I receive an email or PM about once every week or two on average asking about how I use this technique, so I figured Id start one definitive thread containing most of the material Ive collected on the topic. All of the questions are based on ones I've received or seen here on TalkBass. I'm not an expert, but I do have some experience, and since people seem interested in it, I figured I'd post it. The guide is divided into four posts. Questions are in bold. Quotes from Matthew Garrison are in blue. Quotes from Mike Flynn are in red. Quotes from me are in plain text. What is the basis of the technique Matthew Garrison uses? His technique is basically a four-finger free stroke technique, using his thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers in that order. This is a quote from Garrison himself from a 2004 interview: I started experimenting with the 4-finger right hand technique just before I started playing with Zawinul. I was looking at the pizzicato techniques that were being used by Dominique Di Piazza, Victor Wooten, Gary Willis, and I came up with a hybrid technique using concepts from all three of these guys. I noticed that my thumb was just always there on the string not doing anything so I started to incorporate the thumb along with my index, middle, and ring fingers. It made total sense to me because I would have four fingers available on my right hand and four fingers on my left so each one could cover one note. As compared to the standard two-finger approach, your speed is doubled immediately. You can play twice as many notes while exerting only half the energy. It's really about economy of motion. It's totally effortless. I've always had a really strong background when it comes to understanding harmony and knowing how to deal with it so the techniques came after I had the knowledge of the fretboard. I matured as a musician before adding these techniques. Do you have an exercise you could suggest to someone wishing to adopt your 4-finger right hand technique? Yes. The basic principle is that the thumb is indicated by the number 1, index finger is 2, middle finger is 3, and ring finger is 4. The motion that works best for me is simply a downstroke with the thumb (1) followed by index (2), middle (3), and ring fingers (4). The first step is making sure that each finger is completely independent of the others so practice doing downstrokes with your thumb as fast as you can go on a single string followed by just your index, middle, and ring fingers. Do all of them separately. The next step is to combine fingers such as 1 and 2, 1 and 3, as well as 1 and 4. Do all of the remaining combinations: 2 and 1, 2 and 3, 2 and 4, 3 and 1, 3 and 2, 3 and 4, 4 and 1, 4 and 2, 4 and 3. Then, work through all the three finger combinations followed by using all four fingers. To practice string crossing, for example, between the E and A strings, you can play the E string with your thumb followed by your index, middle, and ring fingers on the A string. You can also practice playing the E string with your thumb and index finger followed by your middle and ring fingers on the A string. Or, play the E string with your thumb, index, and middle fingers followed by the ring finger on the A string. There are a lot of possibilities to consider. I would then experiment with exercises to break up the pattern and place accents on different beats. It's a very thorough process that you work on one step at a time. My bass technique book will cover all this material starting with basic exercises like this that progress through scales, arpeggios, and eventually culminate with specific bass lines from my tunes using all four fingers. Another quote from Matthew Garrison about the technique from Bass Player: Your four-finger solo technique now seems to be your standard technique in all situations, and youre using it more musically in uptempo solos, instead of as an effect. RightIve even been using the technique for two-note grooves. Its something I adapted from Gary Williss three-finger approach, and I honed it during my stints with Zawinul and John McLaughlin. I play a downward thumb pluck and upward plucks with my right-hand index, middle, and ring finger, which are curled underneath; then I mute with the side of my thumb and my left hand. It started as a flurry effect before my brain caught up to it, but I always had Art Tatums virtuosic flourishes in mind. Its not so much the Coltrane/Pharoah Sanders/Stanley Clarke sheets-of-sound concept, where theyre screaming on their instruments from their soul. For me its not about the volume or the amount of notes coming out; its about the intent and the intensity. I want to be able to scream over changes.