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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by KingsofLeon, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. KingsofLeon


    Jan 15, 2004
    Hello everyone,
    I've been playing bass nowfor a little over a year and my right hand/fingers are pretty fast but i'm having trouble working up the strength in my left hand, does anyone here know some good exercises that will get my left hand/fingers stronger? Thanks.
  2. Viktor


    Jun 21, 2003
    This is sometihin I've picked up from John Patitucci...it helped me a great deal ...so I hope it'll help you!
    It goes like this:
    2 4 3 5 4 2 5 3--->these ar your fingers
    Ok...so....2(index finger),3(midle f.),4(ring),5(pinky).....ok...so...what you should do is play it as a groove,....and later you could do the same thing using octaves..ok?Whell I hope this hekps your left hand technique!PEACE!
  3. Jeff2287


    May 4, 2002
    I've got a sort of routine worked out for myself. It comes in steps so feel free to do either just parts of it or the entire thing if you feel like.

    1.)I play a two octave E augmented scale forwards and backwards. I follow this up with a two octave E diminished scale and then a two octave E whole-tone scale. To finish it off, I do a three octave E chromatic scale.

    2.)I learned this next one from my teacher. Basically, it's like this:



    The diagram is an abridged tab with my fretting fingers displayed beneath the actual tab. It's basically playing major thirds with alternating fingerings that go up by half-steps going up the entire neck. After going up and down the neck, I then play this finger patern an the A string and G string. One trip up and down the neck later, I do the same finger patern with the E string and G string. (I hope that made some sort of sense 8-O).

    3.) I play a three octave E phrygian scale all the way up the neck and then all the way back down.

    4.) I play a one octave E phrygian scale up and down and I play all of the modes this way in ascending order until I reach the next octave of E phrygian.

    5.) I got this little gem from John Myung's Progressive Bass Concepts video. Play some basic pentatonic scales with different plucking finger combinations. I take it a little farther than John however. I first play a pentatonic with my index and middle fingers, then my index and ring fingers, then with all three of those fingers, and then I go a little further by doing another scale with all four fingers.

    I hope something I've typed here has been useful.
  4. KingsofLeon


    Jan 15, 2004
    thank you so much guys!
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    Permutations are number theory.

    Essentially it's simply Cycling through a sequence of numbers.

    For bass exercises, the most practical sequence is where N=4

    those sequences end up being
    1 2 3 4
     1 2 4 3
     1 3 4 2
     1 3 2 4
     1 4 2 3
     1 4 3 2
     2 3 4 1
     2 3 1 4
     2 4 1 3
     2 4 3 1
     2 1 3 4
     2 1 4 3
     3 4 1 2
     3 4 2 1
     3 1 2 4
     3 1 4 2
     3 2 4 1
     3 2 1 4 
     4 1 2 3 
     4 1 3 2
     4 2 3 1
     4 2 1 3
     4 3 1 2
     4 3 2 1

    Now I'll bet you are thinking, oh....kay...and this applies to bass how?

    well, that;s the beauty part, it can apply however you can imagine. All you have to do is assign a value to each number, and then play with that value in consideration.

    For example. You can assign 1-2-3-4 as your left hand fingers

    now using that pattern, practice working through the permutations all over the neck.

    You can apply it to the strings, if you want to work on your string crossing, 1-2-3-4 strings

    or if you have a 5 or 6 string bass

    use that site to calculate the permutation values for N=X

    but be warned, permutations are also a way of testing your processors buff, so keep the numbers low, because they raise exponentially, and eventually you will get overwhelmed if you were to apply N=10 or so.

    So generally you should just stay with N=4.

    I digress, Another example of how to use permutations is with right hand fingering.

    if you use 3 fingers then you can experiment with the different combinations of them.

    If you do double thumb stuff, then you can apply N=4 to that
    1(thumb down)
    2(thumb up)
    3(pop index)
    4(pop middle)

    this is a GREAT way to work on your right hand double thumb technique, but some of the permutations are a little weird and don't necessarily translate well to a practical exercise.

    Now again, the real beauty is that you can apply them in so many different ways, you can permute whole passages of a song, if you like a riff, permute it around the neck. You could say that
    2(half note)
    3(quarter note)
    4(dotted eighth note)

    and permute it like that(though you may want to get some manuscript paper and chart more complex ones down for your own sake)

    whatever you can think of.

    overall Permutations are a great way to improve your technique all around, it may not do much for your musicality, but certainly there are scores(pun intended) of other exercises and things to do for that.

    Be sure to practice with a metronome, set your parameters for each exercise, then plow thru them, don't stand for mistakes, if you mess up, penalize yourself by starting the exercise over from step one.

    A wise man once said "an Amateur practices until he gets it right. a Professional Practices until he never gets it wrong.

    As with any fingering exercise, permutations require discipline and consistency to really have any effect.

    but with some time, and work, they have the capacity to greatly increase your overall technique.

    And remember, you can always mix and match exercises, if your knowledge of the fretboard is a little weak, then practice singing the note names as your cycle through the permutations. if your reading is not where you'd like it to be, then write the permutation exercise on some manuscript paper and read them instead of just doing it in your head.

    the possibilities are near limitless, it just depends how far you want to take it.

    I hope I didn't ramble to much and you can actually make some good sense of this.
  6. KingsofLeon


    Jan 15, 2004
    wow! thanks again!
  7. What i do as warm ups are 7th appergio(sp?) around the circle of 4th's.
    The circle of 5th's is the order of sharps and the circle of 4th's is the order of flats for key signitures. (correct me if im wrong with that)
    I play minor, dominant and major 7ths

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