How many fingers do you use to pluck?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by relman, Oct 10, 2001.

  1. Two

    13 vote(s)
  2. Two (including thumb)

    5 vote(s)
  3. Three

    11 vote(s)
  4. Three (including thumb)

    8 vote(s)
  5. Four

    1 vote(s)
  6. Four (including thumb)

    12 vote(s)
  7. Five

    6 vote(s)
  8. Other

    3 vote(s)
  1. I'm just doing this to show off the fact that i can play with all five fingers with consistency!
  2. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    i play with 3. and my thumb when i do a bit of soloing aka showing off according to my guitarist. i dont know why he can do all the solo's he wants but i cant to one note outta place. BUT THATS ANOTHA STORY AINT IT

    yeah i play with my index, middle/RUDE and my ring finger
    and the thumb like i said

  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I usually play with three fingers plus thumb and I'm in the process of adding the pinky a la Matthew Garrison.
  4. bassduder


    Jul 30, 2001
    Canada, GF-W
    I play with 3 fingers, plus the thumb, for slap purposes. I'd like to be able to play with 4, but I don't think my pinky is capable.
  5. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Depends on the song - usually 2, sometimes 3. For flamenco-type plucking, all 4 (including thumb). I hardly use my pinky, except when I do piano-style tapping (even then rarely).
  6. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Four. I do the half-assed Gary Willis thing where I slip the third finger of my right hand in for string crossing or string skipping stuff, arpeggios and repeated triplet patterns. Also tapping.

    Don't use my RH pinky at all, which is obvious if you look at my hands--my LH pinky is noticeably thicker and longer than the right one.
  7. melvin


    Apr 28, 2001
    mainly just 3 including thumb, but the thumb only comes when its slapping or something like the intro for "To Defy the Laws of Tradition"

    But if I can use my ring and pinky finger very good if I want to.

    Final answer = 5.


    Apr 13, 2001
    Kent, England.
    Only 2 fingers. I can't use my other fingers very well. I can usually get enough speed with just two.
  9. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Three minimum. It's not a matter of speed, but rather of economy of motion...each finger gets used less, so they take longer to get tired. Works for me.
  10. Rikishi


    Aug 31, 2001
    New York, NY
    Generally for most gigs I just use the index and middle fingers, but I'll use the thumb if I want to play muted grooves. If I try to fake a chord melody solo, I'll play with 4 fingers almost like a classical guitar (p, i, a, m), which I had studied a long time ago.
  11. Sexualscar


    Jul 4, 2001
    i play generally with two, but it depends greatly on the song. if i am doing chords, i either pluck with thumb and index, or i strum with all my fingers. if i need to do some triplets, i use three, ring, middle, and index. i have worked hard and i am fastest with my index and middle, and solo doing that.
  12. 2 or 3 if the song is just regular fingerstyle. Thumb for slapping. For droning strings or something along those lines, I lay my karate chop edge down behind the bridge and use my thumb and forefinger. Slapping thumb of course. Tapping I use every finger on both hands except thumbs and pinkies.
  13. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Three plus thumb.

    Five fingers? Intriguing....
  14. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    I use any and all fingers plus thumb to pick depending on what I'm trying to do. For most medium tempo stuff with minimal string crossing etc. I will use just 2 fingers most of the time though.
  15. Often

    Often Guest

    Oct 4, 2001
    Stockholm Sweden
    erm, What's the difference between "Four (including thumb)" and "Five"? :D Just in case you're not a freak :eek:;)
  16. WarwickFRK

    WarwickFRK Guest

    Oct 14, 2001
    index/middle. thumb for slappin' sometimes i use the ring finger for gallop parts but mainly index/middle. that's all i need.
  17. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    re: economy of motion- I switched from a 2 finger pluck to 3 finger method. At first I could play a little longer stuff with the 3 fingers, but eventually my first 2 fingers became less "in shape" and slowed down. So there was no net gain of speed or endurance for me.
  18. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    "Four (including thumb)" does not include the pinky. Get it?

    Me? Four (including thumb). ;)