Jaco and Rocco .... 3 fingers or 2 ?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Tyler Dupont, Sep 18, 2001.

  1. Tyler Dupont

    Tyler Dupont Wesly Headpush

    For stuff like Teen town - Jaco and funk the dumb stuff - tower of power(16ths).. are they using 3 fingers to pluck or are they just really fast and precise with 2 ? I can't make it sound right with 2 fingers and I'm wondering if I just suck or this style of playing is usually done with 3 fingers.
  2. I know that Rocco told Bass Player that he uses two, which makes a line like "What Is Hip?" that much cooler. I'm not sure about Jaco.
  3. Jaco used two, but sat the others on the strings as a muting device for strings not being used.
  4. BTW, dont feel bad about Rocco lines, it took me 6 weeks to learn What Is Hip?, and 5 of those weeks were trying to get those 1/16s totally smooth.
  5. Heh, Marty, have you ever tried to learn "Animate," by Rush? GAH! Straight 16th notes at 120bpm--with fingers! Getting the timing right is punishingly difficult.
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I've been there; I tried "Teen Town" back in the '70s & put it away until the '90s.
    What really helped me-
    I think it was either a Dave Larue &/or Mark Egan column in a long past Bass Player mag...the lessons dealt with strict alternation bewteen the two plucking fingers. In these lessons, the fretting hand merely muted the strings while the plucking fingers alternated 1-2; 1-2; 1-2 etc AND 2-1; 2-1; 2-1, etc.
    What you do is play strict 1/8th notes on say, the "E", then the "A", up to "G" AND then back down ("G" to "E").
    It is usually more difficult in keeping the strict alternation (1-2 and 2-1)coming back down("G" down to "E"). Knowing that, ya gotta pay attention! ;)

    Later, certain rhythms were introduced-
    Example: You play a triplet on the "E"(3 notes) followed by 1/8th notes on the "A". What this accomplishes-
    Since it's an ODD grouping(5 notes), it changes the lead finger mid-bar. That is-
    Beat 1 = 1-2-1
    Beat 2 = 2-1
    Beat 3 = 2-1-2
    Beat 4 = 1-2
    See how Beat 1's triplet plucking pattern is mirrored in Beat 3's triplet plucking pattern?
    Same with Beat 2's & Beat 4's pattern.

    Granted, this kinda stuff is BORING; I usually do a lotta this sorta stuff in front of the tube while the NFL or the NHL is happenin'.

    ...and think economy of motion, too. The plucking fingers should flutter like a hummingbird's wings when attempting somethink like "Teen Town". ;)
  7. melvin


    Apr 28, 2001
    Yeah like said I think they used 2 fingers. 3 fingers seem like its manely for triplet action.

    And Jim thanks for puting that lesson thing Im definently gonna try that out.
  8. Tyler Dupont

    Tyler Dupont Wesly Headpush

    1 word ..... DOH!

    thanks guys ... I guess I need to go practise.
  9. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I play with three fingers. It is one of those techniques which over time makes your playing evolve in different ways. I find that I have more right hand control now. YMMV.
  10. Fatboy_Jim


    Oct 25, 2000
    i also play with three fingers all the time - it took me a while to get it good and even but i now have far more control than i used to and am far more happy with it