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Pros and cons on 3 fingerstyle?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Demon, May 13, 2006.


  1. Demon

    Demon

    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Anyone know of the pros and cons of 3 fingerstyle`? Is there any point learning it good exept triplets?
     
  2. artistanbul

    artistanbul Nihavend Longa Vita Brevis

    Apr 15, 2003
    Turkey-Istanbul
    depends on the 3 finger style. The gary willis technique looks great if you can learn it. Billy Sheehan's three fingers alternating version is meaningless IMO.
     
  3. Demon

    Demon

    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    whats the gary willis technique?
     
  4. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Gary uses his third finger as a mute on a higher string, and when it's time to cross to a higher string, that finger plucks the string, then resets on the next higher string. He basically only plucks with two fingers at a time, and the third plucks a higher string when needed while muting at the same time. He's got some videos of it on his website- it's a pretty complex plucking method.

    The only downside I've seen to using three fingers is that you can get stuck with a galloping triplet sound if you don't work really hard on getting your sound even, which is undesirable as most music is played in even beats.

    The upsides are basically that you can save a lot of energy because you have to use your fingers less often to get the same amount of notes. Basically, more stamina and less sore fingertips. Using three fingers as in using your thumb and then your index and middle is especially helpful, as the thumb can pluck the lower strings while the other two pluck the high strings, and the thumb can often times descend strings better than the other fingers.
     
  5. Demon

    Demon

    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Hm okay, whats a good way to start training to get better at 3 fingers?
     
  6. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Well, you should probably figure out which way you'd like to use them. Some players play R, M, I, R, M, I over and over. Steve Bailey uses and advises using a sort of rolling method of R, M, I, M, R, M, I etc. so that you are stuck with the triplet sound of always following your index plucks with your ring, which is further from the string at that point which can cause a slight extra space in time (which give the triplet feel). You can also use your thumb and two fingers, which works best for me when I switch from four fingers to three. All of them will probably be uncomfortable at first, so you might as well pick the one you think will benefit you the most as you'll eventually make it feel comfortable if you keep at it.

    Whatever you decide to use, you'll then use it to replace your standard plucking technique at all times for a while. If you allow yourself to go back to your old plucking habits, you may convince yourself that the new manner of plucking is too hard and too uncomfortable, which is NOT what you want to do. If you think back, plucking the strings for the first time was uncomfortable as well.

    Then, get ready to wear out your metronome batteries. Constant metronome practice at slow speeds, while boring, will really help you out in getting used to plucking evenly with your new technique.
     
  7. Demon

    Demon

    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Got no metronome sadly:/ But i decided what style since it felt more comfortable than the others:) and i already feel somewhat used to it.
     
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Retun some cans if you need the money- do whatever you can to get a decent metronome. It's one of the best practicing tools you'll ever get.
     
  9. oversoul

    oversoul fretless by fate

    Feb 16, 2004
    Portugal
    the thing is, when some players begin doing the 3 finger stuff, they just go 123,123,123, triplets over and over.

    Try and do slow exercices of one finger per fret doing groups of four notes instead (1234,1234)

    I'm actually doing RMI, RMI, ocasionally I try to do the Steve Bailey thing, but right now I'm precisely trying to take the triplet feel out of the RMI approach.

    Oddly enough, RMI doesn't suit me when I try to add the thumb a la Matt Garrison,I do IMR.
    But the technique has been a b*tch to adapt, it's very economy of motion based and my pizzi is quite strong because of years of practicing without an amp, can't quite get a fluid feel out of it.
     
  10. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Garrison does it Thumb,I,M,R as well, so it's not just you :D That's how I play now as well. Went from nine years of playng two-finger to Garrison's four-finger approach. It's been about a year now, and I'm having a great time using it.
     
  11. oversoul

    oversoul fretless by fate

    Feb 16, 2004
    Portugal

    how long did it take you to get well acustumed to it?(I imagine you may have that on the sticky guide, so just let me know if you do)

    The ultimate improvement to that technique is adding some wooten powder to it, sometimes when it comes to my mind, I try to think of ways to use Tup/down IMR too.
     
  12. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Took me a while- several months- but that may be because I'm a hobby player and taking care of children doesn't leave me with much practice time. It's in the sticky somewhere.
     
  13. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I agree with Bryan. Especially the part about it being difficult to get an even sound out of all your fingers so that you don't constantly have that galloping sound he mentioned. That takes some time.

    I have been using the 3 finger method for a long time now, but I remember it taking some time to get it down right. I started out, and usually use, the IMR, IMR, method, but have also gotten into using my thumb along with it at times as well (didn't know that was Garrison's approach).
     
  14. I use RMI a la Sheehan. Its good for speed once you practice it; its hard to get out of playing triplets with it. It is possible though. I can't recall having much trouble getting an even sound out of all 3, although again its just an issue of practice. YMMV:)
     
  15. Two fingers are plenty to "go fast". Three fingers à la Willis help immensely with string crossing and muting. You can see a video exemple here (and read the text!): http://garywillis.com/pages/lessons/rh1.html
     
  16. RuneMIkkelsen

    RuneMIkkelsen

    Jan 15, 2005
    Denmark
  17. Kmrumedy

    Kmrumedy

    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Interesting. Is there an instructional video of this or any reference where I can see or read more about Garrison?
     
  18. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    There's a whole thread I wrote on the subject stickied at the top of the Technique forum- within it includes video samples.
     
  19. kipsus

    kipsus Physicist

    Sep 18, 2005
    Vilnius, Lithuania
    Me playin kinda Sheehan style. Just takes a (not so tiny) bit of practice to make yourself do RMI-RMI instead of random combinations. Complex passages still sound cleaner with two fingers but the difference in movement required is worth considering. Anyway three fingers require much more attention and hard work to get those ring finger tendons flexible etc. And once you can do three fingers, you can go back to two. I find having third finger ready for playing extremely useful when doing cross string jumps eg.
    hth,
    kipsus
     
  20. Erlend

    Erlend

    Apr 25, 2006

    Heres an easy to use and free drum machine http://www.threechords.com/hammerhead/download.shtml.
     

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