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Proper 3 Finger Technique (avoiding pain)

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by DreamJazz, Oct 5, 2006.


  1. So I use 3 finger technique to strum triplets especially alot of the time going Ring-Middle-Index. I used to do it previously with no problems. Now that I brought it back after stopping for a while (a month and a bit) I've undergone a serious pain feeling like a build up of pressure in the joint if i attepmt to straighten my ring finger. The closer it is to the pinky when trying to straighten it the more sharp the pain. It almost hurts down my rist which could be explained by a tendon injury possibly. Just wondering how my pinky should be positioned as I play to hopefully eliminate the problem.
    Please help I don't want to encur any further damage.
     
  2. WillBuckingham

    WillBuckingham

    Mar 30, 2005
    If it hurts don't do it.
     
  3. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Inactive

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    That's crappy advice.

    You said you had a tendon injury? Tendons take a lot longer to get strong than muscles. I'd go talk to your doctor about what exercises you can do to strengthen it. Probably some grip work, but if you overdo it (by jumping into pull ups or something) it will probably make it worse. So ask him what's acceptable.

    Next: are you stretching before you play? My knees still hurt from when I injured them if I don't warm up properly before exercising. So you want to start slow and make sure to stretch.
     
  4. WillBuckingham

    WillBuckingham

    Mar 30, 2005
    Riiight . . . spend hundreds of dollars and hours of time so you can begin working on a useless technique instead of spending that time practicing conventional (painless) 2-finger bass technique. Good advice . . . :rolleyes:
     
  5. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Inactive

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    Conventional =/= better.

    Useless? By who's standards? I can play 3 finger just fine.

    More importantly, people do more with their hands than play bass. It's worth it to keep them healthy.

    If you were my doctor and you told me "don't do it if it hurts" when it's something that isn't supposed to hurt, I'd just punch you in the face. I've had a doctor tell me that before and I'm sorry I didn't punch him.

    "Help! Mechanic! My car starts making noises when I drive it!"
    "Then don't drive it!"

    "Help, chef! I always make my chicken soup too salty when I cook it!"
    "Then don't cook it!"

    Need I go on?
     
  6. DaemonBass

    DaemonBass

    Mar 29, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    Let me interupt really fast...

    First of all, Willbuckingham is correct, if it hurts, DO stop for the sake of your own well being. When it comes to big muscle training I would disagreee (ie, no pain no gain) but whenn it comes to small tissue and tendon joints I stand to my guns that no pain needs to be felt; espesically just playin' bass.

    To you Poops who said it's "crappy advice" you should not be on here giving people advice when you have no idea what their situation may be... and he never claimed to be a "doctor" but I would recommened that's what the OP should see if he is having wrist pains.
     
  7. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Inactive

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    This is really sad. Did neither of you see when I wrote "go see a doctor"? It's the 4th sentence of my post.

    I wouldn't trust people who can't even read to give me advice, either.
     
  8. Volk

    Volk

    Dec 18, 2005
    South Jersey
    I have to agree with Pooploops, if somethings hurting find the problem, because it shouldn't be, don't just ignore it.

    Three finger technique has several advantages over two finger, calling it useless is ignorant and doesn't help anyone.
     
  9. WillBuckingham

    WillBuckingham

    Mar 30, 2005
    Well, I could probably play bass with my bass upside down behind my back, but it might hurt . . . should I go see a doctor and seek physical therapy so I can keep working on that technique? No. It would make a lot more sense for me to just not worry about that pain, and practice playing with my bass in front of me.
     
  10. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Inactive

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    Or you could just get some, you know, common sense.

    I play 3 finger. Other people play 3 finger. There is no reason he shouldn't, if he wants to. He just has to go to the doctor first and see how to fix it.

    It's one thing to stretch your fingers in unnatural ways for the sole reason of playing one finger per fret at 1st position, but it's a totally different thing to HEAL your finger so you can do something normal.
     
  11. WillBuckingham

    WillBuckingham

    Mar 30, 2005
    Well, I'm biased. First of all, evey electric bassist that I admire plays with two fingers: Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, Jeff Berlin, John Patitucci, to name a few. I can't remember ever seeing a professional bassist in person using three-finger technique. Furhtermore, I play upright bass and electric bass, and being able to use a consistent technique on both is another reason I use a straightforward right-hand technique because your ring finger would not produce an adequate tone on acoustic bass.

    The most important things in playing bass are time, feel and consistency. Acheiving this while using classical guitar technique is much more difficult and complicated than using the system of playing that the vast majority of bassists have been successfully using for years. So, if you're having big problems with that technique, I think you're much better off just forgeting about it and focusing on playing the "regular" way.
     
  12. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Inactive

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    Yes, these people are quite a bit older than me. And 3 finger technique is relatively new. I wouldn't suggest they try to relearn something. But if they are already doing it, why should they suddenly stop? For example, you wouldn't tell Jaco to only play with 1 finger, because that's how Jamerson did it, would you? We can both agree that 2 finger > 1 finger. I don't think 3 finger has that much of an advantage, but it's definately not useless.

    He's having problems for different reasons. If someone told me "I just can't play in time with 3 fingers" I'd just tell them to forget it. But he's having physical pain when there was none before.

    Also, like I said, tradition is worthless if you can't back it up. "Traditionally" people anchor their thumb on a pickup or string, yet the floating thumb method is clearly superior.
     
  13. Volk

    Volk

    Dec 18, 2005
    South Jersey
    If everyone just copied those before them we'd never get anywhere.
     
  14. WillBuckingham

    WillBuckingham

    Mar 30, 2005
    I think you're a little mixed up as to the history of electric bass technique. Upright bass players had been playing with two fingers long before James Jamerson. When people started to play electric bass they just transferred this technique to that instrument. Jamerson was the exception, not the norm. So the two-fingered electric bass technique that you see today is not an advancement on a one-fingered approach. Therfore, imagining that using three fingers is just another step in a series of progressions would be misguided.
     
  15. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Inactive

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    You're appealing to authority. "Hurr hurr, Wooten plays bass with 2 fingers, I can be just as good as him if I play with two fingers." So I'm doing the same thing.

    It would be misguided by your logic of it being chronological. But for a fact you can play with 3 fingers at least as fast as with two, and your fingers don't get as tired while doing so. There really is no disadvantage in playing with 3 fingers.

    But more importantly, he USED TO do it, so there is no reason that he shouldn't still do it.
     
  16. Rich600

    Rich600

    Nov 22, 2004
    Scotland
    This is absolutely ridiculous, arguing like kids over who's sand box is bigger.

    If the guy wants to play with 3 fingers and it hurts he should check it out professionally, because if it were me it would be imparing my technique and i would have to get it fixed.

    And it's not relative whether Jaco and co used 2 fingers and sounded good or whether they used their elbow.

    *flicks scarf over shoulder*

    And that's the end of that chapter.
     
  17. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jan 28, 2021

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