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Using all four fingers on plucking hand

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by timmyc, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. timmyc


    Nov 29, 2005
    I read something on harmony central called "Hanging Ten on Bass" and it talks about using all four fingers on your plucking hand to get more speed etc. I haven’t followed it religiously but have over the last couple of days practicing using all four fingers, I am not quite up to the same speed as using two fingers yet but I don’t think that it will take long to do. Some things I have notice:

    I use a Stingray therefore one humbucker, I find that the picking fingers are not picking in the same place (as they were before when using the two finger method) so I am getting a totally different tone compared to my index finger and my pinky. I have also tried using my pinky to pluck where my index finger was plucking and I still get a slight change in tone due to the fact that it is a totally different shape, size and reduced power in attack (as I like to dig in).

    I find it also difficult when changing quickly between strings, I am sure this will come with time and practice but I also notice that it is quite a reach for my pinky to get down to the G string.

    Does anyone else using or has tried using this method of plucking if so can you give me any pointers? If you don’t like using this method or have notice flaws in this playing I would also love to hear your comments. I also have been experimenting with the three finger technique (Index, Middle, Ring, Middle etc.) This feels more comfy to me as I can dig in with all three fingers in the same area and are all of similar size and power therefore getting similar tonal results. Your thoughts on this please?

    Thanks, Tim
  2. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    A technique commonly used by classical guitarists is using all five fingers on the picking hand. For tips, you may want to search on that.
  3. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings

    then goto lessons. He's nailed that technique.
    he's also a TBer here.

  4. i find using all 4 fingers, (sometimes i also use my thumb...so all 5) is easier then just using 2.

    make sure you stretch before and after, you might have to tilt your hand a little bit for when you use your pinky. find a comfortable spot on the bass and just practice. dont tense up and dont stress on it, eventually your hand will be at ease and will flow
  5. GSRLessard14

    GSRLessard14 All-Things-Claypool Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2005
    Newington, CT
    My pinky is too short to even really hit the E string when my thumb is anchored on the pickup.
  6. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    My pinky is also way too short to be made useful, even when my fingers are curled under.

    I do however play with my thumb and first three fingers. If you want any pointers on that, you can read the thread that I wrote that's stickied at the top of the Technique forum called "A (Somewhat) Definative Guide To The Matt Garrison Technique...."