#1
Ehm is the thirdd finger (ring finger) really necesary in bass playing.
Or can you be as good with only two?
#2
Its not neccessary, but it does make certain things easier.

EDIT: Now that I think about it, there are also player who play with one, like Taking Back Sunday's Matt Rubano. He says playing with 2 fingers gives an uneven sound! He is a very under-rated bassist.


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#3
You can be just as good with two. In fact there are a few players such as steve harris who it looks like they play with three and sounds like it but really they play 2
#4
i play guitar and bass and i'm of the opinion that you can't be really good without using all 4 fingers (sometimes even your thumb depending on what you're doing) no way could les claypool rock like he does on just 2 fingers.
#5
if you watch rush play live, you'll see that Geddy mainly uses one finger (index), with occasional help from his middle for particularly fast parts.
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#6
I always have used two by preference, but it seems rather simple to add the third finger in on a lot of basslines. No, it's not necessary.
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#7
Quote by z4twenny
i play guitar and bass and i'm of the opinion that you can't be really good without using all 4 fingers (sometimes even your thumb depending on what you're doing) no way could les claypool rock like he does on just 2 fingers.


Im talking about the finger hand not the fret hand.
If you were talking about finger hand then i wanna know how he can play with his pinky cus thats would be sick.
#8
i use three fingers on the The Trooper - iron maiden, cos its in a triplet rhythm
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#9
I generally use four fingers, just because it feels right. I don't think it actually makes me faster than if I used two. I like the way it feels, it seems more balanced and comfortable.
I reckon you can be just as good with two as with three or more, its more an issue of what you find comfortable.
#10
Quote by MaidenRules666
You can be just as good with two. In fact there are a few players such as steve harris who it looks like they play with three and sounds like it but really they play 2



according to harris himself, he plays with three.
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#11
two fingers can do anything three can do...just build up the speed. I've been playing with 2 for about 3 years..and in the past month I've started to add my ring finger. so...its all personaly preference.
#12
I play with three just because of the type of music I play, but you can get along just fine with two.
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#13
Quote by flyingmarlin
i use three fingers on the The Trooper - iron maiden, cos its in a triplet rhythm


wrong.

its a Galloping rythmn.

triplets are different, they are steady streams of notes in groups of 3, whereas the galloping rythmn has groups of 3 notes, but not in a steady rythmn, its in a : E S S E S S
pattern (E= 8th, S=16th)


i just find the 3rd finger to be very useful, especially if you do scales in 3 notes per string runs up and down.


EDIT: and drop the "Steve uses 2/3/4 fingers" arguments. unless someone can provide a VIDEO OF STEVE STATING HE USES ONE OR THE OTHER, then words mean nothing.
#14
James Jamerson used only one to do all the Motown stuff he played on. It wasn't speed metal, but his stuff was improvised on the spot and incredibly melodic. He called his pointer finger on his right hand "The Hook". It laid the foundations for more top ten hits than the Beatles, Elvis, and the Beach Boys combined.

In my musical philosophy, musicians go through five phases:

1. Rhythm
2. Melody
3. Virtuosity
4. Mood
5. Innovation

The first step in musicianship is understanding the rhythm of whatever music you play--getting the feel right. In terms of bass, even playing just the root notes with the right groove makes the song work, whereas playing it without any feel or sense of timing kills the song.

The second step is understanding the melody. In a piece, the musician will play the basic melody to get a handle of how the song goes. Then comes...

Virtuosity. Once melody is understood, the musician can expand on it by playing not just the melody, but modal fills and runs that work in the same chord context. YOu can go extreme on this by playing as fast as possible and embellishing it to your heart's content. but somewhere along the line, age catches up and a sensibility to the importance of the song and ensemble comes back...

Mood. It's not just the fast runs, but to be able to know when silence is just as important. It's a Zen thing. You slow it down and color the notes with emotional feeling--every bend of the note means something. Every pause bewteen notes also holds emotional content. Where do you go from here?

Innovation. You have exhausted all you can do in the context of the music you know. Something new has to be created in terms of your own style--you have to reinvent yourself and try a different approach to keep from being pigeonholed or bored with your limitations. You start fingerpicking instead of playing with a pick. You learn to slap and pop the bass and play the song with a new feel...

If you think about it, western music has gone through these trends as well, in many cycles:

Medieval (establishment of rhythm)
Renaissance (establishment of melody)
Baroque and Classical (establishment of virtuosity)
Romanticism (establishment of mood)
Impressionism and expressionism (innovation)

early swing (establishment of rhythm)
Big Band (establishment of melody)
bop (establishment of virtuosity)
modal jazz (establishment of mood)
fusion (innovation)

early rock and roll (rhythm)
early to mid 60s rock (melody)
prog rock (virtuosity)
70s mellow rock (mood)
punk (innovation--hey, something had to break!)
new wave (rhythm)
early 80s technopop (melody)
mid 80s metal (virtuosity)
late 80s power ballads (mood, yuck!)
90s GRUNGE (innovation)

For me, being fast is not the end-all be-all goal of playing bass. Besides, there is a limit to how many low bass notes you can play per second before it sounds like MUD. For me, I'm still at stage 2 (melody) on bass, trying to find ways to get to stages 3, 4 and 5. I don't have the supreme confidence to just jump into a super fast run solo and whip it out, but I have the rhythm and melody parts down pretty good to hold the fort down and embellish as need be. Looking at it another way--I am always soloing on bass, because I never play the part the same way twice. Besides, my finger joints are not agile enough to do all those high falootin Victor Wooten things...

By the way, I use four fingers--first finger, second finger, third finger (for flamenco rasgueados on bass and muting (which is VERY important) and plucking triple stops), and thumb (not technically a finger, but I use it a lot for thumping, muting, and artificial harmonics ala Jaco).
#15
^ i love this guy's modesty and vastly superior knowledge comparing to the huge majority of bass forumers
#17
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#18
Quote by Incubus_SCIENCE
Its not neccessary, but it does make certain things easier.

EDIT: Now that I think about it, there are also player who play with one, like Taking Back Sunday's Matt Rubano. He says playing with 2 fingers gives an uneven sound! He is a very under-rated bassist.


Geddy Lee says the same thing and he plays with four fingers. He only plays with the amount of fingers it takes to place the piece - if he can play it with one finger, he will.
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#19
hmmh... it's not necessary but it's useful when doing triplets
i use it in the slayer's raining blood intro (the 2 part)
i'd also like to use all the 4 fingers in fast songs but it's really difficult to me
im a finger player


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#20
Quote by mangablade


EDIT: and drop the "Steve uses 2/3/4 fingers" arguments. unless someone can provide a VIDEO OF STEVE STATING HE USES ONE OR THE OTHER, then words mean nothing.


yeah, the issue is there are loads of "interviews" where he aparrently states one or the other, but they are surprisingly hard to find. I personally think he uses two, when you watch him play, his ring finger seems to just be going along for the ride, so to speak.
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i think he wants to dream theater to be considered more metal, so he dyed his beard.


...

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Lmfao, this is the best thread ever, aside from the fact that it involves a girl being harpooned through a tent.
#21
Buy me flowers??

Oh, let me add that I play bass with my fingernails. Since I double up on flamenco guitar for my gigs, I have to keep my nails long--so I decided long ago to get them done at the nail salon--gels are the best--forget acrylics, they are too brittle. I get a nice percussive tone that cuts through the mix, and since I use some flamenco technique (rasgueados--the rolls), it doesn't look too out of place with the flamenco/North African music group I'm in.

Plus, it only costs me half as much--because only my right hand needs them--and I can write them off as a business expense. Tell that to your girlfirends!

Playing P-bass with nails sounds great too. Sort of a James Jamerson/Carol Kaye tone.

I never thought that I'd be sitting in a nail salon getting my nails done, but it's pretty cool--especially when I can also get a nice relaxing pedicure and foot massage. And all the women that come in to get their nails done (some are hotties) are curious enough to ask about my music. There's nothing wrong with that in my book!
#22
Quote by z4twenny
i play guitar and bass and i'm of the opinion that you can't be really good without using all 4 fingers (sometimes even your thumb depending on what you're doing) no way could les claypool rock like he does on just 2 fingers.

I guess Jamerson wasn't really good, I mean... he only used ONE finger.
#23
for me depends on time signature and how fast, i'm usually content with 2 for 4/4 and any multiple and factor of 4.

whereas i'll use three for a 3/4, 6/8 etc
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