#1
Ok, I've just got my bass (my first bass!) and i love it! I've just got one question or thing to say about fingering technique.

I read up on the internet that when playing with your fingers you CAN or SHOULD alternate between your index and your middle. I've tried this and i can play quite quickly and OK so far... I was just wondering how many of you play with alternating fingers, and is it more common (and easier to use) than just playing with the index finger.

Thanx in advance
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#3
yes u should alternate, every bass player in this forum with any experience at all, alternates with two and veterans even use three. You get more speed its not that hard, if u find your having trouble, theres plenty of bass sites that give free online lessons that give you thingd to build your speed and strenght up


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#4
You should be able to use two. There are times when I only use one, but the majority of the time I pick with three or four fingers.
#5
I, personnally, can't use one. When I try to it screws up everything in my head.
#6
i use two fingers, but i can use all of them if needed. and the thumb if im quickly playing from the g string to the e string and back to the g string. You will get better with practice.
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#7
Once a song gets to a certain speed, I play with two fingers, but it's mainly my middle if it's not too fast.
#9
Once you get the alternating 2 fingers down, start learning to use 3 fingers. It is actually easier to alternate between your index and ring finger, since they are of almost equal length, whereas the middle and index are different lengths. Using all 3 fingers will get you the most speed, although the tone takes a little bit of time to even out.


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#10
me personally i use 2 fingers (my index and middle) ive been trying to play with 3 but right now im happy with the speed i have at the momment but if u need the speed of 3 fingers go for it
#11
Two is definitely more common than one. I know of only two bassists that use/used one finger. This isn't a right or wrong thing really, it's whatever you feel more comfortable with. I think everyone started with two, and people either moved up or down or stayed the same when they started finding their own place on the instrument. Use two for now, until you understand how you wanna play.

#12
Play with two gives more stamina, speed, ease, style and less chance of injury.
Really it's no contest the benfits are there and it's a easy techique while worth your time.
#13
You have to find the clitoris
You'll finger like the best.
#14
I for one would like to see one of thses sites that has lessons on how to increase your speed.
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#16
i use my index and middle finger or index and thumb always. the only time i do anything with a pick is with real fast system of a down stuff or stuff like that.
#17
i do but i dont do index middle index middle in order. but i do use bot it just mite be index index midle index or something
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#18
Quote by enzoslashslash
A Motown bassist (forgot his name) used one finger and got the nickname "The Hook".


That was the legendary James Jamerson. Almost all of the great Motown basslines were laid down by him. A few of them were done by Bob Babbitt (like "Tears of a Clown").

One finger. Some people use two or three fingers, and still can't come up with a bassline as funky or cool as Jamerson's. He was definitely one of the cats.
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#20
wtf a little drop is okay be jeez dude
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#21
Quote by jaco de lucia
That was the legendary James Jamerson. Almost all of the great Motown basslines were laid down by him. A few of them were done by Bob Babbitt (like "Tears of a Clown").

One finger. Some people use two or three fingers, and still can't come up with a bassline as funky or cool as Jamerson's. He was definitely one of the cats.


bootsy collins always used 2 fingers together and kinda struck the string. july's bass player magazine has a picture of him doing it.

and wasnt bootsy like an understudy of jamerson's? a back-up bassist or something?
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#22
I just bought a bass and started playing 2 days ago, and playing with 2 fingers [index and middle] was totally natural for me. But whenever I try to bring in the ring finger, it gets very awkward. Should I leave the ring out for later, or practice using it?
Playing bass after guitar is phsically quite difficult, with the tougher strings and longer neck. But one thing thats been really confusing me is where to keep my thumb when picking the strings upwards with my fingers? Do i keep the thumb hovering arund the pick ups and keep the lower palm on the body of the bass, or should I plant the thumb on the pickup ad keep the rest of the hand hovering around above the pickups? Any advice on that?
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#23
Taking Back Sunday bassist uses only his middle finger, but he's not too dependant on speed
#24
Quote by saqi
I just bought a bass and started playing 2 days ago, and playing with 2 fingers [index and middle] was totally natural for me. But whenever I try to bring in the ring finger, it gets very awkward. Should I leave the ring out for later, or practice using it?
Playing bass after guitar is phsically quite difficult, with the tougher strings and longer neck. But one thing thats been really confusing me is where to keep my thumb when picking the strings upwards with my fingers? Do i keep the thumb hovering arund the pick ups and keep the lower palm on the body of the bass, or should I plant the thumb on the pickup ad keep the rest of the hand hovering around above the pickups? Any advice on that?

The more you practice with your ring finger, the easier it'll get to use it. It's very powerful if you want to do stuff like the gallop.
It doesn't matter where you put your thumb, but I prefer either resting it on the pickup or resting it on the string above the one I'd like to play; depends on how I'm feeling.
#25
Quote by jshep100
Taking Back Sunday bassist uses only his middle finger, but he's not too dependant on speed


Matt Rubano uses a two finger (index and middle) alternating technique.
#26
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again, 2 fingers with bass is better. now eat people.
#28
It's not normal just to use one finger...
Then again, every now and then for slow stuff I'd use my thumb.
#29
I myself prefer alternating between index and middle, I've tried to bring in the ring finger as well but i just find it too awkward. For speed I find i get as much as i need. (My bass teacher said I have faster fingers (on plucking hand) than he does.
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#30
I strictly alternate, and have been developing my third finger recently. As said above, my biggest problem is getting the tone even. That takes time. But sure, start trying three fingers now, it cant do any harm. But dont focus on it as you still need to develop your two finger technique. You should also always lead with the middle finger.

As for hand position, each player varies.. But mostly your thumb should be either anchored to the pup of your choice, or hovering around it. Do what feels more comfortable for you, there is no right or wrong.
#31
I might be mistaken so correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Geddy Lee use one finger most the time?
#32
There are bassists who use one finger, two fingers, three fingers and four fingers. Do what feels right for YOU. It's not about what someone else does dude