Plucking Using The Pinky

author: opiate666 date: 09/23/2008 category: bass lessons
rating: 8.7 / votes: 12 
Note: I practice these exercises on a four string, but I will write out the lesson for a five string, and if you do play a four string just ignore the low B string. I will indicate the fingers used with these characters:
  • T:thumb
  • I:index
  • M:middle
  • R:ring
  • P:pinky Begin on open notes, slowly building your tempo until use of the pinky beccomes more fluent.
    G|---------------------------------0-0-0-0-|
    D|-------------------------0-0-0-0---------|
    A|-----------------0-0-0-0-----------------|
    E|---------0-0-0-0-------------------------|
    B|-0-0-0-0---------------------------------|
       I M R P I M R P I M R P I M R P I M R P
    Now repeat the above exercise focusing on the accents of your fingers, try and make sure that the volumes are similar on each note. After you have even accents try adding accents on particular notes. Now lets try the pinky technique on a quarter note groove. Ascending:
    G|---------------------------------5-6-7-8-|
    D|-------------------------5-6-7-8---------|
    A|-----------------5-6-7-8-----------------|
    E|---------5-6-7-8-------------------------|
    B|-5-6-7-8---------------------------------|
       I M R P I M R P I M R P I M R P I M R P
    Decending:
    G|-8-7-6-5---------------------------------|
    D|---------8-7-6-5-------------------------|
    A|-----------------8-7-6-5-----------------|
    E|-------------------------8-7-6-5---------|
    B|---------------------------------8-7-6-5-|
       P R M I P R M I P R M I P R M I P R M I
    Practice ascending and decending until the pinky becomes more fluent. Also try the ascending and descending at diffrent places on the fretboard. This exercise could take more practice to get an even flow of the fingers. You will also use your thumb in this part if you are playing a five string. Ascending:
    G|---------0-|
    D|-------0---|
    A|-----0-----|
    E|---0-------|
    B|-0---------|
       T I M R P
    Descending:
    G|-0---------|
    D|---0-------|
    A|-----0-----|
    E|-------0---|
    B|---------0-|
       P R M I T
    Practice ascending and descending until they are fluent. Now lets try attaching some notes to the ascending and descending motions. Ascending:
    G|---------9-|
    D|-------8---|
    A|-----7-----|
    E|---6-------|
    B|-5---------|
       T I M R P
    Decending:
    G|-9---------|
    D|---8-------|
    A|-----7-----|
    E|-------6---|
    B|---------5-|
       P R M I T
    Give these exercises a try and drop me a line on what it has done for you. Cheers!
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