I was planning to learn how to finger bass by alternating between 3 fingers instead of two. I recently killed a habit I had of fingering with one finger and I've gotten used to playing with 2 fingers as I should perfectly fine. I've only been playing bass for 6 months and I'm wondering how exactly I should approach the learning of this technique. Any information and tips will be greatly appreciated.
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i'm sorry, i'm not at all helping, but i just came to this thread from some stupid sex thread. and the title made me laugh. alot.

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It was such a good suggestion you gave him pi?

yeah, he gave me pi.
How did you ever manage with only one finger?
I'm trying to move to 3/4 finger at the moment from two finger, and I guess the best advice is to just keep practicing.

i'm sorry, i'm not at all helping, but i just came to this thread from some stupid sex thread. and the title made me laugh. alot.


Haha, I just read that thread too.
Quote by GuitarUltimate?
i'm sorry, i'm not at all helping, but i just came to this thread from some stupid sex thread. and the title made me laugh. alot.


I actually managed a way to use my three finger bass technique on a girl once. I was epic.
Take your time, and try your best to incorporate it into the songs that you are playing, making it a point to get the 3 finger pattern down. That's what I did and now I can use 3 fingers with relative ease.
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How did you ever manage with only one finger?

It is quite easy if you:
a)play slow songs
b)are able to backstrroke with your finger. however, you need really short nails.
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Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

I'm currently working on this technique too and theres no secret to success just lots and lots of practice. Everyday it seems i try to get this technique down i get a little smoother and faster. As for the technique Myung and Sheenan use the 3213 2123 1321 technique, practice that every day.
Referring to Victor Wooten
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"Wa wa wa English is my first language, music is my second blah blah blah wank wank wank I rule, love me suck my dick."

That's all I heard in that entire interview.

My Band:
3 finger bass may be considered either as:
- a speed technique to "roll out", like a banjo, extended 16th and 32nd note (that's 4 and 8 notelets to your regular quarter note, folks) basslines,
- an "ease" technique to "rake" ("thump-pluck") 8th or 16th notes Jaco style
- occasionally use the 3rd finger for extended arpegii

BTW: Iron Maiden's Steve Harris plays with 2 fingers, listen to him at 1min53sec:

As a speed technique, you'll find very limited use, considering the nature of bass itself in a rock band, which mutes a lot to "lock the groove" (I like to use also the word "breath" here) with the drums. You play it as a percussive roll with a melody on top. This requires LOTS of practice for the reason that, like your typical banjo playing, you actually play a bassline on top of a 16th or 32nd note line , so:
- - not only do you need to achieve speed regularity, equal dynamics and match the beat for sense of flow,
- - but also pluck at a higher dynamic level (pluck harder/louder) a melodic line consisting of notes of different lengths, eventually ghosting (move your plucking fingers as if you were to play the note but stopping short of plucking the note) several of the underlying 16th notes ...

... all without your thumb.

Check out Marlow of Denmark for cool 3 finger bass lessons:

In summary, to give you an idea of what you're trying to achieve: 3-finger bass is like banjo on bass without the thumb, which to me at least, is harder than banjo itself.

When practicing always use a metronome.

2 fingerplaying, building speed with the nicest person living on earth and who I once had the chance to meet, Mr Nathan East:

Note: Disco style, (which is based on a 8th note rythm pattern) is always 2 finger playing,

Marlowe "Blame it on the boogie"

Marlowe "Hit me with your rythm stick"

Marlowe "Car Wash"

Check out Marlowe's amazing bass lesson video library:
Last edited by ColdGin at May 18, 2008,