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Two fingers vs multiple?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by mastershake, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. mastershake


    May 12, 2011
    in the first several years of learning to play i use to use all five of my finger simultaneously to pluck the bass. i started out with 2 fingers at first then 3 then 4 then finally 5 and was able to play full songs with the technique but wasnt sure if the technique was efficient or practical, so i dropped the technique and now im back to 2 fingers (unless im playing triplets i use 3)was this a mistake? does more fingers necessarily mean a shared work load or would the technique just hold me back? to summarize what im asking does more fingers=better?
    I know james jamerson uses one finger but i feel although it worked for him, the technique itself was impractical if you had 2 fingers to share the work load.
    love jamerson, im not hating.
  2. you kinda answered your own question with what you said about Jamerson,
    1 worked for him, 2 works for most, and if 5 worked for you, rock with it. Play your bass the way you want, its not like the police are gonna come banging on your door for using more than 2!

    Also, if you've used all combinations, your probably gonna know better than most what was comfortable and what wasn't.
  3. mastershake


    May 12, 2011
    hmm, i suppose i did.
  4. :bassist:
  5. BassAsAHobby


    Mar 18, 2011
    Chicago, IL (NW BURBS)
    I guess it is all a matter of your own personal liking.

    Jamersons use of one finger (dubbed the "hook") was because he wanted an even plucking sound. Try using just one finger even on some of his simplier lines. I have used two fingers for years and I have a tough time on some of his more difficult lines.
  6. Infidelity

    Infidelity Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    Melbourne, FL
    Jamerson is an upright player too. IMO that's why he is comfortable in playing with 1 finger.
  7. IME playing super fast with one finger is pretty easy using a alternate picking style (picking up and down) the only drawback is it takes insane endurance do do it for prolonged amounts of time.
    Just saying cause I keep seeing people mention his speed with one finger, which when I tried it, isn't very hard at all, you just need a a super beefy index finger.
  8. Personally, I am a two finger guy (with the occasional thrid finger thrown in) I never really made a conscious decision to do so it just seemed to make more sense for all the 8th note pounding i did in my early days.
    But like what all the other guys have said, it all comes down to you and what you feel comfortable doing.

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