1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Using the Index Finger

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Sloop John D, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. Sloop John D

    Sloop John D

    Jun 29, 2012
    I'm having trouble using my index finger while playing bass. I'm not sure if it's my technique or if my index finger is just too short, but it's difficult for me to make good contact with the string because when I place my hand in a position so that my middle finger is playing the strings comfortably, my index finger seems just a bit too short to reach.

    I play bass with my middle and ring fingers instead because those two fingers seem to line up better, but I'm getting into some more advanced playing and I'd like to clean up my technique. I noticed that I can use my index finger more comfortably if I turn my bass like an upright, and I can hit the notes in a much cleaner way with my index finger than with my ring finger, especially when I'm playing faster. Is there anything I can do that would make it easier to use my index finger instead of my ring finger, apart from turning my bass sideways?
  2. Ezmar


    Jul 8, 2010
    As long as it works for you, there's nothing wrong with not using your index finger. My playing style is very similar to Geddy's, but his "primary" finger seems to be his index, and mine is my middle. Doesn't change a thing, I can still crank out all the same sounds, for the most part. If you can build up the strength and dexterity with those two, the more power to you. Personally, I don't thing I'l ever use 3 finger technique, because it's not worth it to learn something just because I "should". Same way with you and your index finger. If you feel like you can't play well because of it, then practice shouldn't be as difficult. It's hard to practice something that you don't really care for, but if you really want to learn it, it will come.

  3. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Your hand is designed so that the fingertips can all be level.
    Simply curl your hand slightly till the fingertips are level.
    Your plucking hand needs to have some amount of curl to allow the fingers to correctly use the load pressures through the joints rather than over them.
    You will see improvements in many aspects of your plucking when you develop this into you hand.
    When your fingertips are level then that is the correct amount of curl for you.