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Left hand questions

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Leonin, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. Leonin


    Jul 28, 2004
    My hands are a bit strange, my pinky is smaller then on a "ordinary" person and my "third finger" (dont know what its called in english) is very long.
    Does anyone of u have any advice on how i should hold my hand so that I can have one finger per fret? Its ok when i am beyond the sxth fret but on the first ones it gets very hard.

    Second question: How do i increase my left hand strength best. I know that many of u will say "by playing much" but it would be great to know a way that i can use when im not sitting with a bass.

    Thats all i think.........for now. And im sorry for the crappy english :rolleyes:
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    I think everyone has problems with the one-finger-per-fret approach initially. I don't know of any miracle cure, but a ridiculously simple way to get used to it is to play exercises like this one:
    |----------1-2-3-4-------------------|---------   etc.
    If it's too tough to start on the first fret, start higher and work your way down. Watch your plucking hand technique at the same time and try to work up an even touch. Play to a metronome, start with quarter notes at a slow tempo and work your way up. This way you'll practice left hand technique, right hand technique and timing all in one! Wow, isn't that incredible!? ;)
    Just do this simple and boring stuff for 5-10 minutes every time you pick up the bass, and (hopefully) your problems will soon be history. Although how soon, I can't say. Practice with other fingering patterns too, such as 1324, 1423, 1243, 2134, 2314, etc.

    Everyone wants to find a shortcut, right? The thing is, that most (all?) devices or exercises I've seen for "hand strengthening" aside from actual playing may:

    * Train the wrong muscle groups, and are therefore little more than a waste of time.
    * Cause injury (I remember reading of a pro who used a tennis ball to quickly gain strength, and he almost ruined his career by this).

    Then again, I've heard of people who actually have found good use for various hand-training devices. Personally, I haven't... I just play much. ;)
    Don't worry, you made sense to me. :)
  3. MrSaturn


    Oct 25, 2001
    Palm Springs, CA
    What oyster man said is very good to practice with.

    Also so remmeber not to go too fast and when you go up the neck keep the other fingers in place, and when you pull off your fingers dont just throw them aside, keep them almost a centimeter at most off the string, but mostly remember you dont have to do that exercise fast at all.( id unno if i make sense)

    My teacher taught me that trick, and i do it every morning when I wake up for 5-10 minutes, 5-10 minutes before i am practicing and then at night before i go to bed i do that. It builds muscle and keeps your hands ready for action.
  4. Leonin


    Jul 28, 2004
    Thanks both of u =)