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Soloing with three fingers!?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Jowa, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. Jowa


    Feb 13, 2008

    I'm new to TB, and this is my first post. Sorry if my english isn't to perfect, it's not my first language, but hopefully you will understand me anyway.

    I started to try playing with three fingers a couple of weeks ago, and I've noticed some improvment. What I'm doing right now is playing the usual

    with three fingers, trying to alternate R-M-I ALL the time, and doing the same while running up and down the usual scales (this I find really hard though, sometimes the fingers don't want to alternate R-M-I, especially the index often want to rake down to the next string).

    My question is, does many basist play solos and similiar things which involves much stringskipping using three fingers and all the time alternate R-M-I!? Because to me, this feels really hard and uncomfortable. Should I just keep on practicing til my fingers get used to it, or is the three finger technique better when playing more riff kind of things and not so much stringskipping?

    Thanks in advance
  2. First off, a lot of great players rake, people here on tb are a little snobbish when it comes to raking, i say do what's comfortable. It's a bit tough to get 3 fingers completely consistent with scales, but It can be done. I often find myself switching to two fingers for scales and the like, as it's easier to keep a perfect tempo at higher speeds when you only have two fingers to worry about. However, with three fingers, you can really get some monster speed going in your scales, especially if you play three notes a string. String skipping with 3 fingers is not only do able, it's quite useful. For instance, listen to the bassline to "what is hip" by tower of power. The bassist (Rocco Prestia, I believe) uses his index and middle fingers to chug out 16th notes while he uses his ring to hit accents like the 6th, 7th, and octave of the scale.

    Additionally, you can use three fingers to tremolo pick notes (basically play really really quickly)
    A good technique to ensure that these aren't just triplets is to use a system of alternation in your fingers so that you basically play in groups of four. There are different techniques out there, but I use

    RMIR MIRM IRMI etc etc. It's actually a lot easier than it looks, just work it up with a metronome.
  3. I play with with three fingers for solos, grooves, etc, without a pattern. It's basically the Gary Willis technique where the ring finger stays one or two strings up. Makes string skipping a breeze.

    I also practiced the 1234 fingering about 3 times for 5 minutes in 21 years. It's boring and doesn't have much use for real music.
  4. Les 'Playcool' demonstrates some monster raking ability.
    Look for vids on YouTube. I'm not quite sure what songs offhand, but look for 'Hallucino-Genetics Tour' videos. They jam a lot in between Frizzle Fry classics (and more), and Les' soloing is pretty killer, especially on his Rainbow Bass.

    ... And yes... I am a Les Claypool fanboy...:bag:
  5. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    That's exactly what amazes me the most from Billy Sheehan from a technical standpoint. (Click here)

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