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flutter finger picking

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by shatner, Dec 31, 2004.

  1. shatner


    Sep 22, 2004
    Isle Of Wight, UK
    I noticed a post on odd techniques and I think I've developed one which might help with some of you who have also posted talking about picking speed.
    I have developed a technique that allows me to play as fast with one finger as I can with three. Simply play back and forth with your first finger on one string. This creates an upstroke and downstroke like the Victor Wooten slap technique and gives a kind of flutter effect like flutter tonguing on the flute.
    It allows you to get some real speed and with a bit of practice you can get the up stroke as hard and defined as the down stroke. It also allows you to play fours more easily at speed than with three fingers. Three finger picking tends to lend itself to triplets more than 8ths or 16ths.
    Have any of you tried or seen this technique before?

    I am yet to practice it across strings but it is good for tremolo on one note at a time and can help with playing fast 16th note metal songs. Damage Inc by Metallica is good for practicing this technique.

  2. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Many times. Try it with two fingers, that's fun. :D
  3. I've been doing that for three years, and thought I invented that trick. :)

    Glad to hear someone else is doing it, too!
  4. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Chuck Rainey shows something like that in his Hot Licks instructional video. :)
  5. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Yep, learned that one with three fingers -- I can kinda do it with four if I'm fully warmed up.
  6. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
    Is it just me, or is that like Geddy's current technique (on Rush in Rio)?
  7. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    No. He does a strum type thing with his first finger, or his second and third.
  8. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yes - I use it for DredZeppilin's version of Sunshine of Your Love, Boosies Hollywood squares, and... uh.. some other things I can't remember now.

    I started out with a pick, and moved to finger style. Playing flutter-finger like that is, in my mind, just doing the same thing I would have done with a pick, but i can mix it in with conventional finger style too (that bootsie part I do ALL with only one finger though - but I play more notes than I heared on the record, and make it more 'shuffly', so my index is going 'flip-a flip flip-a flip-a...').

  9. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    I've been using that technique since the early 70's. I.e., it is an old established technique as I wasn't the first. I can do it with any finger and my usual is to do it using two fingers, but I do a flamenco type attack with four and sometimes use three alternating for fast triple feel. String crossing is easy with this technique as well since you can "leave" one finger on say the E string and then use the alternate picking with another finger(s) on another string(s).
  10. are we talkin' some kinda flamenco strum type thing here?
  11. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    No, we're just talking about using the pad and the back of the finger, and alternating back-and-forth like you would with a pick.

    Now I keep my plucking-finger nails very short (in fact I think I'm pushing back the uh.. end.. like they're getting smaller), so when I alternate I'm trying to not be going 'skin-nail-skin-nail; I try to keep it off the fingernail, and just kind of brush the finger tip. 'flip-a flip flip-a flip-a...'


    (edit) Oh - but to get a full picture now: I'm muting with my thumb by laying it against all the strings above the one I'm picking, and I only flutter with the index.