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The 4-Finger Technique on Bass: A Game-Changing Approach to Pizzicato Playing

Bass Edu

The 4-Finger Technique on Bass: A Game-Changing Approach to Pizzicato Playing

The 4-Finger Technique on Bass…

Bass players are constantly on the hunt for new techniques to improve their playing and add a unique touch to their performances… Enter the 4-Finger Technique!

This is a revolutionary approach to pizzicato playing that was developed by combining the techniques of some of the most innovative bassists of our time, including Dominique Di Piazza, Victor Wooten, and Gary Willis and developed and brought to light by musicians like the amazing Matt Garrison.

The mechanical principles behind the technique

The basic principle of the 4 Finger Technique is that each finger is assigned a number, with the thumb as 1, index finger as 2, middle finger as 3, and ring finger as 4. The motion that works best is a downstroke with the thumb (1) followed by the index (2), middle (3), and ring fingers (4). The key to mastering this technique is to make sure each finger is completely independent of the others.

To develop your 4-Finger Technique, the first step is to practice doing downstrokes with each finger individually, starting with the thumb. Next, work on combining fingers, starting with the thumb and index, then moving on to the thumb and middle, and so on. After that, work through all the three-finger combinations, followed by using all four fingers.

One of the biggest benefits of the 4 Finger Technique is the increased speed it allows.

With four fingers available on each hand, you can play twice as many notes while exerting only half the energy, making it a much more efficient and economical approach to playing. To practice string crossing, try playing the E string with your thumb followed by your index, middle, and ring fingers on the A string, or try playing the E string with your thumb, index, and middle fingers followed by the ring finger on the A string. There are many possibilities to consider.

In addition to these basic exercises, it’s important to experiment with breaking up the pattern and placing accents on different beats. This is a very thorough process that requires patience and dedication, but the results will speak for themselves.

Matt Garrison himself talks a little bit more about the concept in this video:


In conclusion, the 4 Finger Technique on Bass is a game-changer for any bassist looking to take their playing to the next level. With a combination of speed and efficiency, this technique has the potential to revolutionize the way we play the bass. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a beginner, the 4 Finger Technique is definitely worth exploring.

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