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finger strengthening devices

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by richardjones89, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. richardjones89


    Jun 6, 2007
    i have a gripmaster which help you to build up strength in each of your fingers individually. does this actually help at all in playing? ive read up on the net and it seems that strength devices are pointless :S
  2. its only really usefull if your a kid, as your hands dont have the strength to deal with it all properly yet, apart from that theres not much point.
  3. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Inactive

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    Do some pull ups.

    Weight lifting in general is good.
  4. ErikP.Bass

    ErikP.Bass Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2004
    Great technique is developed with "precision" not "strength". IMHO. :smug:
  5. richardjones89


    Jun 6, 2007
    yes yes i agre with you all :p

    im 17 and feel that my finger dexterety is somewhat lacking flexibility. i imagine that finger strengthening devices do just that, but practicing on bass improves dexterety. i will do just that! :D

    however something that came of concern to me was this. sure people say that extra strength in fingers would slow you down, but when pressing down on the strings, wouldnt more strength rely on less energy, thus giving the player a more flexible approach and more control over the bass fretpoard?
  6. Thunder Pulse

    Thunder Pulse

    May 12, 2007
    You're thinking about it too much, strength won't slow you down.
  7. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    Some of those devices can give you carpal tunnel syndrome ---if you over-do it.
  8. Sarbecue Boss

    Sarbecue Boss

    Jul 9, 2006

    the best finger excersise for playing bass is playing bass, if you wat to do other things, i suggest forearm workouts
  9. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Yeah, I would stay away from them. I know several people who have had to wear wrist braces because of overusing them.
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Finger strength means nothing playing bass or guitar. How much strength do you need to push a string down? Just concentrate on keeping up your overall health and it's fine.

    Stamina, on the other hand, is extremely important. And the best stamina building exercise is playing.
  11. -Sam-


    Oct 5, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    For BG its not so important but for DB its hard and i Just squeeze a tennis ball all the time, and work out with forearm exersices because the tendons which control your fingers and located in the wrist
  12. richardjones89


    Jun 6, 2007
    do all your fingers have to be equally spread along the four frets? the tips of my middle two fingers tend to hug each other when i bend my fingers and try and split them, and my last finger cant rely on my third finger for strenth since that doesnt have much of it anyway :p
  13. gjooro


    Mar 27, 2006
    just play. strength will come with playing
  14. brothertupelo

    brothertupelo Guest

    Aug 7, 2005
    rockclimbing's pretty fun.
  15. if your having trouble playing with your thumb on the bridge pickup where the strings are under more tention then stength would help a bit.

    i personally dont like the look of those gripmasters are you could easily get RSS (repetitive strain syndrome) but i started off jsut buying some squash balls and using those as you can move your fingers in different ways to avoid RSS and still get some strength 'training' wouldnt recomend going straight onto tennis balls are new ones are actually quite tough.
  16. keep the string action as low as possible. Use just enough pressure to fret the note. practice chromatic runs acending and decending.
  17. to the guy talking about double bass - you shouldnt need much more strength playing db as you do playing eb, the 'pull' motion in double bass comes from a balanced effort from your whole back and posture. having strong hands may help but you should be able to do what you can do without your thumb even on the bass (your thumb should mostly just be there for positioning) hence without any real 'gripping' motion.

    to the OP, i'd stay away, you dont need strong muscles to play bass, you need lean, agile, dextorouse ones. and big, strong muscles aren't often very agile, well kept but lean ones are very agile.

    once your fingers are strong enough to hold down a string (ie, pretty much from the word go) the rest is up to your technique, and dexterity of your muscles. this is not helped by essentially 'weight lifting' with those muscles.

    the tiny networks of small and fine muscles that allow you to play the bass will slowly strengthen over time, the big hefty palm muscles that are strengthened by those exercises are pretty much as developed as they need to be by the time you pick up a bass!
  18. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002

    I disagree entirely -- the DB is a much more physical instrument. There's a reason my forearms are twice the size they were 2.5 years ago before I started playing upright, and every DB player I've ever seen has extremely strong, jacked up forearms.
  19. mmm, yeah i agree to a degree, but the fact that you mention forearms is kinda my point! its a combined process of allot of muscle groups in the body, and using a tennis ball or strengthening thing is time that could be better spent playing!

    what i meant was that, like the electric, the strength required to play double bass does not come from a specific muscle group gripping the fret/fingerboard, it comes from a combination of allot of different muscles which should work together in a balanced way. in the years I have played upright various muscles have grown quite allot, but no-one group has became massive, because the load is distributed, and i can still play pretty much anything I want to play (well, mostly! :) )

    so even though the extra tension on a DB's string promotes MORE muscle growth, it shouldnt neccessarily require those extra muscles to be able to play properly. rather, they grow because they are under constant usage.

    sure, the double bass tests those muscles (and obv. a different set of muscles to the eb!) a bit more, but you shouldn't require more strength to simply play the DB, past a bit of toning for the muscles already there!

    besides, put too much of a physical emphasis on one area of the body when playing DB and the large string tension will start to cause damage to the tendons etc in that area!
  20. boyet


    May 15, 2007
    I don't think hand exercise using any device can bring benefits at all. I play both the DB & EB for years now and I've never had any need of such devices. The bass, may it be DB or EB, is more than enough of a tool to have my fingers, wrist (?) and forearms a nice workout with both physical and musical benefits at the same time.
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