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Left hand "piling" up

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by JmD, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. ustabawannab

    ustabawannab Caesar's palace, morning glory, silly human race. Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Greenfield, WI.
    Ouch! Great exercise.
    Yellowtuesday, the numbers on top correspond with the finger number on the fretted note below. It's a little confusing because they're kinda squished together and don't line up with the tab position number. It's just the forum's text editor's formatting.
  2. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    I've formatted it a bit...

     1  3  2  4  3  1  4  2
    Repeat this many times. Then move the pattern one string apart:
     1  3  2  4  3  1  4  2
    and repeat. Then one more:
     1  3  2  4  3  1  4  2
  3. SurrenderMonkey


    Aug 18, 2006
    finger chart is misaligned, add more spaces and it will become clear. It's just a one finger per fret job.

    I like that exercise. I found that it's harder when I try to let the strings ring, especially with the 7-5 and 8-6 sequence. Which means, it's working :) the small pinky tends to mute the strings below.

    Also, I like to alternate the fingers with the right hand as well. My biggest problem, as far as I'm concerned, is left-right hand independence.
  4. That hammer'on exercise is superb. It's really exposed a weakness. Those of you who haven't tried it, it's shocking to realise how little control and power the pinky really has, independent of the ring finger. I'm told that this is due to the coupling of the tendons controlling the little/ring fingers - any physiologists around? Cheers.
  5. tradition_2kill


    Aug 9, 2006
    ive found that doing what i would call bill clements style exersizes has really taken my playing to the next level lots of octaves and moby dick style lines using hammer ons or pull offs.
  6. fcleff


    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I understand what you are saying here (1-2-4 technique) but the fingers should NEVER be on top of each other. Having the fingers on top of each other is not a double bass techniuqe and if you are doing it then, IMHO, it is very bad. It limits the dexterity of the fingers and causes unwanted tension.

    The excercises stated above are very good and should be practiced in order to develop finger independence. I just think that it is worth noting that the 'piling up' problem IS all that bad.

  7. Risor


    Dec 26, 2005
    There is a great exercise in John Myungs DVD.

    -4-5-5-2------------2------------2----- repeat 3 times
    ----------5-4-2-4-5---5-4-2-4-5------- and then go for

    -3-5-5-2------------2------------2----- again 3 times
    ----------5-3-2-3-5---5-3-2-3-5------- and then switch
    --------------------------------------- back

    the hand is in one position. the fingers go 1234 on the frets 2345.
  8. Rattlehead


    Dec 28, 2006
    I know a bass player that first learned to fret with two fingers (as many beginners do), but then the next finger he put into the mix was the pinky! To this day he still mostly uses the index, middle and pinky, and finds it really difficult to throw the ring finger into the mix. Strange!
    The funny part is that he actually has a great reachand is a very good player. I wouldn't recommend it though.

    Another thing I found that helped getting strength in the pinky is to play power chords (yes on bass), but depending on where you are in your song/riff, use different fingers to do it. Here's what I mean:
    To play


    You would play the first power chord with middle finger on 7th fret A string and pinky on 9th fret on D and G strings (I'll call this a middle/pinky power chord). Just managing to use the pinky alone to fret the 9th fret on both the D and G strings will be very difficult at first (see the exercise below for an easier version to get started on). Play the second power chord with index on 5th fret A string and ring on 7th fret D and G strings (this I'll call an index/ring power chord). Then for the third chord you use an index/ring again with the index on 3 and the final chord you do as a middle/pinky power chord.
    If this is too hard, use 2 string power chords instead, this isn't a song so the key you're playing in doesn't matter:

    The idea is that when you're moving up the neck to make a chord, you use the middle/pinky chord because then you don't need to move your hand up as far, and when you move down to a lower chord you use the index/ring chord so that you don't have to move your hand down as much.

    Hope that makes sense. When I was first learning bass I was trying to learn alot of Iron Maiden, which has plenty of power chords like this on bass. Playing them the way I described really built pinky strength quickly, especially if you have to hold the higher notes in the chord, like in the simple exercise I just made up.
    P.S. :Try different chord arrangements and patterns like these exercises. You'll probably end up with something sounding like Maiden - half of their songs are relying on only 3 or 4 simple power chords like this.
  9. Someone mind uploading a video of themselves doing the spider =/ I don't seem to get it @[email protected]
    AEVAREX likes this.
  10. crazyfish


    Sep 13, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    One thing I like to do is to play a slow cover song where the only finger I use to fret is my pinky. It's much tougher than it sounds. It really makes you press down and dig into the string, especially when you're playing legato. I first tried it with the first couple riffs of Iron Man by Sabbath and it worked well for me.
  11. Joe Garage

    Joe Garage

    Mar 13, 2005
  12. Joe Garage

    Joe Garage

    Mar 13, 2005
    Thanks Daffy!!!

    Can’t wait to start working my way through it.

  13. richardjones89


    Jun 6, 2007
    i have a problem with my third finger on my fretting hand. it doesnt have the same flexability as all the other fingers whenever i try and bend it back, its as if something is physically stopping me from straightening it out. i want to achieve good finger dexterity and this is quite a problem. any suggestions for improving?
  14. richardjones89


    Jun 6, 2007
    how come people tend to have weaker third fingers? is it something to do with the fact that a muclse that controls your second finger is the same one used for the third, only it favours the second one more?

    my third finger cant bend back as far as all the others, its incredibly weak. in fact when i form a fist and individually raise each finger, my third finger doesnt even get straight!

    does this matter much?

    Edited: Oop! didnt see that ive already posted!!
  15. louieeadg

    louieeadg uncle petey?

    Jun 13, 2007
    outer banks, nc
    Fellas!!!(and gals if you're out there)

    Go to http://www.studybass.com

    A magnificent website!! Great for theory, rhythm, exercises.
    And if you go to Warwick's website, they have some very good instructional lessons from a very talented bassist....

  16. Haven't posted in ages, but this one is interesting.

    Piano players have known this for years (earliest paper I found was 1886) and have specific exercises to assist. Basically, there are tendons joining your third finger to your second and fourth that limit its movement, and the fourth finger is the smallest and weakest finger in terms of muscle group. That is why you need specific exercises to stretch the tendons of your third finger and to develop the muscles in the fourth finger.

    The spider is a good one for this.
  17. mdrummer5


    Sep 17, 2007

    I understand the problem of wanting to develop good finger dexterity, but I wouldn't worry about bending any of your fingers back. There are all kinds of posts that talk about how much pressure it doesn't take to get a good tone when pressing down on the strings. The same can be said for how far we take our fingers from the fretboard when not moving them. I've found that if I pay close attention to that while doing dexterity excersizes it helps my control a lot.
  18. GroovyGaz


    Oct 13, 2007
    In my honest opinion, being a left handed person, turned right handed bassist the best way for me to increase the independence, strength in fingers while improving your musical knowledge at the same time isn't with exercises but rather with scales. Ultimately this isn't about just your ring finger but finger independence as a whole, as a way to inform everyone not just your question here is my two pennys.

    Start off with Chromatic scales, while skipping strings moving it up one fret at a time then back down again in reverse, as a starter warm up, not only do you find another way to play an octave, you also become aware of all the notes and fretboard knowledge increases.

    Minor and Major scales (and respective modes) are in them selves making your fingers strong and independent, playing them slowly is more important at first then increasing in tempo to improve as well, it'll take weeks and it is going to pile up until your left hand is going to be strong, the hardest time for a musician is getting started.

    The next step is to practice different intervals such as sixth intervals, it works out all of your fingers making them funktion :)
    in a fluid motion, it improves your musicality and helps you learn scales and voicings.

    Practice upright technique on your bass, use the Ring finger to barre double stops, and the 5th and octave of power chords, while also doing the same with pinky, alternating, so you get the freedom to use both in situations, such as playing a ninth and pulling off onto the octave, creating a power chord.

    The most important step is to know when to stop, being willing to adapt and being calm, fluid in movement and ready to approach the problem for the sake of music than the sake of your hand.

    As with the whole ring finger thing, do all of the above and just get into the habit of 'telling" your ring finger to stop piling on your pinky like a power chord. Literally i've muttered the odd cursings to make it stop where I want it. A tip is also when you're not using the ring finger it is wise to put it on the above or below string as a muting mechanism. All these things are in (or on) the palm of your hands
  19. Grinky


    Oct 16, 2007
    Took one look at the webbie and it looks pretty awesome! Thanks bro!
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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