how to make the left hand stronger

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by COZ, Jun 24, 2001.

  1. Does anyone know a sure fire way to make your left hand stronger. I do alright for most songs. however there is this one tune that my band plays that i just can't get all the way through without some cramping. Which is sad casue one of our best and tightest songs. My problem is that it's a wee bit fast for me. the other two have been playing for years, so they have no problems. what kinds of things can i do to make my left hand stronger!

    bass is not an instrument it's a gift from god
  2. Zirc


    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    What song would this be?

    And really the only way to make your left hand stronger (assuming you play right handed unlike myself :p) is to simply play more.
  3. TheTestvb


    Jun 21, 2001
    Find exercises as close to the head stock as poisble and work on getting them faster because it takesm ore work palying up there thne clsoer to your body
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You're cramping because you're fretting too hard(!).
    Use a lighter touch and it'll go away.
  5. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Play bass for an hour a day.
  6. liran


    Dec 18, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    1 hour? play for 2!
  7. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS

    Play the bassline to the tune in question at least once a day. What will happen is that you'll get so familiar with that you will relax and improve your left hand's endurance at the same time.
  8. how is it that it's summer and unless you have a job are only playing for 2 hours a day? i apologize for those of you that happen to live in the southern hemisphere
  9. qsoxy


    May 4, 2001
    I found a good way to strengthen the fretting fingers is to do string-bending exercises. Bend the E string as far as you can with each finger individually, many many times. Next thing you know, mere fretting feels effortless.
  10. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    When you're in the john, hold the Hustler with your right hand. (Sorry, I couldn't resist).

    Practice heavily on uptempo songs that require you to stretch your fingers 4-5 frets.
  11. Try playing sitting down when you jam. (That is if you're not already doing so.) This should make things a little easier on your hands.
  12. B-Note Cowboy

    B-Note Cowboy Guest

    Jun 13, 2001
    Tulsa, OK
    I used to run into this problem, and it has nothing to do with a lack of hand-strength. I lift weights and have pretty strong hands.

    The problem, it turned out, was that I was gripping too tight. Thinking too hard about the fretting progression. The more I played, and looser I became, the less hand-cramping I experienced. Let your wrist and grip be a little less rigid, and you will probably see an improvement in your speed and your cramp.
  13. liran


    Dec 18, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I dont, i play for 4. But I also have a personal life. Im a busy man, gotta keep in contact with my peeps.
  14. Type with only your right hand.
  15. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    That's exactly what I mean.

    Also see Gary Willis' Video and website for info on this topic.
  16. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    chromatic scales are a good dexterity exercise, and yes as stated you should practice for at LEAST 1 hour a day.
  17. i have hand-muscle training thingies..

    they're V-shaped, and in the junction there's a spring.. really hard to squeeze in the beginning, but easy now :)

    but i heard excessive monkey-spanking builds muscle too :D
  18. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Hmm... maybe this could be why my strength declined after getting married... ;)
  19. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    There are machines you can buy in guitar center or wherever your local music store is that strengthen your fingers. Certainly practicing the song more can only help. Loosening your grip (on your bass guys, sheesh) should help too. Sometimes I like to play a song a couple of times really slow, all the way through, just to get the feel for it, then play it at full speed. I guess that's a kind of warm up... Good luck and let us know what ends up working for you!
  20. Don't ever buy one of those finger machines!

    Listen to B-Note Cowboy and JMX. It's not strength you need. Loosen your grip.