How to play with 3 fingers?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by liran, Jul 11, 2001.

  1. liran


    Dec 18, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I was just wondering, what is the best way to become good at playing with 3 fingers. What is the best pattern, what exercises are there. I want to learn how, because i want to keep on learning new things on the bass. Is it faster to play with 3 fingers?
  2. sorry so sound arrogant b/c i'm not but just do it. someone could tell you how to do it but the best way to develope you're style is to do it your way. i don't play with 3 fingers but the method i've heard most is index middle ring middle index repeat. it's 2 to 3 fingers! if you had 3 legs i'm sure you could find a way to run faster. at first it'll slow but keep it up and you won't believe how fast you're playing.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I'd prefer ring, middle, index, ring, middle, index, etc.

    The index, middle ring direction is more awkward IMO, especially when you change direction, like StarzNAGlassJar proposed. Changing the direction will just prevent your flow.

    When you drum your finger you drum from the pinky to the index, right?
    So that's probably the best finger direction for multifinger plucking.
  4. listen to jmx. i don't even play with three fingers. i play with four but i go index on down to pinky and repeat. but that's besides the point. listen to him and you'll probably feel better. i just wanted to help you b/c i saw that no one had at the time
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    The best way is the same old tired answer, "Practice." There is no substitute for finger time.

    Now, practice what? You need to develop finger independence. One instructional resource for this that I found helpful is a regimen called, "Hanging Ten." You'll see the hyperlink to it listed at . It's worth at least a look to see what you think.

    It is faster to play with 3 fingers if those 3 fingers are doing the "right" things and you're using economy of motion. The music really dictates whether 3, 4, or 5 is faster. Using too many fingers just for the sake of using as many fingers as possible can just foul you up on a simple bassline that doesn't jump around from string to string and all over the neck.
  6. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I have to say, I rarely use three or four fingers in performing (not that I notice anyway). I do however do some in drills and for warm up.

    A good exercise is to do the 123123123123...
    Or 123412341234....
    Even better is the 1232123212321232123
    Try also 1234321234321234321...

    Hey, I'm getting a work out just typing this!!!
  7. bggeezer

    bggeezer Guest

    May 25, 2001
    its been said before, practice, practice and practice

    that said ....i find 321321321321 the best way
    ring, middle, index just keep plugging away until you lose the triplet rhythm.....

    THAT SAID......try the William Tell Overture....
    I use it as a warm up for both works!

    is it faster...well like the amps that go up to 11....its 1 faster! ;-)