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On Three Fingers

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ghouldani, Sep 18, 2005.


  1. ghouldani

    ghouldani

    Sep 14, 2005
    I am slowly learning the bassist 3 finger salute.

    My instinct is to do this

    ----------------0000--------------------------
    ----------0000--------------------------------
    ----0000--------------------------------------
    ----imri--imri--imri

    does this have any advantages?
     
  2. Correlli

    Correlli

    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    the way I di it is: RMIR-IMRI-MRIM...
     
  3. nysbob

    nysbob

    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    Yup.
     
  4. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    I'm by no means an expert on the three-finger technique, but I can tell you that your approach makes things very difficult. I think you feel like playing that way because you want to start each downbeat with the same finger, but repeating the index as you do (I highlighted what I'm talking about in the quote) will greatly slow you down. The purpose of this technique is to give each finger more time to breathe between notes when playing fast passages. Your approach is a big handicap for your index finger. You should learn to make any of the three fingers to land on a downbeat, not only the index (Billy Sheehan talks about this problem in his first instructional video). Again, although I've wanted to master this technique, I don't play like that because I can't keep the same tone I get with just two fingers which is fatter and punchier IMO, but I'd play your example like RMIR - MIRM - IRMI.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I play 3212 or RMIM. This means I never have two notes back to back played with the same finger, which I find awkward and difficult to do at high speeds (the only tiem I play with 3 fingers anyway).
     
  6. Kosta

    Kosta

    Mar 22, 2005
    The way i do the 3 finger technique is as such. RMI RMI RMI RMI, etc. This is awkward at first but later on becomes very fluid and easy to do. Keep at it, itl be frustrating, but itl pay off.
     
  7. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Sweden
    Yeah, billy sheehan plays that way too, so do i,., :bassist:
     
  8. Same here. To me it's more fluid that way, like a smooth roll of the fingers.

    RMIMRMIMRMIMRMIMR....and so on.
     
  9. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    Respectfully, I want to say that Billy always follows the RMI pattern, which works like a charm when playing triplets or any three-notes-per-beat combination. The hard part comes when playing straight 16th notes with this approach: The downbeats aren't played by the same finger every time, so this makes the thing very confusing. Steve Bailey uses a different approach. He would play Ghouldani's example like RMIM - RMIM - RMIM, which is more convenient because the downbeats are always played by the ring finger without repeating it, but it puts a bit more stress on the middle finger because it doesn't have that much time to "breathe" as on Billy's style.
     
  10. ^^^ My thoughts exactly
     
  11. RMI RMI RMI etc. is the same as RMIR MIRM IRMI RMIR (just making sure you knew). That's what Billy S does. It's ok playing straight 16th notes if you don't think about it. Look away from your fingers and when you hear 8 notes or whatever change and just keep going with the flow. It is really arkward to learn after you've been playing 2 fingers for a long time, but stick with it, it's definatly worth it.

    By changing to 3 fingers I've also corrected my other flaws with my right hand. I now keep my hand at a low angle, stike the strings properly and play exactly adjacent to the strings. Learning to play with 3 fingers has greatly improved my speed, sound and technique.

    Jack
     
  12. Oh yeh, and I forgot to say, Changing strings is really hard at first but stick with it and you'll get it eventually, it took me a whole weekend of almost non-stop practicing but it paid off in the end.
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sorry, I don't get this 3 finger thing except for when playing triplets. What advantages does it have over 2 finger playing?
     
  14. Much faster. I know Jaco only used 2 and he was pretty fast, but he's an exeption. Most of the really fast finger players use 3 I think. It's deffinatly much faster for me already and I've been playing 2 fingers for 4 years and 3 fingers for 3 days. Your fingers just seem to flow in a natrual direction of RMI. It's much less tiring too.
     
  15. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    For me the advantage isn't so much speed as endurance. I can't actually play any faster with 3 fingers than I can with 2, but I can hold long passages at high speed together with less effort and fatigue, which translates into better sounding notes played more accurately over time.
     
  16. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Sweden
    A good 3finger player can play much fast ther anyone i've heard/seen using 2fingers, just check out billy sheehan...

    i've been play with 3finger for about a month and i can almost play as fast as i can with 2fingers... 16th notes at 180bpm...
     
  17. Correlli

    Correlli

    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Just to clarify my reasoning.

    For 3 notes per strings RMI-RMI-RMI...

    For 4 notes per string RMIR-IMRI-MRIM...

    I play 4 notes per string in the upper frets - above fret 12. but mostly of the time it's RMI.
     
  18. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    I have played with 3 for about 10 years now and I seem to pick backwards from everyone else. IMRIMRIMr.....etc. I guess that there is no dissadvantage but I almost feel like im breaking a law of nature. lol
     
  19. Correlli

    Correlli

    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Rules were made to be broken. :)
     
  20. nysbob

    nysbob

    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    Whatever works for you works for you. I guess I play like Billy Sheehan....or maybe he plays like me. ;)