Two finger plucking exercises

I’m struggling a bit with plucking technique, my middle finger seems to naturally pluck lighter and timing is less consistent than plucking with my index.

I’ve been working on right hand technique with a metronome but that is watching-paint-dry boring.

Are there any less boring exercises to improve this?


My bass coach gave me an exercise on which I verbalized "1 and 2 and 1 and 2… as I plucked with my index and middle (1 and 2) for 15 minutes a day. You can do scales, arpeggios or whatever.
It worked for me


Don’t worry, just about everyone goes through the “unbalanced plucking fingers” thing.

Personally, I never used a metronome for working on balancing plucking, because it’s not about keeping time when you’re at this stage of learning.

Instead, alternately pluck each string slowly with each finger when you practice. Feel the amount of effort needed to create sound with each finger, and listen closely.

In time, your brain will adjust the amount/speed of pressure each finger needs to exert to produce an equal volume from either pluck.

It works. Just be patient and keep at it.


Learn some songs that are mostly just chugging 8th notes. ZZ Top has a ton of them for example (Gimme All Your Lovin, Sharp Dressed Man, etc)

  1. practice practice practice - it comes with time.
  2. a compressor :upside_down_face:
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This is great advice for any bassist of any ability or level.
The ZZ Top groove is a deeeeep groove.
And it’s fun to practice the chugging, back and forth with some actual tunes.

Here’s a similar, though different, thread that may have a pointer or two?
Good luck.


I’m a little over one week in as a complete noob, and having a similar issue where my middle finger plucking sounds as weak as piss. When I am focusing on rhythm and fretting, my plucking fingers go all over the place: I catch my nails (which are as short as possible), I pluck outwards and lose my spot on the pickup in an effort to just keep up.

I’ll take Pam’s advice and work on this a lot daily. I love the suggestion of ZZ Top!


Just relax and take things super-slow, concentrating on how it feels when you pluck both 1 and 2 at equal volumes. The key is to not pressure yourself to achieve perfection. Simply practice and repeat, slowly, until you feel relaxed. This technique is achievable. Just keep at it.


Thanks for the advice, have same problem. Didn’t know if it was old age. No Arthritis, just really slow.