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Correct way to learn three-finger technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by H3R3T1K, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. I've checked out this vid:

    I can do the gallop thing now pretty well on each string but it's still a mystery to me how to make three fingers sound even like if you were using two fingers. I do 1-2-3 (index, middle, ring). I think what Alex Webster does is (1-2-3-2). Correct me please. Also I guess most metal players use three fingers for fast single-note stuff and use two fingers when string-skipping is involved. Is that right? Because I feel I'm kind of fast when string-skipping with two fingers but I don't have the endurance yet.
  2. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Moving to 3 or 4 finger technique is nearly like learning to play bass all over again. You really have to start from a very basic place, like quarter notes on a single string for a while. Focus on consistency. Slowly increase speed and complexity. There really is no shortcut or secret. It's a learned skill.

    Sent from my iPad using TalkBass
    Brazilfunk likes this.
  3. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I found 1-2-3 a LOT more difficult than 3-2-1 for both speed and accuracy.

    What you're looking for ultimately is to just be able to play anything you like with less fatigue and more speed and the three finger will help you with that, but it will take some time to assimilate so keep at it.
    marmadaddy likes this.
  4. I just picked up his book the other day - it's actually 3-2-1-2. I haven't really delved into the book much, but it might be worth a look.
  5. I don't know. Most guys say that for them 3-2-1 is easier. For me it's 1-2-3. I think I will adjust Alex Webster's technique to be 1-2-3-2.

    1-2-3 (or 3-2-1 for that matter) is easy once you get the hang of it. It totally works for me when playing a single note or a ascending scale but on the way back my brain wants me to go 3-2-1 and when I start raking when playing a descending scale it just gets messy. So I guess I should skip the raking and strictly stick to 1-2-3-2 for the beginning?
  6. Kyle_S


    Sep 11, 2013
    I've got the book too, and while he does teach that pattern for runs or riffs that have four notes per string, his main pattern for three-finger stuff is 3-2-1-3-2-1-3-etc.
  7. OK I got the gallop down as I said. 1-2-3 feels much more natural than 3-2-1 what most guys do. But what to do when there's 4 notes or more per string? 1-2-3-2 didn't work for me because it feels unnatural (as opposed to 3-2-1-2 but I can already do 1-2-3 quite well so I didn't want to learn it backwards again). So I started adding my pinky going 1-2-3-4 and I've looked on here and I haven't found a guy who does that. Most guys who use the pinky go backwards: 4-3-2-1.
  8. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    As long as you produce the notes you want to, ain't no wrong.
  9. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    I find 3-2-1, much easier and controlled than 1-2-3.
    I practice different permutations of 3 finger plucking in that direction, so it goes 3-2-1/ 2-1-3/ 1-3-2.
    When you have them down individually, it's easy to go 3-2-1-3/2-1-3-2/ 1-3-2-1 and so on. It's basically the same 3-2-1 motion over and over.

    In your case you could go
    1-2-3-1/ 2-3-1-2/ 3-1-2-3 and so on
    so your fingers are always plucking sequentially in same direction.

    I think billy sheehan does it the same way.

  10. AciDBatH666


    Feb 13, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    Alex Webster uses 321321321 and accents the 4th note

  11. Joe Kyle

    Joe Kyle

    Oct 18, 2008

    -Anyone know what model Ibanez the green one is?

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