Beginning Player

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by SpecialEd, Oct 13, 2002.

  1. What can I do to help my reach and dextarity with my ring and pinky fingers? Besides practice are there any exercises that I can do or am I just stuck with practice, preacitce, practice?
  2. Chriss62


    Jul 24, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    I dont know a thing about any specific exercises to improve dexterity, but as for the practice thing, it's true. Ive been playing for about 2 years and i've been told by other bass players that i've progressed very nicely and quite quickly too.

    So practice every day. ALL THE TIME!!:D

    or else.......:eek:
  3. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I'd just practice. Practice is a lot more fun than doing hand exercises.
  4. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
  5. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    First, welcome to the wonderful world of bass! :)

    Practice, practice, practice of course! :D As for exercises, there have been a few mentioned in the Technique forum you might want to do a search.

    One exercise that I like is from an article in the August 2000 issue of Bass Player. It's called "Bass Isometrics" and its goals are for finger independence and to improve finger strength. This is a good exercise to warm-up!

    Here are the examples given from that article:

    On the D string: "Alternate your 1st and 2nd fingers on the D string [notes CBCBCBCB...], and hold down the 3rd and 4th on the G [string]"

    "Alternate 1st and 3rd on the D [notes C# and B], hold down 2nd and 4th on the G"

    "Alternate 1st and 4th [notes D and B], hold down 2nd and 3rd"

    "Alternate 2nd and 3rd [notes Db and C], hold down 1st and 4th"

    "Alternate 2nd and 4th [notes D and C], hold down 1st and 3rd"

    "Alternate 3rd and 4th [notes D and C#], hold down 1st and 2nd"

    The article says it's good to practice this exercise at least 5 minutes a day.

    Hope this helps :)
  6. practice.
    and if you need something else get one of those gripmaster hand strength things

    i have one.
  7. thanks for all of the advice it has really been helping a lot
  8. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses, Taurus Amplification
    c maj in 2 octaves:) also dig into anasthesia (Burton`s bass solo from first metallica album) - one of my favourite "pracitce, practice, practice" songs. besides that, guitarist i know often do (sorry for the tab) :

    e -------------2-3---
    a ---------2-3-------
    d -----2-3-----------
    g -2-3---------------

    ... then also all the way down. only with ring and pinky.
  9. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    is'nt that the spider exercise?
  10. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    An exercise that helped me a lot was one I learned from a Dave LaRue instruction video. He called this exercise the "spider exercise." His is different than the ones described above. I think he credits Jaco with this exercise.


    Start on the first fret of the E-string (F). Play F, F#, G, G#. The G# will be a stretch at first. Don't get disheartened. With time it will come.

    Shift to the A-string. Start on the fourth fret. Play C#,D, D#, E.

    Shift to D-string. Start on seventh fret which is A. Play A, A#, B, C.

    Shift to G-string. Start on the tenth fret which is F.
    Play F, F#, G, G#. Then reverse, descending the exact way you ascended. You should end up exactly on the E-string, first fret which is F. If you do not, you missed a shift somewhere.

    Note that you start with the F, F#, G, and G# on the E-string and end with the F, F#, G and G# on the G-string. Then you reverse the whole exercise so that you end up where you started.

    Extra advice: I did this exercise so much in the past and feel it had some great advantages if you put your "all" into it.

    One: Say the name of each note you play...great for fretboard familiarization and ear training.

    Two: Use a metronome and build up speed slowly. Instead of going for speed at first, go for even attack, precision, and keeping fingers close to fretboard. Work on smooth transitions from string to string, ascending and descending.

    Three: Only when you feel you can do the above with confidence should you work on speed. Once you do have speed, you will really notice how the agility and stretch in your fingers develops.

    Four: This exercise is a great warm up before a practice session, rehearsal or gig. It is even a good way to test a bass in a music store.
  11. get some of those little chineese handball things... i don't know what they're really called, but it's two small metal balls that you rotate in your hands. spin those things around whenever you're not playing and you will gain plenty of dexterity and finger strength. and try not to use your thumb when you use it, that helps.

    want proof? i typed the above statement in nine tenths of a second.
  12. The spider exersize is a good one I like that one and the little ball thing is good too I have been doing that one for about a month or so