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Two-fingered triplets

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by deathofbalance, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. deathofbalance


    Jul 11, 2006
    Is there any trick to playing these, or is it just practice? And does it work better to play 1-2-1, 1-2-1, etc, like I do now, which helps keep the count a bit better, or 1-2-1, 2-1-2, etc?
  2. I would assume that it's better to play 1-2-1, 2-1-2 style, as you aren't limited to the speed of your index finger. Each to his own, of course. Mostly, in my experience, it's just practice.
  3. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    Practice. Two finger style is similar to a pick, in that you go up/down/up/down and 1-2-1-2-1, etc.

    Bust out the metronome and practice is pretty much all you can do.
  4. It depends really, I would usually suggest the 1-2-1,2-1-2 approach, as it allows you to play it quicker when nessesary (you don't have to play a note with your first finger and then hurry it back up to play the next one). The thing a lot of players who use the above method seem to forget is that they need to practice how they're emphasising when using this approach. If you want to emphasize the 1st beat in each triplet then you need to alternate which finger is doing the emphasis (and so on with other emphasis - i feel like I should know the plural for emphasis!:( ... emphasisis? hahaha:p )

    Another option which you can use is 1-2-1, 1-2-1 but utilising the 'up stroke', or 'flick'(if you can call it that) of your first finger. This for me is not as effective as the 1st technique i mentioned, purely because i can never cut my nails far back enough not to get an overly percussive sound (which can be nice in some situations too). But simply written this would be a 1st finger pluck - second finger pluck - first finger flick, repeat. Again it's important not only to play each in time and the right note, but with correct emphasis...

    Finally i would say that you should also practice using three fingers 1-2-3, 1-2-3. It's a simple case of if you've got four fingers and a thumb (hoping you do... tho there's an incredible latino bass player who has none - goes looking on youtube...) then why not practice using all of them, so you are utilising your whole artillery. I've watched players do amazing things with two fingers... But imagine what they could have done with four..... come to think of it imagine what they could do with thirty... :eek:

    But you should preactice all three of these techniques as all of them have their merits and benefits.
  5. Bill Clements is ofcourse the other bass players managing to hold the low end one hand :)
  6. I'm a fingerstyle only bassist and when I play triplets, I play 2-1-2, unless it's the 3rd triplet in a run..then for some reason I play that one as 1-2-1 then back to 2-1-2. I only pluck the strings upwards, not down as well "like a pick".

    Poops could you describe that technique in more detail or link to some info on it? I don't understand how the fingers are used similar to a pick. I've only learned fingerstyle from beginners books which say to finger/pluck each string UP and rest your finger on the next string...or from videos of players and again I haven't seen it (not to say it didn;'t happen of course)

    Thinking about it, strumming it down...wouldn't that risk raking my fingernail over the string or is there another way of doing the technique you're describing?

    The only reference I've seen to up strumming was is that Vic Wooten video on slapping posted recently, and thats using the thumb not the fingers...and that is quite an impressive technique the video blew me away actually!!

    Amen to that. Practice practice and more practice...and when you get it, up the tempo on Clicky and start over :)
  7. I tend to do the 2-1-2 for less demanding passages. While for an Iron Maden workout I'll mix it up with 3-2-1s with 2-1-2s too.
    I still need pratice but this seems to work for me.
  8. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    Alternating is the key...

    1 - 2 - 1 / 2 - 1 - 2

    but dont forget to figure in the RAKE...

    IE... 2 notes played on G string and one on D... the fingering will be 1 - 2 - (R2)
  9. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    They're not strumming. My point was that some people use three fingers (like me), so triplets are duh 1-2-3 or 3-2-1. But with two fingers you can only go 1-2-1-2-1-2, etc.

    With a pick all you can do is go up and down, so that's similar to only having 2 fingers and alternating, i.e. there is no 3rd option to make a triplet fit. With a pick you just have to get used to it. So with fingers... you just have to get used to it.
  10. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    it takes more time to go 123 321 then 121212121 or 12321232123212321232123212321

    you dont want to use the same finger twice... that will slow you down...
  11. gkbass13

    gkbass13 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2006
    i usually do 3 finger triplets, and think it is great to be able to incorporate as much of your hands in your playing as possible, but if i do 2 finger triplets and want the triplet to be distinguishable form the rest of the line, i mgiht use the 1-2-1, 1-2-1 method, or 2-1-2,2-1-2...whichever best suits you.
  12. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    I meant 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3 or 3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1, not both.
  13. Or any combination of first and second fingers that produces the result you need - a fluid triplet.

    Cheers mate, I get ya now.

    Drawing a similarity between a pick going up down up down (^V^V) vs a fingerstylist alternating fingers 1-2, 1-2 but plucking like normal (^^, ^^) threw me a bit. Thanks for clearing it up for me :)
  14. do it the steve harris way: 1-1-2/1-1-2/1-1-2... :p
  15. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    So far I've heard the following about Steve Harris:

    He uses regular 2 finger 1-2-1-2-1-2 to do his gallops.

    He uses 1-1-2-1-1-2-1-1-2 to do his gallops.

    He uses 3 fingers.

    He uses 4 fingers.

    He uses a pick.
  16. metalbass777


    Sep 3, 2006
  17. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    Those are called triplets.
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you are talking about parts like "The Trooper," they are not triplets. Triplets are counting three against the beat. "The Trooper" is counting 4 against the beat, dropping the 2. Most people refer to that as "galloping."
  19. metalbass777


    Sep 3, 2006
    I thought galloping was triplets? I play The Trooper like this 777 777 777 777 777......333 333 333 333 333 333....
  20. Triplets are three equal notes that fits in the duration of two non-triplets of the same notes. I realize it's not clear (it's late) so just remember that a triplet of 8th notes fits in the same time as two 8th notes (which is one beat in 4/4). A triplet of 16th notes fits in the same time as two 16th notes (half a beat in 4/4), and so and so on.

    The only way of playing triplets with two fingers at any decent speed is 1-2-1 2-1-2, otherwise you're limiting yourself considerably.

    The typical Iron Maidon gallop is one 8th note followed by two 16th notes, over and over.

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