Playing fingerstyle bass guitar takes a lot of practice compared to using a pick; you need to really sharpen those fine-motor skills to get your fingers coordinated properly. When you watch your favourite bassists or some dude on Youtube flying with their fingers – it can get pretty discouraging.
Nobody, not even Geddy Lee came out of the womb capable of flying fingerstyle on the bass guitar. Everyone needs to put in the time to build up the dexterity, strength and stamina required to play exclusively fingerstyle at a fast tempo. Sure, you can start out with one or two fingers and play slow tunes and get by – but if you’re into hard rock and heavy metal like me, you inevitably need to play faster (either for entire songs or for certain passages) than two fingers will allow.
That’s where the three finger plucking technique comes in.
There are various ways to learn how to do this, and it can get complicated fast. Some people are picky about what finger you start on: index – middle – ring or ring – middle – index?
However, I’m not going to teach you how to play with three fingers – I just want you to know that it takes time and lots of practice – so keep at it! But guess what, I found this video on Youtube that talks about 3 finger plucking technique tips for strengthening your fingers and dexterity.
This guy is using elastics and plumber washers to strengthen his plucking fingers – stuff that you can find at any hardware or department store (or kicking around your house for that matter) for next to nothing! I’m not sure if anyone else out there is teaching bass fingerstyle strength conditioning?
Check it out below and let me know what you think.
- Good fingerstyle resources (ask.metafilter.com)