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When playing with 3 fingers....

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Chili, Sep 5, 2005.


  1. Chili

    Chili

    Mar 8, 2005
    Newcastle/England
    is there any advantages of playing ring middle index when playing with 3 fingers?, i've been practcing index middke ring and i'm woundering if i should stop now and start practing the other way, or r they both the same?

    i've just been pratccing an incantation mainly since i've just started practcing it not long ago.

    ------5----5--
    --------------
    3333----3----- Is the way i would do that for example
    --------------
    IMRI M I M

    what else can i do or play ot get used to playing with 3 fingers? i really dont no where to start or what else to start doin
     
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    There's really no difference between playing 1-2-3-1-2-3 and 3-2-1-3-2-1. Most people play 3-2-1 rather than 1-2-3 because it's more natural in the the way fingers tend to fall (check out when people roll their fingers when they're impatient-they usually start with the pinky and go backwards), but 1-2-3 is fine- it'll even be more helpful if you decide to start including your thumb for four finger plucking, as the standard for that seems to be thumb, index, middle, ring.

    As for practice, just play everything you played with two fingers. The main thing to get ahold of is trying to make sure you play consistently between all three fingers. Use a metronome and start out playing a single note at a very slow speed, and see how consistently you can play for a couple of minutes. There's usually an unevenness between the middle and the ring because of the ring's shared tendon, making it the least independant of the fingers. Playing at a slow speed will often show you inaccuracies or mistakes that you don't notice when playing fast.

    Also, you can work on playing lines starting with a different finger each time. You'll want to keep the middle or ring for skipping up to higher strings to play octaves and such, but when you're playing a line where there's little string skipping, try to mix up how you pluck it to get each finger as strong as the others.
     
  3. Chili

    Chili

    Mar 8, 2005
    Newcastle/England
    kool thx for ur help, can u play anything with 3 fingers that u could with 2? some stuff seem like it wouldnt werk with 3 fingers, or can u play everything with 3 fingers just like u could with 2?
     
  4. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    You should be able to play everything with three fingers that you can play with two. If you can't, then your three finger plucking probably needs more work. There are things that may be easier with two fingers (like short two-note per string runs), but if you plan on using three fingers all the time, then you'll need to learn to play them until they feel natural using three.
     
  5. Chili

    Chili

    Mar 8, 2005
    Newcastle/England
    ok thx, i'm still not sure if u want to use 3 fingers all the time over 2, if theers more advantages using 3 over 2 then i'll probs try and switch and start practicsing using 3, but if i find there isnt any i'll might just stick to 2 and use 3 for certain things
     
  6. i actually have a question about playing with three fingers as well

    obviously, triplets are easy with three fingers but how does everyone else play quads with 3 fingers
    i feel my method is rather strange

    ---------------------------------
    ---------------------------------
    ---------------------------------
    0-0-0-0-1-1-1-1-3-3-3-3-6-6-6-6
    R M I M R M I M R M I M R M I M

    anyone else do it this way?
     
  7. I don't use the RMIMR method simply because it's confusing for me. When I do play with 3 fingers, I always play RMIRMI (ring, middle, index). It's a bit weird to play certain things with 3 fingers but if you find it advantageous then by all means, use it. I don't really play in a style where 2 finger playing is too slow (in fact, I often get by with 1 finger - it sounds more even). It's an interesting technique to develop if you really like soloing - I think John Myung of Dream Theater uses 3 fingers, which probably helps when he plays fast, complex riffs.
     
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Steve Bailey does it that way, and advises others to do the same to help when playing 4, 8, 12, etc. note groups; as a bass player, you'll likely be playing patterns in groups of fours far more than patterns in groups of threes.
     

  9. ]with enough practice, you should be able to play anything with almost any finger combination. I've learned to play with all four fingers + thumb, and i'll play the same song in a variety of ways so that I learn to play the patterns of the songs, not think about the patterns of finger movement.
     
  10. Correlli

    Correlli

    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    I find the 3-2-1, 3-2-1, 3-2-1...flows better.
     
  11. I use 3,2,1,2,1,3,2,1,3,2,1,2,1,3,2,1

    Its weird.
     
  12. :eyebrow:
    If your using 3-2-1 (MRI) wouldn't you just use the finger that was next to go up to the thinner string?
     
  13. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    That is just weird. How can you play when your pattern is so complicated?
     
  14. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    If you count it, you use your fingers as follows:

    R: 4 times

    M: 8 times

    I: 4 times

    Where's the advantage? Why not just go I-M-I-M?
     
  15. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    :confused:
    Good question- I'm not sure where I was going with that one myself :confused: Looks like I started talking about a different plucking thing altogether. Maybe I was drunk.....;)
     
  16. Some players that play with three fingers use M-I-M-R-M-I-M-R. The reason, starting off with the middle finger puts you that much closer to the next string. Do I do it? No, I am a two finger player for the most part. But I do lead with my middle finger. Does that say something about me? Or my audience?
     
  17. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    God dammit, does anybody even read my posts?

    Going RMIMRMI makes you use your M finger twice as much as the others. You might as well stick with IM at that point.
     
  18. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    You should go tell Steve Bailey- I'm sure he'll stop playing that way because you said so.....

    It's still a very beneficial way to play because you are playing the same amount of notes as you would with two fingers without having to pluck as fast (so it is still more efficient than play IM over and over), and your index finger is also being relieved by the ring taking over half of its notes.

    Playing I-M-R-M-I also can have a more consistent feel, as when playing R-M-I-R-M-I, there is a slight gap of time where your ring finger is still raised after your index plucks that it has to recover from. This is why most players notice that triplet "gallop" when they play this manner. It can be overcome, but playing I-M-R-M-I alleviates this problem for the most part as the middle finger is closer to the string after the index plucks than the ring finger is.

    I play in a consecutive pattern of thumb-I-M-R-thumb-I-M-R, but the only reason I can usually avoid a quadruplet "gallop" is because the thumb is hinged downward and doesn't raise up after the consecutive strings are plucked like the ring finger does.
     
  19. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    By the way, more people would probably read your posts more often if you changed your username ;)
     
  20. Assuming they're all equal notes at a good speed, I would do this:

    IMIM R I M