Building Finger Strength

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by (hed)-less, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. (hed)-less

    (hed)-less Guest

    Aug 5, 2001
    Northern England
    Has anyone else tried to build strength in both their fretting fingers and plucking fingers without actually picking up a bass?

    At the moment I've started squeezing foam balls (about the size of tennis balls) when I am just watching TV. What methods do any of you use, any specific exercises?
  2. You're on the right track. There are dense foam hand exercise grips sold at sporting good stores. These are better than a ball because they are shaped to your hands/fingers and cover the entire width of your hand, each finger gets a work out at the same time. After doing the squeezing exercises, do the opposite by stretching out your hands/fingers as much as you can. Getting all those muscles in shape not only eliminates cramps, it also helps your playing speed.

    Paul Mac
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    You've had all the finger strength you'll ever need for bass playing since the age of 3. Electric bass, that is.

    Getting these exercise doodads is all well and good, but you'll only be fooling yourself if you think stronger fingers will make you a better player.

    The only advantage of exercising your fingers is to build endurance, but that's it.
  4. SpiralStatic

    SpiralStatic Guest

    Nov 1, 2005
    Dundee, Scotland
    i just do scale excersises on my Bass...
  5. A super huge +1 !!

    All this talk of finger strength for EB is bolony !!
  6. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    The best training for your hands is your instrument. Besides, endurance isn't just about strength. It's also about being used to the instrument. I remember that some years ago one of my brothers had an horrible electric guitar and an overdrive pedal. He lent them to me and, just for a fun time, I played Green Day tunes along with the "Dookie" CD (just power chords). I already have been playing bass for a long time (and paying special attention to the physical aspects of playing) so playing power chords on an electric guitar seemed effortless. Wrong! I started to feel cramps in my left hand and had to stop. I took that as an endurance exercise also and kept playing until I overcame that problem. It was a big lesson for me.
  7. The point is being missed here. We're talking about the times when it's not possible to play the instrument. There are exercises that can be done during these times that will help.

    If you think this is all baloney, so be it...
  8. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    I agree, strength is not the issue. Its flexibility. When I'm not with my bass I practice different finger patternes (fret hand). Easy to make up stuff, just do like 1-3-2-4 get it good and even and then try to up the speed.

    I find the 2-3-2-3-2-3-2-3 combination on my hands especially clutzy, so I do that a lot, along with 3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4 etc etc.

    I've been in many situations over the years when I've had to play for hours on end, and regardless of how 'inpractice' or not I was at the time, strenght was never an issue. Keeping the hands loose and uncramped was important.
  9. d_squad54

    d_squad54 Guest

    Dec 2, 2005
    Let me rephrase that statement. I am speaking of all aspects, not just strenght. Meaning, control, endurance, flexibility, whatever it is. All with the idea that you dont have a instrument to practice on.