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right hand technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ssookdeo, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. ssookdeo


    Sep 8, 2008
    how many fingers do you use with your right hand. I want to increase my right hand speed but only use two fingers. Should I practise with 3 or 4? Are there any exercies out there to work on a 3 finger technique?
  2. wazoppi


    Jul 13, 2008
    San Diego
    You can benefit from 3 and 4 fingers. 3 finger technique can help you with galloping. The 4 finger can help with those fast passages. Or, you can just keep trusting the 2 finger.
  3. I am working on speeding up my right hand as well and I think the two finger technique is perfectly dandy. My teacher is blazingly fast with just two fingers. If anything you may want to look at economy of motion and relaxation in your right hand more so than using more fingers.
  4. ScottB.


    Sep 14, 2008
    Devon, UK
    I use two, I think that unless you feel you really need to make the jump to 3 just stick with what you know. James Jamerson only used 1 and some of his basslines are stupid fast
  5. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    There are no "rules" and you should use whatever technique appeals to you. That being said, there is a strong anatomical argument for the 2-finger technique; the ring and pinky fingers are not capable of moving completely independently of each other due to a shared tendon.
  6. Index and middle finger. Occassional thumb on downstrokes (to pedal notes or dead notes)

    The important thing is to make sure you alternate them. same string, or jumping strings up or down.
  7. I still have no idea how Jamerson was able to play that stuff with one finger. It seems physically impossible. Not that I doubt it; I just can't picture it or do it.

    At least two fingers will be economical for you. If you find that your pattern isn't working for you (I rake, and deal with the fact that I'm faster on descending passages), make a change early and follow the path that gives you as many options as you require.
  8. I am having issues integrating my pinky in my plucking technique. Is there some trick to it?
  9. I won't recommend against any technique - but I will advocate for a few.

    2 finger, alternating - you can, with practice, get this technique to provide you lots of speed.

    3 finger, for "galloping" triplets - I cannot play Iron Maiden without using 3 fingers for some of those crazy fast triplet passages. I don't care if Steve Harris is only using 2 (curse him and his super-fast fingers!!!)

    1 finger, back and forth for really quick 16th - Just take your index finger and pluck as you would normally but then also hit the string on your finger's back stroke.

    Thumb used like a pick (Victor Wooten and others do this) - Pretend you are holding a pick and extend your thumb just a little. With a quick wrist motion, use your thumb as if it were a pick.

    Any and all of these techniques are viable ways to play really fast stuff. All of them have their advantages and drawbacks and all are different based on who you are and what works for you. But if you decide to use any of the 'non-traditional' techniques, don't sacrifice clean, well articulated notes for the perception of speed. In other words, practice them all slow and make sure the notes you are creating are well formed.

    Also - work with a metronome at a VERY slow speed and build up over time. Patience and slow is the key to getting fast.
  10. KPAX

    KPAX Banned

    Mar 22, 2005
    Oh HELL YES.
    Watch Geddy Lee. Most or the time he uses ONE finger. I really can't see when he uses the second finger. He's an example of ECONOMY. He'll blurt out a hailstorm of notes and his right hand looks like one index finger chillin' out.

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