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Three-finger right hand picking

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by RollingMonkey, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. RollingMonkey


    Nov 11, 2004
    After 3 years of playing bass, I have now decided to learn to play with three fingers instead of two.

    What exercises would be good? I can play straight notes easily, but not things that jump around the strings a lot. My problem is that I inadvertently change to the 2-finger technique.

    Also, what are the advantages of this technique (other than being able to play faster)?
  2. screwball


    Jul 25, 2004
    Manchester UK
    I'm finding playing through scales using a 321 right hand pattern is helping a lot. then you get used to skipping strings with different fingers, until you don't even have to think about it. I reckon the biggest benefit is efficiency, with 3 fingers your fingers have to do a lot less work to play the same lines.
  3. I knew a guy who played bass and only had 3 fingers on his right hand. Dude could play.
  4. Ozzyman


    Jul 21, 2004
    I had the EXACT same problem. The solution?
    Get the Bass Fitness book. Start with a metronome and play through the book. It'll make your right hand like a machine and you won't even think about using three fingers. It just happens. Actually, I don't think I can play with two fingers without switching to three subconciously. Oh and scales are great too.
    And also write out some string switching patterns.
    1 = G
    2 = D
    3 = A
    4 = E
    Ex. 43212212332344321
    Just start messing around by switching strings randomly (with a metronome). You don't need to fret with your left hand at first.

    Hope this made sense. Haha
  5. try something like this:

    i.e groups of 2 over 2 strings with 3 fingers.
    it hurts your head at first, but it starts to become automatic. just try and keep strict alternation (i favour 3-2-1-3-2-1 but i see no reason others wouldn't work) especially as you skip strings. it just takes slow practice to stop your fingers tripping over each other.
  6. RollingMonkey


    Nov 11, 2004
    Velvetkevorkian, I tried what you said, and strangely enough, I got it straight away. That's probably because I spent the whole day yesterday playing RATM songs, like "Freedom" and "Testify" with three fingers. I find that those riffs really help, because they tend to jump between strings quite a bit.

    Ozzyman, thanks, but I can't afford any books at the mo.

    I think I'll just practice playing all the songs I know with three fingers and see how that goes. I still can't get the chorus of the Chili Pepper's "If You Have To Ask", but I'll be able to play it with three fingers it by the end of today. Mark my words... :D