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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by kserg, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    Ok… does anyone do exercises with out bass.. say you are in school… do you guys do anything to practice your skills with out actually bass:]

    I have a problem with my frets… cant get my fingers on all of em at once… don’t spread that far… so like for that problem…what exercise can you think of…
    and something of that kind… for different stuff … just something to-do to improve while being bored at school:/

    I dono it is totally stupid but I do really have left hand problems… I switched my hands from left to right (played acoustic lefty) and now I need to get my left hand to run frets and stretch it out so I can be use all 4 fingers… plus acoustic frets are much smaller:/

    So I know this is dumb but if anyone know exercise to stretch your fingers sideways please let me know…

    And while on that note… you know other stuff be kind of cool too:p


  2. Tez


    Jan 24, 2004
    Unless you have extremly small hands , mine sread from first finger to little finger is 5.5 inches or approx 16 cm you will find its the possition of the thumb which in most cases should be possitioned in the centre of the neck not up on the top side . and you should concider whether you have your Bass slung too low as this with put your thumb back up on the top side again . allso look at whether the angle of your forarm is too severe
    sometimes it needs to be at right angles from the neck to allow good finger spread.
    Im not saying this is gospel it just works for me, so give it a try
    as for an excersize drumming your plucking fingers agains an edge in a plucking motion helps to increase your speed and stamina (unless you are using a pick)
  3. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    hmmmm.. nope my hands are prity large but for some reason... i can stretch em allright but once they are stretch i cant bend them... its weird:/
    every1 told me with time they will get there (my right hand is ok... prob my left is not used to it) right now i am just playing with 3 fingers and no pinky but i still move my hand up and down:/ its very crappy:/
    thats the reason i thought stretching my hand abit..:/ maybe it would help:/

    Thanks though... i will try to position my thumb abit diffrently.. right now i have it slightly to the side of hand somewhat in the middle... but my palm still touches the wood abit:/
  4. You need to make sure your hand is relaxed as well. If you tense up too much you won't be able to stretch as far. The stronger your fingers are, the less you have to tense up and the easier it is to stretch.

  5. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    beef up my fingers:]

    Ya, makes sense... maybe i am abit tense when trying to stretch em on my left arm... i'll see today if i can do anything about it... like you know... seating on my arm antil it cant move... that would remove tension:]

  6. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    There's not much you can do without a bass if you're looking to improve your physical strength. It comes naturally as you play bass for longer.

    The only thing that I think would not be a complete waste of your time is to work on coordination. Just try moving your fingers in patterns. Try turning on Num Lock, Caps Lock, and Scroll Lock, then turn them off in the reverse order. Whatever you do, don't hurt your hands or wrists.
  7. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    You can do a certain amount of fingerboard familiarity study and also general music theory study without having your bass in hand. Take a blank piece of paper and draw a bass neck. Now fill in the notes on every string at every fret. Mix it up when you do this - that is; Don't always go up chromatically from E, instead try filling in all of the notes that are at the fret markers then go back and fill in the spaces. Draw a bass neck and write in the notes assuming it is tuned to drop D. This can help you get to know the neck. Draw a circle of 5ths. Write all of the notes in various scales. Use your fingerboard diagrams to look for new ways to play scales - how to play a Maj and a min along one string, across 3 strings, 4 fret patterns, five fret patterns. Use that diagram to find every E on your bass neck. Find every note in every place it exists on the neck, know lots of ways to play scales, arpeggios, etc. Start studying basic theory - stuff like the circle of 5ths and modes and things like that and you may find that there are times when you have to put the instrument down and pick up a piece of paper and pencil to get your head around a concept. That is good stuff to study when you can't play bass but want to work on music.
  8. rhinestone


    Jan 5, 2004
    As for excercises in school, just try tapping out rhythms using all five fingers (sort of like each finger is a different note). This helps a lot with tapping and fingerpicking.
  9. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    For the vast majority of bassists, hand and finger strength is probably not an issue. On a bass that is set up well, it requires relatively little strength to play.

    In fact, overexertion is a fairly common problem, with some bassists mistakenly using a vice-like grip on the neck of the instrument.

    Instead, the problem is a lack of coordination - when starting, the finger movement required to play bass feels awkward and unnatural to most people.

    Try to relax as much as possible and keep practicing - go slowly (perhaps really slowly) while learning any particular passage.

    Also, make sure your thumb remains behind the neck (with only light pressure!) - at least most of the time.

    Maybe you're a person who'll have to work a little harder than most to achieve good coordination, but it will probably come with focused, persistent effort.

    Good luck to you.
  10. H2ODog


    Sep 30, 2003
    Roseville, CA
    Regarding your freting problem...have you tried to pivot your thumb? By using your thumb as an anchor point and pivoting to reach the 4th an 5th frets with your #4 finger you can easily reach those frets and be able to get back into position since your thumb never left the original point by pivoting back. You don't keep your #1 finger in place, you carry it with the others to reach the higher frets. I hope this helps you, i know it did for me, my bass teacher pointed this out to me and it's also explained on a DVD i have.
  11. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    Ha... acctually worked... i wasent sure what you ment but i put my thumb on diffrent positions adsjusted it abit and found one that made it easy to use all 4 fingers instead of 3 that i used:/ hopefully this was right... tanx:]

    Thank you all for advices apreciate it:]