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I really dont know if i should use 2 or 3fingers...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Suckbird, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Well so in the beginning of this summer i started to use 3fingers, it felt very unnatural in the beginning but i kept practicing it and suddenly i started to become pretty good on it...

    but a couple a days ago my ringfinger started to hurt, not the tip of it's the finger that hurts, so i thought i was going to practice with a pick instead of my two-finger technique...

    i hate using pick so now i played a little with two fingers again and believe it or not they are faster than ever, it was about a month ago i practiced with them so i thought they would be in bad shape, but they was in great condition and now i start to wonder if should keep practicing my 3finger technique or go back to 2fingers...

    what do you think? also, i think i'm going to practice my two-finger technique tomorrow, is this going to slow down the healing process of my ring finger?
  2. As long as it doesn't hurt to play, then I think your ring finger will heal just fine. I've tried 3 finger technique. It allows me to get a fast "giddy-up" rhythm, but that's about it. I don't think that either technique is necessarily faster; it all depends on how much you refine it for one or the other.
  3. When I first picked up a bass I was a huge Steve Harris (Iron MAiden) fan...and he (still does) had the most awesome 3 fingered technique. Still for the first couple of years the closest I could come to that level of playing was to use a pick. But the more I played around with it, gradually I layed the picks down and found I had become quite fast and accurate with 2 fingers....then again, gradually I started working in the 3rd on certain things. Now at a gig, when we are playing songs that Ive played a thousand times and find myself getting a little bored...I find myself playing these little "games" where Ill pluck out the whole tune using my middle and ring fingers only, or my index and ring fingers only, then Ill alternate between the 2 to make our simplest songs a brutal challenge for me. Before long...you will be "galloping" and "machine gunning" your bass lines in perfect triplet fashion!

    Best Wishes!
  4. EchO


    Aug 3, 2005
    Obviously if you can get down the three finger technique, it is much quicker that using just 2, bc u have another finger to play with... Just like that guy said, Steve Harris uses 3 fingers. Do you know why? Bc alot of their music is so fast, it's near impossible to do with just 2 fingers (AND A PICK IS CHEATING) hehe
  5. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    Quick off-topic question...

    I've been practicing 3 fingers too latelly... i have a pretty big problem with muting... how do you guys mute? ...Do you still use your ring finger? or pinky? or left hand?
  6. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    I always use floating-thumb, best muting technique i've tried.

    My ring finger doesn't really hurt, i could play with it now but after a cuple of hours it hurt very bad again..
  7. burntgorilla


    Jan 24, 2005
    I think maybe as you improved at 3 fingers, your first two fingers improved as well? I'm learning the three fingered method, by playing it in a 3212 way, which gets rid of the galloping rhythm. So far, I can almost play 8th notes at 170bpm (I get muddled up trying to count sixteenth notes, being stupid and all that), so I can play at a decent speed, but not as fast as I can with just two. For how long did you find it unnatural?
  8. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Dont know a couple of weeks...

    But i play 3-2-1, i think that's better because when you play 3-2-1-2 the longfinger does the same work as if you played with 2fingers...
  9. conduit


    Jul 1, 2004
    I almost always use 2 fingers. I find that I can play much more accurate and controled when I use 2 fingers, and speed is rarely a problem. I only use 3 fingers when I play fast triplets or very fast 16th notes, while staying on the same string (when going to another string, I always use 2).
    When I started playing bass though, I tended to use the 3rd finger more because I wasn't able yet to play fast enough with 2 fingers in some situations. After a while I just started to automatically use 2 fingers. So I'd say, just do what's most comfortable for you, and practice that way so you won't sound sloppy.
  10. EchO


    Aug 3, 2005
    I'd say just practice your 3 finger technique with a metronome and get decent with it. It will improve your 2 finger technique, so if you get decent with your 3 finger and decide you don't like it... hey at least your 2 finger will now be better. It's just like anything else... if you practice enough doing something, you will get good at it.
  11. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I am a huge Harris fan, and I've been playing his stuff with two fingers.
    I am a little slacky at points, but I can keep up.

    I really should start using three fingers...
  12. Ozzyman


    Jul 21, 2004
    ... I hate to break the bad news, but Harris only used two fingers.
    Three finger technique definately requires more work because of the ring finger (which is our worst finger). It makes string skipping especially hard. And tight punchy funk stuff I play with two fingers because my ring finger can get that sound (too weak).
    But if you want to play Dream Theater or Racer X then learn three fingers. Btw John Alderete only used two which is pretty amazing. Though I still believe three fingers is best for fast rock.
  13. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Well, i've yet to find a iron maiden song that's to fast for me when i use two fingers...

    Funny you would say racer x because i'm working on scarified right now, it's pretty tough one.
    First time i learned it i just rushed it and played it like a sloppy ass at full speed so now i've started to work on the main riff and the first solo(the triplets keeps me from playing almost at full spee).

    Also, i've been practicing this song with 3 fingers and everytime i have to do the triplets G-G#-bB-C i mess up when i have to use my
    middle finger to ascend, isn't that weird?

    I sometimes mess up when i descend with my middle finger too while everything with my ring finger is fine..
  14. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    I play "The Trooper" along with the "Live After Death" recording with two fingers. I can play it with three and it's far more comfortable, but I don't like to do it that way because of the dramatic change in tone. Of course, that means that I'm not so proficient with three-finger technique.
  15. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    It doesn't matter if you play with 2 or 3 or 10 fingers. Just do what comes naturally. don't forget that the bottom line is if it sounds good.
  16. Spikeh

    Spikeh Sex Strings

    You can play any song with 2 or even 1 finger if you've got the dexterity! It's just easier on you if you use more than 1! :p I personally use 2 at the mo, but working on my ring finger and thumb (Wooten style) so I can get the most out of my playing. As with anything, worthwhile practice makes perfect ;P
  17. MichaelScott


    Jul 27, 2004
    Moorpark CA
    Floating thumb? Does this mean that you just move your thumb to the string above what you are playing on?

    Seems like you would get E- string rattle when you were playing on the G or D strings.
  18. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    The opposite, it mutes it.

    when i move from playing the a-string to the d or g string i also move my thumb to mute the a-string which otherwise might ring out very annoying,.
  19. MichaelScott


    Jul 27, 2004
    Moorpark CA
    I think you missed my point. So when you are muting the A string how do you mute the E string?
  20. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    With the thumb?

    if you look at your thumb then you can see that you could possible mute 3strings with it...