How many fingers do you use?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Ben E, May 9, 2000.

  1. bsfwash


    May 7, 2000
    i broke my pinky popping the other day, it was the coolest thing ever, it hurt like a whore so now i play with 2 fingers

    Some people say smoking herb is a crime, and if they catch you smoking they're bound to drop the dime
  2. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    On my fretting hand, I use all of them (except the thumb). On my picking hand, I use index, middle, ring, with an occasional thumb. I used to use my pinky, but I don't play anything fast anymore!
    The two guys that amazed me to watch were Jack Bruce, who made figure-eights with his index finger all night, and Billy Sheehan, who has all his digits so finely co-ordinated that he literally makes a lot happen with very little movement on the neck.
  3. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I generally play with index/middle and can keep several bars of 16th notes going. Why play more?

    By the does one break a pinky while slapping? And, what exactly were you slapping? confused.gif
  4. theJello


    Apr 12, 2000
    Sorry but I gotta say that I laugh at you guys that pluck with index middle ring pinky.
    3 finger is fine but 4.Comon I would really love to see someone do this well and make it sound good.I did see Billy Sheehan demonstrate it once and it sounded ok but thats Billy Sheehan.He actually only uses 3 fingers in real situations though.I dont see how you could possible acheive an even sound with 4 fingers.You plucking the string in such different areas it creates a different tone for each pluck.Gary Willis has amazing 3 finger technique but his is kind of a hybrid.He only uses his ring finger when when crossing or playing adjacent strings.If he were too play 16th notes on one string he would just alternate index middle.
    I personly use index middle.All the best bassist in the world do this.Jamerson used one finger and played some of the baddest lines ever.Period
  5. Vortex


    Jul 20, 2000
    i always use my index middle and ring finger sometimes my thumb
  6. Licketysplit


    Mar 15, 2000
    All 32!!!!!!!!!!!!

    But Seriously,
    I use all five on my fretting hand (the thumb is pretty useful) And my thumb, pointer, middle, ring, and pinky on my picking hand. Not always all at once, but every once in a while.

    [This message has been edited by Licketysplit (edited July 24, 2000).]
  7. I use three fingers, somewhat like Gary Willis. On the same string or crossing downwards, I play 1-2-3-2 or 3-2-1-2. Whenever I go up a string I always use my ring finger.
  8. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    I use 2, exept when i´m playing fast triplets (or at least trying to)
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I use thumb, index and middle finger. On rare occasions, if my ring finger is really bored, I might let it work with the others, but that's rare. I don't fret with my thumb. I use all five/plucking hand and four/fretting hand for muting.

    the jello says "Sorry but I gotta say that I laugh at you guys that pluck with index middle ring pinky."

    Guess I missed the funny part. What exactly was it, again? :D
  11. ScottE


    Jun 2, 2000
    I use my index and middle finger mostly, but also incorporate the thumb and ring fingers. I'm working on using index, middle, and ring for triplet patterns. It works really well.
  12. theJello


    Apr 12, 2000
    Sorry I should not have had that attitude.

    I do think your an exception though.
    Abraham Laboriel plays with all 5 I believe so
    I really shouldnt say anything.

    You said it.
    It ALL comes down to the individual to decide whats best for himself. Unless it sucks do anything.
    But if its working, sounds good, and it allow you to play better. More power to ya.
  13. Jello-

    No harm, no foul. In the end, within some basic limits, there really are no "rules" about how you do things, as long as it works for you. There are though, more efficient and effective ways at times. Using 4 fingers was very efficient for me, I do not do it for speed, I use that technique because it works well on a 6 string bass, especially when you have to jump across all those strings. It's all a part of my personal laziness, which is why I play a 6 string as well....less shifting is necessary :D.
  14. Deicide666


    May 1, 2000
    well ill tell u what, ive only been playing for a year and a half, but i was truly surprised that more people didnt use all 4 fingers like i do. I tend to use 2 or 3 when playing most stuff, but i find i just need to bring the pinky in for the fast bits. I believe Dave Vincent (ex-morbid angel) did this, as did Glen Benton in Deicide's early years. Just takes a lot of work to sound good, not to say that mine does :)
  15. hell_awaits


    May 2, 2000
    I predominately use index and middle, with an occasional ring(that seems to be the general concensus). Awhile ago someone mentioned that steve harris only used his index and middle. If that is true, then how was he able to produce that "galloping" sound?

    [Edited by hell_awaits on 08-15-2000 at 02:41 PM]
  16. hk2hunterkiler


    Jul 8, 2000
    I see alot of players on this board use more than 2 fingures. I have a question, does that extra finger help my speed on playnig straight 16th notes? i can kinda see how it could help me on play triplets. But what about playing straight 16th notes.

    [Edited by hk2hunterkiler on 08-17-2000 at 10:26 PM]
  17. ...well, lessee.....16th's are 4 notes per beat, and I got 4 fingers going usually....yeah, they make it easier SOMETIMES. The main reason I use 4 fingers isn't for speed though, it's to make the jumps across strings easier.
  18. frost13


    Apr 12, 2000
    Whatever it takes to get it done. Unless I'm fellin' lazy...then I use someone else's fingers....:)
  19. I.'.I.'.Nakoa

    I.'.I.'.Nakoa Guest

    Aug 10, 2000
    Fort Worth.
    I play with my thumb (slap :)) and my index middle and ring .... and i use all my fingers on the fret board... sometimes i use my pinky for fingering but not tooo much. and mostly i play slap though..
  20. hk2hunterkiler


    Jul 8, 2000
    Will it help my speed, by adding the extra finger?
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