Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by cheviot, Oct 11, 2000.

  1. cheviot


    Sep 2, 2000
    What is the best way to improve my fluency?
    I have particular trouble with fast fingerwork when my fingers stumble over each other.
    Are there any exercises (apart from practice practice practice) that might help me?
  2. There was a good exercise in a recent issue of "Bass Player" that I like because it helps to improve finger independence and endurance.

    It goes like this:

    1) Place your fingers one-per-fret on the G string frets 9 through 12.

    2) While keeping your ring finger and pinky firmly anchored on their respective positions on the G string, move your index and middle fingers to frets 9 and 10 on the D string.

    3) With a metronome set at a comfortable pace (speed is not necessarily the goal of this exercise at first, accuracy and evenness of attack is), begin plucking on the D string, alternating between the index finger and middle finger on frets 9 and 10. Don't just do hammer-ons -- lift that index finger up just barely off the string when it is not being used. The closer you can keep your fingers to the strings, the faster you can get them back in position when their turn comes to be put to use. Make sure the fingers on the G string remain in place. Do this for about a minute or so.

    4) Now, switch fingers. Do the same thing with your index and ring fingers on the D string. Unused fingers stay on G.

    5) Index and pinky.

    6) Middle and ring.

    7) Middle and pinky.

    8) Ring and pinky.

    That covers all combinations of two fingers. You will feel it at the end, especially after you do the middle-pinky and ring-pinky exercises. Do this every day, increasing your tempo as you build strength. After a few weeks, you will notice that your fingers are in great shape and that you can more easily execute maneuvers that previously tied you up in knots.
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Best way to improve fluency is to practice, practice, practice (sorry) but do it at SLOW tmepos. It's easy to THINK you know the fingering, but if you fluff it the problem is you DON'T know the fingering. The flubs are due to the split-second delays it takes your brain, ears and fingers to figure out what to do next.

    Wotk out the part at 1/2 or 1/4 speed, however slow you need ot go to be able to play it PERFECTLY...that means 100%, NO MISTAKES and with good tone. Then slowly practice at increased tempos (use a metronome). Stop when you start making mistakes, back down just a bit and try again. Over time, your speed will come up.