Finger Exercises (beginner lessons)

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by XavierG, Sep 23, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

    [size=-2]I feel I sould state that I have been playing bass since 1971 - played professionaly in the early to mid 80's, and have been teaching bass, (prefering to concentrate on beginner bass technique & introduction to theory) for the past 10 years..... my students are, for the most part, aged 11-19, and most know nothing about playing bass when they come to me, just in case you're wondering where I'm coming from. My style of teaching is laid back, and sometimes unconventional... but kids are unconventional and so I adapt.[/size]


    Okay, as promised - (in a repy to a thread in "Technique", I said I would post some exercises... here they are).

    Many of you are probably much more advanced than this, if so, this is not for you. -- Use the lessons if you think they'll help you.

    (I used a 4-string bass for these excercises)

    Lesson - 1 Thumb + 2 Fingers (T+2 = Thumb/Index/Middle)

    This is a simplified version of a well known Jaco riff. I modified it in order to make it easier for my young students to learn. This is not the way it was originally played. However, for you young guns out there that like to hang out at music stores, this is more than sufficient for the purpose of turning a few heads your way ;). We'll cover the original version in a future lesson.

    The entire lesson is comprised of seven mp3 files as follows:.

    Jaco T+2.mp3 (The main file)
    Jaco T+2 slow.mp3 (A slowed-down version of the main file)
    Jaco T+2 _1-6.mp3 (1st 6 notes) Included
    Jaco T+2 _2-7.mp3 (next 7 notes) Included
    Jaco T+2 _3-10.mp3 (next 10 notes) Included
    Jaco T+2 _4-7.mp3 (next 7 notes) To follow
    Jaco T+2 _5-15.mp3 (next 15 notes) To follow

    Let's hop to it -
    PART I - The first 6 notes

    1st, listen to the main file, it's good to know what you're supposed to be playing.

    2nd, listen to the slowed down version and see if you can figure it out. You might want to practice your transcription skills by trying to pick out, and drop the notes on the staff

    3rd, let's do the first 6 notes. Download & listen to Jaco T+2 _1-6.mp3 - There are 6 notes -

    Note 1 & 2 are C-4-8-FI-PT

    "WHAT DOES IT MEAN"? you ask -- repeat after me... "C-4-8-FI-PT" means your playing a C- on string 4- fret 8- Fret with your (I=Index, M=Middle, R=Ring, P=Pinky) - Pluck with your (T=Thumb, I=Index, M=Middle)

    Note 3 is C-2-10-FP-PM [size=-2](typo corrected after original post)[/size]

    Note 4 is A#-2-8-FI-PM

    Note 5 is G-3-10-FP-PI
    Note 6 is A-2-7-FI-PM (typo corrected after original post )

    THAT'S IT! Now, practice the fingering, and play along to the slowed down version until you're comfortable with it.

    Part 2 (The next 7 notes) to follow shortly.

  2. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    do you use a ramp on your axe?

    do you dig in hard or do you play lightly?

    just curious, J

  3. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

    No ramp on this bass.
    Light touch, played near bridge (as per pic).

  4. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

    Ok. Here's......

    PART II - The next 7 notes.

    Download & listen to Jaco T+2 _2-7.mp3 - There are 7 notes here -

    Note 1 & 2 (of this set) are A-3-0-FO-PI

    Note 3 is A#-4-6-FI-PT

    Note 4 is E-4-0-FO-PI (sightly muted - I use the fleshy part of my plucking hand, which rests on the bridge, to mute here)

    Note 5 is B-4-7-FM-PT

    Note 6 is E-4-0-FO-PI (like note 4 and likewise muted)

    Note 7 is C-4-8-FM-PT

    This riff (together with part I) is actually supposed to sound something like THIS, but like I said, I modified it for purposes of teaching my students who are, for the most part, beginners. Remember that the purpose of these exercises is to practice multi-finger technique, and not necessarily to reproduce the actual riff in its entirety.

    THAT'S IT! Now, practice the fingering, and play along to the slowed down version until you're comfortable with it.

    When you've got the hang of it, play part one and go right into part 2. It should sound something like THIS. Repeat a few times 'til it runs like clockwork.

    Part III to follow shortly.
  5. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

    On to....

    PART III - The next (brace yourself) 10 notes!!!!

    Download & listen to Jaco T+2 _3-10.mp3 - There are 10 notes -

    Note 1 is C-2-10-FP-PM

    Note 2 is A#-2-8-FI-PM

    Note 3 is a percussive/muted F-3-8-FI-PI

    Note 4 & 5 are F-3-8-FI-PT

    Note 6 is a percussive/muted G-3-10-FP-PI

    Note 7 & 8 are G-3-10-FP-PT

    Note 9 is a percussive/muted G-3-10-FP-PI

    Note 10 is C-4-8-FI-PT

    (I think I got that all right - let me know if I missed something.)

    Give it a try, then do part 1 2 & 3 together. Does it sound like THIS?

    Great! You're ready for Part IV...
  6. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

    (For Non-Readers)

    Ok kiddos, before we continue, it's time we have a little chat....

    Now, you and I both know that those fingering instruction code thingamajigs (you know, the "A#-4-6-FI-PT " things) are, well, how can I put it..... "Un-Fuquaish". I use them to get my students started, but there comes a time when one has to make the transition to legitimacy. Now's the time! Don't worry, I'm not going to hit you with the whole enchalada - We're going to do this nice and slow. First, take a look at the image that follows. It's called a staff. The inverted "C" looking thing on the left is the bass clef, and it's always depicted in the same position (in relation to the lines. Now, burn this image into your head, because these are the notes (on a 4-string bass) from the open 4th string, "E", down below, all the way up to the 12th fret ("G") of the 1st string, up on top. Now, if you're one of those masochist types with 7 or 8 strings (peace JT), you can simply extend the staff up or down as needed by adding leger lines (those are extra lines you add to accomodate the notes that don't fit within the 5 lines of the staff.


    Ok, now that you have this for reference, try once again to take the notes that we've covered so far, and place them on the staff in the order that you played them. We're not going to worry about time signatures or measures or note duration for now. Just place a black dot on the staff in the order they are played. The first three notes would appear like this:


    Now, that wasn't too hard was it? Good! From here on, I won't be using the Mickey-Mouse codes (A#-4-6-FI-PT) any more. I'll use the staff to show you what notes to play. You'll still have to refer to the audio file for tempo & all, and I will still tell you what finger to fret & pluck with.

    Next part coming soon. In the meantime... learn where the notes on your fretboard belong on the staff.
  7. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

    Uh... I can't believe no one has corrected me yet. Anyway... the first three notes are NOT


    They're actually...


    The 3rd note, a "C" is one octave higher than the previous 2 notes.

    At least I now know nobody is paying attention.

  8. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio

    :D ;)
  9. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

    Here are the 1st 6 notes (Part I):


    Here are the next 7 notes (Part II):


    ...and the next 10 notes (Part III):

  10. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

    PART IV - The next 7 notes.


    Now, put parts I,II, III, & IV together and you've got THIS

    One more to go!
  11. ilfretless

    ilfretless Guest

    Mar 16, 2001
    Milan, Italy
    by the way, I was looking...
  12. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

  13. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Cool stuff, X. I will play with this when I get home from work. :)
  14. stuie86


    May 9, 2003
    mckinney, tx
    well i am but i was late to class exuse my tardyness:rolleyes:

    um unless im total off base(no pun intended) i always found this to be very helpfull


    repeat as many times as your hands can take

    i do this with my five so i just tolk the B off.

    i still cant do it right becuase my pink is ********(after 2+ years i still cant us it) but i work on it every day(sort of)
  15. stuie86


    May 9, 2003
    mckinney, tx
    grrrr, it didnt copy right (must be a diffrent text format) well dont start on the next string till your done with the last one

    i hope you guys get what im saying

    EDIT: if you use this great!, but tell them once theyve got the hang of it to start playing it faster and fast..... it helped me with alot of stuff(after awhile it sort of became like medotating(CS) to me)
  16. Great basics and intro to fun stuff. Please keep it up.
  17. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

    Thanks for your input, stuie. There are many routines that will help limber up those fingers.
    There's nothing like running through scales up and down the fretboard, however, I've found that for the most part the pupils that I target are easily bored practicing scales. I've found that if you give them a "cool riff" as a goal to work toward, and then incorporate finger technique (and reading skills), they tend to try harder (and learn faster).
  18. stuie86


    May 9, 2003
    mckinney, tx
    well i never thought i was good at making up lines but give me a few mins and ill see if i can come up with some thing that your kids will find more intertaining
  19. stuie86


    May 9, 2003
    mckinney, tx
    ok this line would be relitvely simple for must of us but i found that it may be confusing to some of your students freting hand

    exuse the start i was running scales so it just sort of start that way

    and use the I M R P thing to help out


    ok for those how are saying thats easy, it may be, but for Beginner the tendonsy would be to go


    and what im saying is the first couple of times they'll do it like ex.B and he'll tell them its wrong and they'll get aggrivated at their fretting hand and have to work things thro to get it right, ex.A

    that may be persomtuase(CS) oh me but i know i had that problem and i had to work thro it.... just trying to make their minds work harder.
  20. stuie86


    May 9, 2003
    mckinney, tx
    ok ive tryed afew thing as some of you may have seen..... the screen shots not working either so ya same problem as last time just wouldnt space right every not is played one after the other you dont play anything at the same time...... and would some one tell me how to post tabs so thet come out the right way!?!(can you tell i just a bit aggravated?):spit:

    but im ok:rolleyes:
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Nov 30, 2021

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page