1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Question on plucking fingers

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Herb Daly, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. Herb Daly

    Herb Daly

    Aug 31, 2018
    Been watching some instructional videos and noticing that everyone seems to use the index finger as the 'downbeat' or initial finger and the big 'bird' finger as the 'and' finger. For some reason, I learned it (self-taught) the opposite way. I use my middle finger as the 'one' and the index as the 'and'. (Let me admit first that I'm a lefty but play bass and guitar righty) Is there anyone else who does it this way or am I the only one? It's just made sense to me over the years that the middle finger has more 'meat' and is more prominent than the index finger, and for that reason seems more suited to the downbeat. Any comments would be appreciated and taken to heart. (aside from telling me to relearn the plucking the opposite way and/or turning the bass around and learning lefty...I've been told I'd be 3X the player if I did either or both of these things, but I'm in my 60s and been playing this way for decades, so...) Thanks in advance!
    FatStringer52 likes this.
  2. IMHO, you should be able to start from either finger (index or middle if you're a two-finger plucker.) No relearning because you already have half of it down. But I would encourage you to add to your practice routine alternate fingering starting with the index finger. Start with something simple like a major scale. Starting with the index finger, use strict alternate fingering ascending and alternate fingering and raking, where appropriate, when descending. It will not only make you a much more fluid player, but you just might gain some speed also. Oh BTW, back in the early 70s when I first started playing I started with the middle finger also. Learning to start with either finger was one of those break through moments for me . . .
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
    12BitSlab, Herb Daly and Lobster11 like this.
  3. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Just quit thinking about it. I let my fingers do however they want, and I don't even notice. Kinda like breathing. Sometimes too much instruction gets in the way.
    Herb Daly likes this.

Share This Page