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When using 3-4 fingers, should I start my attack with my pinky/ring finger or my index finger?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by TheOriginalName, Oct 28, 2018.


  1. TheOriginalName

    TheOriginalName

    May 28, 2018
    Hey guys and gals, I have a question about technique today. I’m trying to really grind my technique, and incorporate more than two fingers. I’m having some issues and wanted to know which I finger I should lead my attack with when trying to get an Entwistle/Geddy Lee motion going. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. TheOriginalName

    TheOriginalName

    May 28, 2018
     
  3. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    It’s easiest to start with the ring/pinky. That way the motion is like drumming your fingers on a table.
    For fast three finger picking I start either with the index or ring.
    But really you should practice starting with each finger.

    Also it’s good to practice going in each direction (321321 vs 123123), as well as other orders.
     
    TheOriginalName and pcake like this.
  4. Classic IMO would be index, middle, ring, little. However, what works best for you is OK.

    I'd use index, middle and ring, and let the little into the game if it wants to play, but, that is just me. Google will pull up several instructional videos on the subject. Spend some time there and try several ways.

    IMO it is what fits you best.
     
    gebass6 likes this.
  5. TheOriginalName

    TheOriginalName

    May 28, 2018
    Ok. Thanks mate.
     
  6. thewildest

    thewildest

    May 25, 2011
    Montreal
    I don’t use the pinky, but considtently share the plucking load among my T, I, M, R.

    When I first started (6 years ago, came from guitar background and after doing my research in TB, for which I am so thankful) the problem was to make my Ring and Thumb fingers work in a coordinated manner.

    My thumb was too strong and the Ring too weak. What worked was to spend 1 month exercising them, using all sorts of combinations.

    Once the fingers are fit, the brain will do whatever is needed to order them, automatically. Fixing on a pattern is not sustainable, as in music you rarely stay much on any given pattern.

    I hope this helps
     
  7. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Braintree
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    It does not matter what finger you star with, music is not linear or even.

    little finger, ring finger, middle finger, index finger, little finger, ring finger, middle finger, index finger, little finger, ring finger, middle finger, index finger, etc

    If you use a following pattern, as above, you will see that regardless of what finger you start on the same fingers will follow it in order...so its about where you place the "1" or the strong beats that matter.

    little finger, ring finger, middle finger, index finger, middle finger, ring finger, little finger, little finger, ring finger, middle finger, index finger, middle finger, ring finger, little finger, little finger, ring finger, middle finger, index finger, middle finger, ring finger, little finger, etc

    In the above example it is an alternating pattern, and it makes no difference whether you start with the index finger or the little finger as as the movement is in both directions...so again it is where you place the "1" or strong beats.

    For example is you play straight quarter notes the fingers will place the strong "1" will appear on the index finger, then again on the ring finger, and then on the ring finger again, then back to the index finger...tap it out on a surface and see for yourself.

    Now that is a straight quarter note progression, now as we add subdivisions, rests, etc then the fingers will always be changing where the strong beats are.
    So the exercise to learn and develop is to be able to play any strong beat with any finger and any given time.
     
  8. bolophonic

    bolophonic

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Totally depends on the notes.
     
  9. I lead with Ring finger, so it's Ring finger, Middle finger and Index finger.
     

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