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Right hand index stronger than middle and ring finger

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Yogen, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. Yogen


    Jul 15, 2012
    I'm practicing using 3 fingers 16th notes, but I'm having a huge problem and I just can't work it out.
    My index finger is waaay stronger than my other fingers (probably because I play videogames a lot, mostly fps, so my index gets a lot of action), and it sounds very accentuated; everything ends up sounding like triplets, so I can't really tell if I'm playing 4 notes on my right hand or just very close triplets.

    I try hitting harder with my ring and middle finger and lighter with my index one, but I just can't make the sound even.
    So far I tried playing at times using only my ring or middle finger to make them stronger, but I haven't got any results so far.

    Any specific exercises or ways to make my fingers pluck with the same strength?

    Thank you in advance.
  2. Sni77


    Aug 23, 2012
    Vienna, Austria
    I think this is quite normal. It will get better over time but it requires a lot of practice. Just keep playing and allocate maybe 10 minutes every day to playing really slow and really trying to get the dynamics you want.
  3. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Learn to play a three finger alternating technique. It does not matter what finger you start on, but playing 4 notes using this technique is a balanced used because you play 1-2-3 then co back on the 2nd finger used to return to the 1st used. So plucking wise it is 1-2-3-2-1-2-3-2-1-2-3-2 etc. rather than 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3.

    If you look at the example it is over 12 beats, so 3 divides into 12 as does 4 divide into 12. So in playing an even time based on fours the '1', that strong beat appears on the same finger every time, as opposes to moving a 1-2-3-1-2-3 technique where that strong beat moves from the first to the second to the third then back to the 1st in each pass ( 3 does not go in to four even, 3 does not go into 8 even, but 3 goes into 12 4 times.

    Then when you have this down you can use a following 1-2-3-1-2-3 etc to play triplets or time sigs based on 3 s, and you can switch between the two with ease, but you need to develop the alternating technique first to make the following technique work with ease. I just blend the two and use whatever finger is needed rather than follow a strict patten, but mine developed from practicing strict patterns. Check out the links to these practice ideas.

    Bass Trilogy


  4. jabsys


    Mar 30, 2011
    Look at how Alex Webster plays, you want to be accenting the 1 regardless of which finger that is.

    I don't agree that you should be going 1232 1232, I used to play like that and it's okay for slower stuff but as you player faster & faster the fact that the 2nd finger is hitting twice becomes an issue.

    Learn to accent the 1 and you'll loose the triplet feel.
  5. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I've been playing 3 finger for 35 years or so, and lately I've noticed I'm using the index the least of the three. There is no substitute or shortcut to getting the same sound out of all three - you just need keep playing until you reach a point where you can stop thinking about what your right hand is doing and devote your full concentration to the sound you're producing.

    Then you'll own it.

    Also agree with the post above that if speed is what you're going for, you'll wind up playing 3-2-1 more than not. At least that's what I determined.
  6. Yogen


    Jul 15, 2012
    I'm trying the Alex webster style actually: 3-2-1-3 2-1-3-2, but I totally forgot the accentuating the first part, hope that makes it.

    Thank you.
  7. giacomini


    Dec 14, 2008
    Florianopolis - Brazil
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars
    Index has its own tendon. Middle and ring share one tendon. Thumb and pinky have their own each.

    It is natural that middle and ring are a bit slower than the rest, unless you practice techniques that will strengthen them up.

    +1 to the exercises above.
  8. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    1-2-3-2-1-2-3-2-1 etc is a balanced use to learn, once you have it down ( after many years) you can choose how to use them for any technique.

    So what is involved in playing 3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1 etc for say speed or triplets?
    It is the third part of a 1-2-3-2-1-2-3-2-1 technique so a player developing 1-2-3-2 has been playing and using 3-2-1 all the time, of they look at the technique closely .
    All they have do is make the concious decision that for some flamenco type speed they will just use the 3-2-1 part from the 1-2-3-2 technique. As they would if they preferred to play 1-2-3, which is starting on the first beat of 1-2-3-2, again they have been using it.
    If they want to play two finger, it does not matter what finger is started on, again they have been using it, even one finger can be used Jamerson style

    Developing a 1-2-3-2-1-2-3-2 etc technique is about having options you choose from, not being limited to the technique, as I said it is a balanced technique, that allows the addition of the thumb or little finger at a later date if required.
    So when you play across three strings say, I III VI in triplets, you can choose to change direction at any point and go I VI III or go I III I or III VI 1 or whatever.
    Yes for pure speed 3-2-1 is the way to go because it maximises the fingers in an order that produces very consistent rate of strikes, but like many techniques you have to be carefull you do not become one-dimensional in its use.....technique for the sake of technique. :)
  9. Yogen


    Jul 15, 2012
    I just found another "problem", whenever I pluck with my ring finger it sounds similar to a bass drum, actually, if I play index and ring only, sounds like a techno song.
    Is louder than my middle finger, but unlike my index, it sounds with a lot of low end, unlike my index which boosts the mid-highs (***).
  10. I seem to have the opposite problem. When playing with my index, all sounds nice and low. But, when I through in my middle finger, it comes out very mid to high range. I am learning to use it to my advantage though. It is especially clear when playing octaves. WIERDEST thing.