#1
im trying to decide wether or not to try to learn to play with three fingers (index, middle, ring). im not sure if it would be better to keep just working with two or to try and take the next step. for those of you who can, did you notice an increase in speed after learning? i tried to play with three a few minutes ago and it just felt so awkward. any help or opinions are appreciated.
The only bad f-word is FCC
~Tom Morrello
#2
i'm a guitarist and i've always played bass with with 3 fingers, but that's a guitarist's point of veiw
#4
you should probably play bass with all 4 fingers (index, middle, ring, pinky)
top axes:
Taylor GS8
Fender American Strat (w/DiMarzio pickups)
Epiphone Les Paul
#5
3 fingers is only the "next step" if you treat it as such...I am content with 2 fingers to get pretty much all my basslines down, but on several occasions I find it much easier/faster/cleaner/better/etc to play with 3 fingers...

I say, go for it...Dont devote all of your practice time to 3 fingers because it wont come to you quickly (unless you're a practice-o-holic, lol)...it took me about half a year to develop a decent 3 finger technique (which still needs a ton of work btw) because I didnt devote myself to drills and practice sessions based on the 3 finger technique...It still came to me though and now it feels natural to play with 3 fingers, the "awkwardness" that you described happens to everyone who plays with 2 fingers normally, it passes with time...

If you play mainly speedy metal type music (tech./melo. death, progressive metal, thrash, etc) or if your band/the music you like to play requires the speed of 3 fingers then it may be a good idea to devote yourself to long hours of drills and scales/practice sessions utillizing the 3 finger technique...if not treat it like you would treat any other technique that you wish to learn (slapping/tapping, etc) if you're normally a vigorous practice type guy then go for it or if you pace yourself and allow time to be on your side than do it that way...

point is, if you're interested then do it...

One tip my bass teacher gave me on the 3 finger technique was that it was vital to get the ring finger to work together with the other fingers and for it to develop speed and strength....for this he suggested I tape my index finger to my palm (in a curled in position) and use the ring and middle finger as if they were the usual index-ring pair...I play everything I usually play with my index-middle with my middle-ring...so far its working, my ring finger is hella fast and strong compared to how it was before....

that was kinda long, hope I didnt bore you

<EDIT>
Quote by noah22791
you should probably play bass with all 4 fingers (index, middle, ring, pinky)

not a good idea....the pinky is so weak and short that its not worth trying to use it...plus its size makes you tilt your hand into an awkward and uncomfortable position therefore hindering the normal accuracy of your other 3 fingers...thats how I see it...
"All matter is merely energy condensed into a slow vibration and we're all one consciousness experiencing ourselves subjectively, theres no such thing as death, life is just a dream and we're the imagination of ourselves."
Last edited by XeNoCiDe730 at Aug 21, 2006,
#6
Honestly, there is no good reason not to be able to play with 3, or 4 fingers.
#7
Quote by Bumper
Honestly, there is no good reason not to be able to play with 3, or 4 fingers.


Yea. Is it going to hurt you to play with 3 fingers? No way.

I find it useful for triplets and such, played at fast speeds. If you play strictly with 3 fingers and you're really good at it, it'll also take less effort to play fast songs because the notes are divided up to 3 fingers, not just two.
#8
Playing with three fingers came pretty quickly to me. Playing with four is a little harder. I still haven't gotten my four-fingered playing as smooth as I want it.
#9
But cant you be as fast with 3 finger as 4 fingers.
I mean Billy Sheehan and John Myung are the fastest bassists ive seen and they use 3 fingers.
So is the fourth really necessary?
Never seen a bassist that uses four fingers that tops their speed.
#10
You could use one finger... its just that if you learn with 4, you will be able to play faster and with more fluency. I play with 3, and I don't need any more speed than I already have.


Dictator For Life of the fIREHOSE fANCLUB. PM Me, Tedrick, or Yertle to join.
#11
It depends on how long you have been playing. If you are still starting out, I wouldn't recommend it unless you are a child prodigy in music. Its best to master just using the index and middle fingers until it becomes second nature when you play. Once it becomes muscle memory, then sure go ahead and try out using that ring finger while playing. Trying to do it while still (relatively) new to bass just adds more difficulty and confusion than necessary.
Once you get to the top, the only way to go is down.
#12
i usually play with 2 fingers, middle and index. if i want three, depending on what im playing ill do my ring or thumb. and since i play guitar too, im good at finger picking via classical guitar. buy my thumb is used more than my ring finger. see what is more comfortable for you
Recognised by the Official Who To Listen To List 2012


Quote by steven seagull
You don't argue with tubadude on Washburn-related matters, he flosses with the G string from a set of 0.12's y'know....and it's WOUND!
#13
i play with 2 fingers in the normal walking style but somtimes i use 3 to play faster riffs and fills
Member #12 of the Can't we forget about punk, emo, and all the other subgenres and just ROCK? group. pm rockon1824 to join

Quote by Taoistic_Beer

HEY GUYS, DANI CALIFORNIA ON MAX VOLUME, 100 % CLEAN. HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
#14
Quote by tubadude
i usually play with 2 fingers, middle and index. if i want three, depending on what im playing ill do my ring or thumb. and since i play guitar too, im good at finger picking via classical guitar. buy my thumb is used more than my ring finger. see what is more comfortable for you


one, i pwn you on tuba...and any lowbrass instrument, and 2...i think you do play faster with three fingers and ya it is akward at first
#15
Usually, two fingers is enough. The thing is a lot of beginner bassists crave to be very fast, so they want to learn techniques that involve three or more fingers. As you settle in to your own style over the next few years, you may find that two (or even one finger) is just right--it gives the right amount of space between notes to let the bassline breathe. That is a very Zen concept, but the silence between the motes is just as important as the notes you play. No one wants to hear you play a bajillion notes all the time in every song you play. That only satisfies your ego, not the song or the other group members.

To master the bass, you must master the silence between the notes.

A Shaolin bassline can walk through walls... heh.
Jaco de Lucia.

The Zen of Duh: How low can you go? Zero Hertz. That's the lowest anyone can go. Just turn off your bass amp and not play.

Q-tuner PUs (0X0 configuration) and HG Thor Labs for the best fretless bass tone. MWAH FACTOR!!!
#16
Quote by bass ownz u
one, i pwn you on tuba.


No one likes you and you have no friends.
#17
I usually play with two fingers, but when I'm playing something faster I'll use three. Just practice with two until you're good at it, then start using your ring finger.
#18
Quote by Bumper
Honestly, there is no good reason not to be able to play with 3, or 4 fingers.


How about because someone chooses not to care how fast they can play? Bassists have been playing tasteful and groovy lines without thritysecond speed lines before it became popular, and continue to do so. Unless playing that fast with three or four fingers is tasteful to the song, its more or less wankery, and wankery is the most selfish act any musician can do in terms of playing music.
Once you get to the top, the only way to go is down.
#19
^The point that I was trying to make is that, in absolutely no situation would it be favorable to not know a specific technique. I don't think anyone can argue that.
#20
Using 3 fingers inst pointless it may be just as simple to play a riff with 2 fingers but its all about showmanship.
If you love god, burn a church.- Jello Biafra



Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. -- Jesus

The war on global warming will go full force in.. 3.. 2.. 1..
Send in the peguins!!
#21
Quote by bass ownz u
one, i pwn you on tuba...and any lowbrass instrument, and 2...i think you do play faster with three fingers and ya it is akward at first



if you would like to hear me play tuba, listen to fleetwood mac's platinum live album with the USC band. i play with them quite alot.
Recognised by the Official Who To Listen To List 2012


Quote by steven seagull
You don't argue with tubadude on Washburn-related matters, he flosses with the G string from a set of 0.12's y'know....and it's WOUND!