Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Fingerpicking with more than 2 fingers

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by TheFrizzleFry, Nov 28, 2000.


  1. TheFrizzleFry

    TheFrizzleFry Guest

    Nov 21, 2000
    Stinktown, Pa, USA
    Could you guys tell me a way to help me learn to use 3 or even 4 fingers so I can get some speed. I know practice makes perfect but is there a specific way to practice. I've tried more than a little bit and it isn't catching on. I'd like to be able to fingerpick stuff like Heart of The Sunrise by Yes or some Old Metallica
     
  2. brewer9

    brewer9

    Jul 5, 2000
    I use three fingers but not necessarily for speed. For me it depends on if i'm doing triplets or straight notes (whatever those are called). For the fastest straight notes i use two fingers but for triplets (or gallopy-sounding progressions) i use three.
     
  3. TheFrizzleFry

    TheFrizzleFry Guest

    Nov 21, 2000
    Stinktown, Pa, USA
    I get that gallopy sound too! Well I'll check out that hanging ten on bass, I already checked that out but it was about 4 months ago. Now I know more and it'll probably help a bit more, thanks.
     
  4. EdgarHons

    EdgarHons

    Oct 14, 2000
    << Could you guys tell me a way to help me learn to use 3 or even 4 fingers so I can get some speed. I know practice makes perfect but is there a specific way to practice. I've tried more than a little bit and it isn't catching on. I'd like to be able to fingerpick stuff like Heart of The Sunrise by Yes or some Old Metallica >>




    Considering I just recently switched to 3 and then to 4...I'll try to help. Since you like Metallica (Thumbs up), I can give you some examples to work with. What helped for me was songs like Master of Puppets (intro) and Orion (intro)...when I was still using 2 fingers, for some reason, ring and middle just worked best for me on these. I had instinctively just used these 2, but it could be replicated. What I suggest is playing some familiar songs you know with ring and middle opposed to (What I guessing you use) index and middle...

    Then just try rolling your fingers along the strings with index, middle, and ring (Although I do it in reverse order) and make it speedy. A good way to practice is just tapping your fingers on a table. Do it in a sequential order...index, middle, ring, index, middle ring, etc...

    You'll probably notice your pinky going with your ring finger when you do this, it's probably the way your fingers work. To work with ring, just let this happen. Once you're pretty comfortable with ring, work on the pinky...

    It'll be different for the pinky because like I said, it'll probably tend to go with the ring. I suggest trying playing with just two fingers again, one being pinky. I prefer to use my index as the other, because A. It's easier for me, and B. It looks cool, Cliff used to do it a lot. You'll get used to using your pinky, and getting a good sound out of it. Then, work on exercises to separate the ring and pinky...you can try the tapping thing, but making sure your pinky and ring go separately, use your other hand for help maybe. You could also try walking with your fingers (Not a bass term, I'm sayin just pretend they're legs) with your ring and pinky. Eventually, try playing with just pinky and ring...once comfortable with that, put it all together. Try the rolling across the string things...pretty soon it'll be all good. I still don't use pinky except when playing something mad fast, so you can just use 2 or 3 fingers for regular stuff then too.

    Also, you can try playing something familiar, and just say "For this note, I'll use my ring finger" and do it...don't forget the other fingers however, and mix it up. Just start playing everything like that, and soon it'll be second nature. I don't know if this helps, but it worked for me, and I managed to get both ring and pinky working within a week. Don't try doing it within a week, and when it comes to bass playing, don't set quotas or deadlines at all. Let things come at their own pace, and don't force yourself to learn, you won't have the same feeling or emotion. Unless you're playing Garage Days/Inc. stuff...you don't need even need your pinky to play, it's generally pretty fair-paced. Rock the nub!
     
  5. FaultLine423

    FaultLine423

    Aug 27, 2000
    You don't necessarily have to use more than two fingers to play old metallica songs, or other fast metal bands' songs in general. It takes more practice, but in my opinion it's better to be able to play fast with the same technique you use to play slow. I tried playing fast with 4 fingers, but it didn't work too well for my playing, so I switched back to two, and I can still crank out songs like "Damage Inc." and "Dyer's Eve."

    NWH