matter of practice.

    :confused: :D
     
  2. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Practice makes perfect

    BUT

    Why on earth would you want to use 4? I have just enough trouble with 3. If its speed your looking for, just use the 3 or get really good with the 2. IMHO 4 fingers to pick with is just pointless and more trouble than its worth.
     
  3. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    So far I've seen soo many people trying to go for more than two. In my whole time I've been playin' bass (not too long, but not too short either), I can tell you that I prefer two, three's pushin' it and four is just stupid. You said yourself that it's to short, so the best thing you could do is hit like E's with it while you're playin' something on D or G. But, if you're goin' for speed, just listen to "Only the good die young" by Iron Maiden, Steve Harris only uses two fingers in that song, the whole time, I know 'cause I've seen recordings of it live. But, if you're not going for speed, then what are you going for?
     
  4. Actually to me 3 just feels right and it does help with speed but you have to practice to make it sound regular and not having this galloping sound
     
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Three is nice and comfortable, four can be awkward because of the pinky.

    It has some potential but I agree you can do (almost) anything with just two. Heck, most stuff can be done with one.
     
  6. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    LMAO, I hate to say it, I think you're right about the one thing...I have this thing with mine that I can hit the strings movin' downward, and then when I come back up (downstroke/upstroke kind-of thing, just with my finger not a pick), and I can actually be pretty fast, but it's very quite when I do it...
     
  7. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    He uses a pick doesnt he?
     
  8. No he does not use a pick, never as far as I know. His fingernails make that clicking sound
     
  9. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I think you're right on the fingernail part. But I KNOW for a FACT that he doesn't use a pick. Never has, never will. If I can get a snipet of the video where he plays that part, I'll shoot it over to ya...
     
  10. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Nah its cool. Too much trouble :D Ill take your word for it.

    Hey IMsher,
    Hows the fingering going?
     
  11. IMsher

    IMsher Guest

    Mar 13, 2002
    Coos Bay OR.
    Well the little bit of practic I have done has proved to be helpful but no where near where I want it to be yet. However, my 3 finger technique has improved because of it. ;) I will work at it for a while and let you know if it was worth the trouble for me.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  12. Locrian

    Locrian

    Jun 6, 2002
    SF
    Steve Harris's clicking sound is not his fingernails. It's the sound of his thick Monel flats whacking his fretboard/frets when he plays.
     
  13. Beaver felton uses 4 when he's soloing really fast. He bend his hand until it's nearly parallel to the fretboard, he goes mad crazy with 4 fingers. Almost to the point that you can't distinguish the notes, but to me 4 is just ridiculous, why would you need to go that fast? if you want to, by all means go ahead though.
     
  14. It is his fingernails although it may be his fingernails and the flats combined, he said that it was his fingernails in some interview but I don't remember where.
     
  15. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I seem to recall that interview as well...I think it was on VH1 or something? Can't remember for shure. Maybe it was on one of the tapes I have :D?
     
  16. Do you have two eyes? Why do you use both where you can still see with only one? :rolleyes:

    4 fingers picking is hard to use in the very beginning. The change of right hand angle will help you to use your pinky. Let's say if you normally put your right hand 15 degree to the axis of the string for 2 fingers picking, increase this angle to some 45 degree. In this angle your pinky finger will be able to pluck strings easily. You can work to strengthen your pinky and independence from your ring finger as well. If you continue to practise I think you'll be happy with the result but this doesn't happen the next day....

    Wish it helps you
     
  17. Michael Yetton

    Michael Yetton

    Dec 11, 2000
    Essex, UK
    Jaco used two fingers!!! Leave at that, man! :D
     
  18. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Can someone name one player that uses 4 fingers to pluck? That way I can decide if it's worth it. :rolleyes: Why is it that the best bassists in the world use two fingers? Can you imagine what you could accomplish with the time you spend trying to learn to play with 4 right hand fingers?
     
  19. Slap McPoppy

    Slap McPoppy

    Jul 12, 2002
    I saw Bill Dickens playing at a clinic and he was using all four fingers to do runs as well as chords.

    Regarding right hand technique, I think it is fair to say that there are many techniques that should be used to achieve different results. For example, if I'm doing a fast run, I'll generally alternate two fingers while keeping my plucking hand in the classical position. If I'm playing arpeggios, I might play like a country fingerpicker (one finger per string.) For a really tight groove, I might play with just my thumb. For slap/pop, a different technique is required. For tapping, another technique is needed. I've never invested the time to master 3 or 4 finger runs (I'm satisfied with the speed I can achieve with 2), but if you have the time and the desire, go for it! Just be aware that (from the audience's and other musicians' point of view) it is more important to master one technique than to fake many, so consider how much time you have to practice and make wise decisions on how that time is spent.
     
  20. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Matthew Garrison...

    But basically I agree with you, I think the gain in speed is only quite marginal, unless you count in tricks like note bursts. And it depends a lot on what you play. Maybe you can speed up linear lines that are executed without too many string changes, but I think string skipping stuff (e.g. lots of octaves) is actually slower and harder to do with 4 than with 2.