#1
hey.i have been teaching myself bass the past few months and have been learning by playing notes and such with my index finger and thumb. this has been fine for plucking and so on. however i was watching some other bassists playing and have noticed they use their middle finger and index. i didnt know wether i should change or if it would just be a waste of time as i plan to learn to slap and pop which would be using my thumb and index finger anyway. if it would be better for me to change could you please say and possibly give me an exercise or something that you used to get good at "walking".

thanks in advance for the help.
ahh divorce--the process in which a woman rips a mans heart out through his wallet - Robin Williams
#2
well you should definetely learn that because what your doing would have to be slower. as far as excersises just play what your playing except do it with the new fingering style
#3
Paul McCartney plays with his index finger and thumb. For easy songs to practice "walking" I'd recommend Motorcycle Emptiness or If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next by Manic Street Preachers. They're both fairly slow but somehow they make you want to play like that.
#4
heya i be new to bass guitar as well and i know where your coming from i only used to use my index finger... tough playing fast... i now have lessons and been taught to use middle and index fingers but i think its what you find comfortable, if you can adapt your method to the situation why the hell not... maybe learn both then you can choose the easier one...
anywho practicing walking simply i do my scales... nothing technical but you get the basics and then can apply to new situations... most importantly have fun
#5
I think the three finger technique(index,middle,ring) is probably the most useful and fastest technique. Start out on index and middle and gradually add that ring finger in.
#6
Personally, i think what your doin is fine, and dont let anyone criticise your playing by playing that way. Thumb and index is a good way to play, i find it can give you something else, but naturally being the musicians we all aspire to be we want to know as much as possible.
If you want techniques you can find them in vast amounts on the forum. But as you mentioned slap and pop, i would personally say the best technique (my opinion) is Mark King (Level 42), so if you saw any vids of him playing gives you a rough idea, i mean you obviously improvise it for yourself.
For what would be deemed 'standard' playing, three fingers seems to be the way everyone is going (myself included), and for me there is no better example than Billy Sheehan(Talas, Dave Lee Roth, Steve Vai, Niacin). This takes work, but i would say worth it (although Billy himself kinda 'cheats', due to his pickup height etc, and thats what he says not me).
Other than that keep at it, and just keep playin, as for a thumb and finger player, Larry Graham is one of the best, Sly and the family stone (i think), he a top notch bass player and arguably the creator of the slap and pop technique.
Hope this helps.
#7
But theres a difference between having your own style and being impractical. It is just plain faster to play with index and middle finger. I get that you want your own style but at least be open to playing both. I thought I would never want to play with a pick and then I forced myself to start using one and I've noticed a definite different twist in my playing.
#8
thanks all of you i will practice using my index and middle but i will also keep open the possibility to use the thumb and index, and maybe the thumb index and middle. thanks for all the help all points taken.

cheers
ahh divorce--the process in which a woman rips a mans heart out through his wallet - Robin Williams
#9
I use thumb, index and middle for arpeggiating chords
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#10
I find using the thumb, especially with another finger, makes the tone too uneven because your thumb is so much larger and a bit more awkward than the other fingers.
#11
You may be playing that way to set up for slapping and popping in the future, but there are times when that is innappropriate. The reason so many bassists use at least two fingers is because it is a very effective way of playing.
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#12
i use Pointer, Middle and Index for 3/4 time songs
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#13
The style you use all depends on what kind of music you want to play. For instance, slap bass (obviously) makes major use of the thumb. It also depends on the individual. For faster songs, I tend to just use my index and middle fingers. I normally add in my ring finger when playing in a galloping style. If you find using your ring finger harder, try playing with just your middle and ring fingers. This will hellp to co-ordinate the two and also improve strength and dexterity of both fingers. Then when you're comfortable with those two fingers, add in the index finger back in and practice practice practice.

Remember, don't limit yourself to one these styles of music or playing, try and develop each of the techniques. A large variety of techniques is essential to develop you overall playing.
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