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How many fingers do you use?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by SnakeKappele, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. One

    16 vote(s)
  2. Two

    196 vote(s)
  3. Three

    82 vote(s)
  4. Four

    23 vote(s)
  5. Five

    8 vote(s)
  6. Pick

    5 vote(s)
  1. SnakeKappele


    Sep 20, 2010
    Just curious how many fingers people "pluck" with.

    Opening myself to unwarranted abuse: I use one finger for 90% of my playing.

    I have a feeling most people use two fingers. Let's find out!
  2. pnut166


    Jun 5, 2008
    I`m...not even gonna go there :)
  3. hachi kid

    hachi kid

    Jun 2, 2008
    Austin, TX
    as many as she can handl....err.......bass playing, gotcha...my normal is 3, but I've been known to use 1, 2, 3, 4, or all 5 if necessary. I sometimes use 3 fingers as a "claw" sort of approach. moving all three in one motion to get a stronger attack with less effort. I also use a pick, every now and then.
  4. 11.
  5. Arrachion


    Feb 24, 2008
    Between two and three. Two...most of the time. Three when I really get going.
  6. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    2 almost exclusively. I couldn't play what I play with one, it just wouldn't be possible, add in some hammer ons and pull offs and I have all the smoothness and speed I need.

    Once in a while there's a chord that I use three fingers on. I practice the Billy Sheehan thing about every day but just for the heck of it, and never use it for anything that we play in a band situation except those few dorky endings that never seem to end.
  7. puddin tame

    puddin tame

    Aug 14, 2010
    Unless you've only got one figure there's no excuse for saying "one"
  8. Tom_RCJ


    Jan 4, 2010
    Cardinal, Ontario, Canada
    Band is sponsored by Trinity Amps and Sennheiser.
    3 usually, 2 if one finger is feeling a bit tired or warm. I get lazy days where my plucking technique gets a bit sloppy and a finger (usually my index) might get a little tired or "warm" from playing too hard, so I just stop using it and play with the other two, a bit softer. I've never been able to use my pinky, it's so short compared to the other ones, I never found a comfy hand position where I can reach the strings with all 4 fingers.

    None of this includes my thumb, which I never use. I never got into slapping. There's plenty of players that do that better than I ever will. I know the thumb isn't just for slapping, but I had a hard time using it when I was playing "finger plucking" on acoustic guitar. It just doesn't have the right smoothness to it.

    Meh. If it gets the job done, have at it man.
  9. SnakeKappele


    Sep 20, 2010
    Tell that to James Jamerson. ;)
  10. 2 gets the job done most of the time, but occasionally a 3rd is required for special moves.

    the thumb rarely gets involved.

    and you can take that whichever way you like.
  11. Mr. BassmanPT

    Mr. BassmanPT

    Aug 15, 2009
    i started playing with only 2 fingers, then i learned the gary willis 3 finger technique and combined it with the use of thumb to plug the b string. the style grew up by itself, when i noticed i was using 4 fingers... so 4 for me! :)
  12. My sentiments are likewise.

    For fast little triplets or something I'll get down on three fingers, but for most other things I use two, just because I have better coordination with my pointer and middle fingers than with any of my other fingers.

    Unless you count the thumb as a finger, in which case, I'd say I use three fingers most of the time.
  13. Classickbass


    Aug 15, 2010
    Kingston, TN
    Just 2 for me. The exception to the rule being when I am trying to gallop, then the ring finger comes into play.
  14. Bufalo

    Bufalo Funk in the Trunk Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Harrisburg, PA
    Two, lead with the middle, and often use both the index and middle at the same time if I'm really hammering on something.
  15. alexbrownebass

    alexbrownebass Endorsing Artist - Genzler Amplication. Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I play with two 95% of the time. I use three when I need to get some fast triplets out, and one when I'm looking for that Jamerson sound.
  16. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    One. Middle finger.

    That is, unless the tempo is so high that I have to use two.
  17. buddysilver


    Feb 7, 2010
    Reading, PA
    I use two for almost everything, but I am starting to learn to use three fingers. I occasionally use a pick but only when needed.
  18. One.
  19. Elrend


    Feb 24, 2008
    I generally treat the electric bass like less of a bass instrument and more of a melody/chordal instrument, therefore I play a lot with four fingers (thumb, I,M,R)
  20. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    You are in good company, as the great "Mr Jamerson" only used one finger.

    Nothing wrong with using one finger, though I'm sure most people ( there was only one Jamerson ;) ) would find it a bit limiting, especially for fast passages.

    I use two fingers.

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