4 finger playing?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by .-.LeX.-., Apr 30, 2002.

  1. hey guys.. yeh, a friend of mine was telling me about playing with four fingers on your picking hand... any of you guys do this? know of any good excerzizes ?

  2. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I personally just use 2. I've played around with the 3/4 finger stuff and it just didn't work for me. Over the years I've developed quite a bit of speed with just two fingers and have no desire to use any more.
  3. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    I use 2 primarily, but when is suits the phrasing, I use 3 or 4, and it is just practice with something that requires it that makes it easier.

    Currently I'm working on i-a-m (a-m-i syncopated) for a Iron Maiden's "The Trooper", which is --e s s-- for most beats at 150bpm (nuts)
  4. I use four fingers but not in in the traditional method. I use one finger for each string. Middle-G; Index-D; Ring-A; Pinky-E. My speed on one string is limited, but i excel when alternating between strings. The hope of my technique is eventually to play alternating polyrythms, but that will take more practice. If you want to use four strings instead of two just practice your scales, modes, coils and any other excercises you can with a metronome. its very slow at first but it comes quick if youy stick with it.
  5. Mathias_TfG


    Apr 28, 2002
    New York
    I have found that four finger picking works best when you alternate fingers 1324. I can get a cleaner sound this way than 1234 or using only three fingers. when playing across strings, I usually start with my ring finger - 3241 - the same pattern, with a different starting point (no special reason for the switch, just that I have the most control with my ring finger, so thats the one that I tend to lead with.

    To practice this, first start by placing your hand on the table with the fingers partially curled (in a position similar to how you hold your picking hand when you play) lift pairs of alternate fingers from the table (1&3, then 2&4). Once you have developed the ability to do this while keeping the other two flat on the table with little or no difficulty, try tapping 13241324... or 32412341... etc. You can drive a lot of people crazy this way :D . Once you can do this with a steady rhythm, try playing something simple on your bass that way.

    Good luck.
  6. steve harris uses 3 fingers alot
    try the fast bit in prowler to get that good
  7. Steve Harris DOES NOT use 3 fingers, he plays lots of triplets but he only uses his index and middle finger... It's his own words at ironmaiden.com and other interviews that I've seen...

    To build dexterity and independence try to fret on the same string with different order than your plucking finger. I mean, I use i-m-r-p(1234) on my plucking hand and playing -2-4-3-1- for example on the A string can be confusing the plucking fingering order. You can change the figure and try to fret -1-3-4-2-. To play scales is also a good idea as you'll also change the string.

    And a golden rule of thumb, if you really want to use this technique don't let it easily (like the very beginning of other techniques), because it can be very hard at first times, even harder than it looks... It's my two cents I hope I didn't sound too arrogant and hope it works for you...
  8. melvin


    Apr 28, 2001
    I use four fingers...only when Im goofing around though. Ive never ever had a good use for the 4 finger thing, except when I start "shredding" with my guitarist.
  9. herrera


    Feb 15, 2002

    acording to severan teachers of clasical guitar of spain and here in mexico , the pinky finguer does not work, the only thing that he done , is take away the SPEED of the other finguers....

    you will see ....and i quote the things that the y told me

    "if i really know that it can´nt be used for somethng i will take it away"

    "it not even work for carry the coffee cup"

    "i hate that finguer"

    and i can go on ...

    but if you are really into it...i develope a very good techique if 3 finguers ...just by doing all the things i used to know with 2 finguers ( I, M) by doing that with the M and R (2 , 3) ...you can try the R and P ...

    i once try it but...i didnt make a big speed , like on the otherones...

    so i dont use it much

    sorry my english
    jajaj:D ;) :p :cool