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New Player

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Rick Torres, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. Rick Torres

    Rick Torres

    Dec 19, 2004
    New bass player here.
    I looked for a thread on a left handed player learning to play right handed. Question is I know my right hand is weak. What can I do to improve the strengh and speed and general ackward feeling in my right hand.
  2. Practice...it will come with time.
  3. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    Hi Rick! Welcome to TB and the world of bass. Many TB'ers (myself included) are lefties playing right-handed basses. Here is a thread dealing with the topic. To echo chrismmc, just keep practicing.
  4. Rick Torres

    Rick Torres

    Dec 19, 2004
    Thanks Jason & Chrismmc

    I will just keep plugging away at it.
  5. JohnBarr


    Mar 19, 2004
    Central NY
    Hi Rick,
    Check out a couple intro books and you'll probably find some finger exercises. Most any of them will do. It's important to get your hands in shape and you'll feel your hands change as you gain strength.

    I'll pass along an exercise that my instructor gave me to strengthen my hands early on. It's simple and I still use it regularly. I like it because it crosses strings.

    Plant your thumb low on the back of the neck, like you were giving a finger print back there (or a thumb print)

    Numbering your fingers 1-4, index to pinkie, with one finger on each fret on the E string, say about in the middle of the neck, do the following:

    Using only fingers 1 and 2, pluck the E string (1fret, 2fret) then, in one motion, move to the A string: 1,2. Then in one motion move to D, 1,2, etc .
    When you get to G, move backward on each string, 2,1; 2,1 G to E.

    Then use fingers 1 and 3, same motion E (1,3) A (1,3) etc to G then back, G-E (3-1) So it's a kind of crab walk across the frets.

    To work your entire hand, follow this pattern with fingers 1-4:
    1,2 / 2,1 Back and forth. Then:
    1,4 Then it gets harder:
    3,4 (ring and little finger, the toughest ones)

    Use a see-saw motion so your finger is always over the next string to be plucked.

    It only takes a few minutes. As my hand strengthens I focus more on movements with 3 and 4, ring and pinkey, they’re the weakest.

    Do this with a metronome and set it for a slow comfortable tempo. Speed isn't the issue here, hitting the frets with consistent intonation is.

    As you move, with one finger on the string you just plucked, the other finger should be in position over the next fret. Especially when moving between strings. So your hand is stretching and pivoting slightly across the string you are playing to the next string you are about to pluck.

    Clear as mud?
    This is not very hard but you'll feel it the first few times.
    And you can invent variations on it, crossing two strings, etc. And remember to alternate your plucking fingers.


  6. Rick Torres

    Rick Torres

    Dec 19, 2004
    Thanx John,

    I will give that a try on my next practice session.

    Rick Torres
  7. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio

    welcome - whatever you do, just practice and be patient..

    also, i'm a lefty that plays lefty - i don't have a choice! i have limited rotation in my left hand/wrist/arm, i just can't fret/finger right handed. don't ever play lefty, you are just asking for trouble - what i would do to play righty!! when you play lefty, you won't have any real basses to choose from and you can't just go into a music store and expect to take something off the shelf and play it.

    once again, welcome to talkbass! :)

  8. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Remember, you don't need strength to play the bass (well, you don't need a lot), but you need dexterity. Practice, slowly, and you'll achive your goals.
  9. Rick Torres

    Rick Torres

    Dec 19, 2004

    Thanx to all who responded. I will take it slowly. Also should I take lessons or use musicdojo.com or both? I know its hard to find someone with whom I like and can fill my needs as newbie.
    Any suggestions on a teacher, would be greatly appreicated. By the way I live in Seattle. Thanx again.

    Rick Torres
  10. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    Taking lessons from a qualified instructor is very important. They will be able to give you a formal, structured lesson plan based on your current skill level and future musical goals. Since you will be playing in their presence, an instructor will also be able to point out any problems with your technique.
  11. swatcatpettus


    Dec 23, 2004
    first off, just keep playing, but when u cant, use one of those things boxers use, the squeezy things with the tight coil in the middle, that works great for both hands, just stretch your fingers when possible as well, and for making your fingers tips calloused, run them around thru a bowl of rice or gravel