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What about the third finger?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by mattpnolan, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. mattpnolan

    mattpnolan Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    I apologize if this has been brought up before, but I didn't find anything with the search.

    Anyway, I've been playing bass off and on for about 7 years (I started on guitar and have went back and forth for different bands). I always played mainly with my 1st and 3rd fingers and then using my 2nd and 4th for faster or more complex rhythms where I had to add them. I decided recently that I wanted to start learning a real technique (All of you TBers were the motivation ;) ). So, I bought Hal Leonard's three volume book on learning techniques. I haven't looked really far into, but right now all I see is that he wants me to use my 1st, 2nd, and 4th fingers and NOT my 3rd. Is this the way all instructors teach? Does anyone out there use their 3rd finger? :confused:

    Thanks. :D
  2. bassbo


    Jan 27, 2005
    I don't use my third on my DB, but on the bass guitar I do. Spread your hand with the thumb approximately opposit the middle finger. Play a full scale starting with the the middle finger on the a string c without moving your thumb. Spread it!!
  3. As hinted above, a lot of not using the 3rd finger has to do with the style that the person in the book uses. Personally, I use all four fingers, but in different situations. Like as mentioned above, I have never comprehended until now playing a major scale in its normal form any different than starting with 2nd finger on 1 and 4th finger on 2 and so on. Speaking of which, the 3rd finger is used on the double bass, but only in thumb position or, for some people, in the higher register of the first octave. Anyway, don't at all forsake ever using 3rd finger. I guarantee that you will eventually use it quite often depending on the type of line/scale you are using, but I think what the book is doing a good job of is forcing you to step out of your comfort zone and use 4th finger, because you will also use this just as often if you are a good player.
  4. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I can only use my first two fingers due to a motorcycle accident years ago... I've grown used to the fact and my right hand has taught itsself what to do now. Just practice practice practice and you'll get it.

  5. mattpnolan

    mattpnolan Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    Thanks for your help guys. That makes a lot of sense. I have been practicing without using my 3rd finger, but I'm still not comfortable not using it to perform. So, I'm kind of in a weird stage :smug:

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