#1
Playing with the pinky of your plucking hand. Do you think it hinders your speed just by the fact that it's so short? With 3 fingers I can go about 1.5 times fast than I can with all 4 and that's with practicing my pinky for about 3 weeks.

What do you guys think?
#2
Well for one, the pinky has the least amount of muscle of any finger you have. That would be the reason why it's so hard to develop. Also, if you have a system that works with 3 fingers, why change it and add the pinky? Seems like a great way to retard your progress.
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#3
There is no right or wrong answer... do what ever is most comfortable.

James Jamerson played with 1 finger and I don't hear anyone complaining about any of his work! Heck most bassists complain that his lines are to complex, and that they still struggle to play his lines with 2 or even 3 fingers. DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT!!!
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#4
I've never seen a need to use a 4th finger, but then again I don't play at break neck speeds. and it seems lke you need to change you entire hand position to accommodate for the pinky. when ever I try to play 4 finger I feel lke my middle two are being cramped up against the strings.
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#5
the only time a pinky is ever useful is for fretting IMO
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#6
Never heard of using 4 fingers in bass playing though it's common practice in the Classical Guitar world.

Anyways use what's best suited to your playing style.
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#7
yeah if you use classical guitar style pluking it makes a lot but doing like 16thnot runs in the root using 4 fingers seems counter productive.
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#8
I am one of the few bass players I know who actually use the pinky on the plucking hand.
I originally played classical guitar for a few years, then switched to bass.

Yes in classical guitar the pinky is used quite often mainly to play arpeggios or for crossing multiple strings. To some degree the pinky can give you a different tone that sounds a little thinner then the other fingers.

The only reason I use my pinky is because it comes naturally for me. for what ever reason if I'm playing multiple notes and I happen to fret using my left pinky I will inadvertently pluck the string with my right pinky. If I string cross more then a single string I also find it easier to play with my pinky, Ghost notes also seem to come easier for me with my pinky.

I'm not too sure why I do it this way, It may go back to my classical guitar days, but I don't really know

Long story short. If it works for you and is comfortable, then do it, if not then You can practice the technique, but don't put too much stock into it.

Technique should ALWAYS come naturally and should NEVER be forced.
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Last edited by Alucard817 at Apr 14, 2011,
#9
Even the fastest bass players use three fingers. Alex Webster comes to mind. But they Separate it out in 4ths

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#10
Only time I use my little finger is for muting or chords (one string per finger, plucked).

TBH I can play thrash metal and Iron maiden gallops with two fingers, so I usually don't even use three.

I agree to just do whatever's comfortable and work up to the speed you want.
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#11
I use my pinky to mute the E string while playing the G or D, so yeah that's how i utilize my pinky.
#12
It's useful on any guitar for piano style chords, where 5 strings are plucked at exactly the same time, but on bass, I'm not sure it would be that useful
#13
Well I plan on playing death metal, and I notice most DM bassists just use 3. But I figured that 4 would give the ability to go even faster, right?

Also, doesn't Steve Harris use 4?
#14
Quote by Rawshik
Well I plan on playing death metal, and I notice most DM bassists just use 3. But I figured that 4 would give the ability to go even faster, right?

Also, doesn't Steve Harris use 4?

1 I have never seen anyone play faster 16ths with their pinky.
2 no. Steve Harris uses two.
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Last edited by Alucard817 at Apr 14, 2011,
#15
steve harris only uses 2 fingers for playing bass, which i find impressive. i have to use 3 to emulate his gallop patterns.

tbh, using 4 fingers to play in the way that you are talking about seems counterproductive, i would spend your time building up your straight 3 finger speed. (ie. 4ths as posted above).
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#16
Quote by Alucard817
I am one of the few bass players I know who actually use the pinky on the plucking hand.
I originally played classical guitar for a few years, then switched to bass.

Yes in classical guitar the pinky is used quite often mainly to play arpeggios or for crossing multiple strings. To some degree the pinky can give you a different tone that sounds a little thinner then the other fingers.

The only reason I use my pinky is because it comes naturally for me. for what ever reason if I'm playing multiple notes and I happen to fret using my left pinky I will inadvertently pluck the string with my right pinky. If I string cross more then a single string I also find it easier to play with my pinky, Ghost notes also seem to come easier for me with my pinky.

I'm not too sure why I do it this way, It may go back to my classical guitar days, but I don't really know

Long story short. If it works for you and is comfortable, then do it, if not then You can practice the technique, but don't put too much stock into it.

Technique should ALWAYS come naturally and should NEVER be forced.


So how would Sergovia have written for the pinky? PIMA=pulgar,indice,middle whatever, and annular for ring finger. Never seen anything for pinky, but if you want to.
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#17
Quote by summerson1
the only time a pinky is ever useful is for fretting IMO


this, I only use three when doing Iron Maiden type stuff, can go much faster with 2. Never use the 4th on the right hand, but thats just me
#19
Really? Some reason I was expecting encouragement for it and other people saying that's a lot better. I kinda don't want to stop using my pinky, I mean, I've already been practicing with it 3 weeks. You guys think I should stop?
#20
if you can use it well go for it. but like I said it makes my middle and ring fingerget all cramped against the strings and slows them down a bunch.
no sir away a papaya war is on
#21
Would it be worth it to try to get it faster and stronger or should I just work on the three getting faster?
#22
i would just work on your three finger,put I dunno, its you call in the end.
no sir away a papaya war is on
#23
If it's working for you don't give it up. Everyones hands are different but work on three fingers as well. It's always nice to be able to fall back on another technique.
#24
Well I decided to play with my pinky. I'm too far into practicing it to not to. What are so good ways to exercise it?
#25
Quote by jackers1234
steve harris only uses 2 fingers for playing bass, which i find impressive. i have to use 3 to emulate his gallop patterns.

tbh, using 4 fingers to play in the way that you are talking about seems counterproductive, i would spend your time building up your straight 3 finger speed. (ie. 4ths as posted above).


I think you guys are wrong about Steve Harris. About 17 years ago, I knew his brother-in-law. He lived across the street from a bar I used to work at and would come in 2 or 3 times a week. He's a speed metal drummer. It's been a while. I think his name is Dave. We were talking about music, and I mentioned that Steve is my idol and the reason I started playing bass. He turned and looked at me and said "What?! Dude, He's my brother-in-law!" No lie. We sat and talked about him for a while. He said Steve is a "nice guy who's really down to earth" - doesn't have that rock star ego or mentality. He also said Steve plays primarily with ONE finger. Yes, one! Sometimes he gallops with two.
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Last edited by deeptubes at Apr 22, 2011,