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looking for tips on how to keep me from lifting my fretting fingers too high...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by dryheatbob, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. hey all!

    I'm pretty new to bass, and one problem I can't seem to correct is lifting my fretting fingers too high. It doesn't seem to matter how much I slow down, my fingers(particularly my middle and ring fingers) come waaay off the fretboard.

    Anybody know any tips or drills I can use that'll force me to cut it out?

    thanks for any info.
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    That's been talked about before here...not sure how you would search for it, though.

    Anyway, a few years back, Bass Player mag ran a good exercise.
    Pinky @the 12th fret, G-string
    Ring finger @the 11th fret, G-string
    Middle finger @the 10th fret, G-string
    Index finger @the 9th fret, G-string

    Attempt moving ONLY your INDEX finger to the D-string((9th fret)
    Then move ONLY your middle finger to the D-string(10th fret)

    NOTE: All the while, the other fingers remain fixed to the fretboard. Do not allow them to lift up.

    After all the fingers are on the D-string, move them, 1-at-time, to the A-string & so on.

    Eventually, you can begin to move only 2 fingers while keeping the others fixed.
    Example: Put your fingers back on the G-string as mentioned above.
    Now move/toggle only the middle & ring...move them ever so slightly up & down, up & down.
    Again, the index & pinky should NOT move or even wiggle.
    Again, use your other hand for assistance.
    Come up with the other permutations/alternatives(e.g. ring & pinky; index & middle; etc)

    It's definitely hard at first...it takes concentration & practice. Afterr a week or so, you should see a vast improvement.
    I usually do this sorta thing in front of the NHL games on ESPN.

  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Are you sure you were giving it your full concentration then? ;)
  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    How slow is slow? Try going so slow that you're not playing music, just isolating, understanding and improving your control over the motion of your fretting hand fingers.

  5. jimk-

    thanks for the input- I did a search and couldn't come up with anything. I'm at work trying your tip out at my desk and I can see how after a while it'll build 'memory' into how I move my fingers. Thanks!

    I'll also try it out while watching NHL games- I don't care much for hockey(grew up surfing in California), so I'm sure that'll help me concentrate on my finger work!;)
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I guess if the Phoenix Coyotes are the in-town team, I can see why you don't care for hockey.

    I surely didn't practice this in front of the tube back in my past; nowadaze, sure...why not?
    I am going to watch my Flyers regardless, may as well have the bass in my hands, too.
    What can I say? I'm slack.
  7. That's what I been doing, at least I thought so.

    About the only thing that about that's recognizable at the speed I'm going at are scales. When I play a song at speed, it looks like I'm hammering nails.

    I'm gonna try Jimk's suggestion as see how it goes.

    thanks, though!
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    "OK", I'll play nice.
    Thank you for J.R. & Tony Amonte...

  10. Hey no problem- I don't back the locals anyway.

    Alls fair in love and trashing the other guys sports' teams, isn't it?:cool: