3 finger monte

hey all, new guy here. i was reading a bass forum somewhere and almost everyone there used a 3 finger plucking technique vs 2 finger. they all said it really improved their speed, especially on fast gallop tracks. i know that you advocate 2 finger style and say it is what most people use. i have always felt that the best way to learn something is do it right from the start rather than re-learning it later, so would there be any benefit/your thoughts on a noob starting with 3 finger plucking vs two? tanx!


Welcome aboard, @itsratso . . . :slight_smile:

When I first started out, I had trouble alternating just two fingers, and I had to consciously work on doing that. After some time though, I’ve been able to use my ring finger a little bit as well, and yes, it does help to improve speed.

But, IMHO you’re probably better off using two fingers to get started . . . @JoshFossgreen teaches that in the course in some detail.

As you progress and get more comfortable, you can explore other options. :slight_smile:

Good luck and see you around the Forums!

Cheers, Joe


Do you plan on playing lots of fast tracks? For me, using my ring finger rotates my hand too much, but I have small hands.

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If I just practice my right hand alternating index and middle is easy. Once the notes come in I stray a lot including adding a 3rd finger sometimes instinctively. Really struggling alternating when I’m looking at left hand notes and moving around

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although as an old guy i listen to everything, as a young guy i grew up a punk rock kid. so yeah, probably will be some pretty speedy bpm’s at some point. but that’s why god gave us a pick i suppose.

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Depends on what you’re playing and how fast you need to go! I can rip out 16th notes at 160BPM okay with two fingers, and that’s pretty fast. (that would be eighth notes at 320BPM)

But if it’s crazy technical metal stuff you’re after, then yes, 3 finger plucking or a pick might be essential.

That said, you don’t actually have to pick one technique - I use anywhere from 1- to 3-finger plucking depending on what I want in terms of attack and speed, personally.

As a beginner - I 100% recommend you learn how to alternate consistently with two fingers before you start worrying about three finger plucking. Or least work on both… but that sounds overwhelming!

Also, re:gallops - playing a gallop with three fingers might be easier, but it won’t give you the same sound as using two fingers, because two finger gallop fingering of I IM (index index-middle) naturally creates an accent on the beat, and on the “and” of the beat, where a three finger gallop will only naturally accent right on the beat (one two three, one two three, or* three* two one, three two one).

That might not matter, but if you’re going for an Iron Maiden vibe, or copying another two-finger galloper, it pays off to use the same technique.

TL;DR - Most of this doesn’t matter as a beginner! Just learn to alternate, then you can worry about shredding people’s faces off in a year or two.