EDIT: To clarify, I am not saying that one should increase their hand strength so they can play harder. To everyone saying that it is better to relax your hand and use a lighter touch, not only am I in complete agreement with you, but the advice I'm suggesting is supposed to help you have a lighter touch. If you are trying to improve the efficiency and economy of motion in your technique, there are two areas to improve upon: 1) Psychological/Nervous System - Relaxing your mind increasing your motor control and finger independence 2) Physiological - Correcting your posture and increasing the strength and size of your forearms/hands, back, core, etc so that it takes less energy to perform the motions associated with playing your instrument. Not everyone needs to strengthen their hands. You don't *need* strong hands to play bass. All I meant to imply in my original post is that if for whatever reason you would like to make your hands stronger, the best way I have found to do this is by performing a proper deadlift as demonstrated here: . --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Deadlifts. Plain and simple. I've tried stretches, fingering exercises, those gripper things, stress balls, you name it. Nothing has made my hands (aka FOREARMS) stronger than putting weight on a bar and picking it up off the ground. I decided to start lifting weights for completely unrelated reasons, but I was shocked to find out how light the strings and neck of my bass felt the day after doing deadlifts. Not to mention the benefits a proper deadlift gives to your back and posture, which directly translate into your playing. Just to be clear, as a musician you should always stretch your hands before and after you play, and running through various scales, finger exercises, and even guitarist grippers are a great way to strengthen your nervous system and improve finger independence, flexibility, etc. But if your goal is to make your hands / grip physically stronger, I highly recommend throwing that stress ball away, getting a gym membership and lifting some weight. Couple of edits: 1) Deadlifting and weight training can be dangerous when performed without proper technique, but when performed correctly weight-training is perfectly safe and accessible to all ages and body-types. 2) I am not implying that one should increase their hand strength so that they can play harder. Rather I would say that one of the main reasons people play so hard is because their hands are weak and they are over compensating. It is much easier to play with a lighter touch when your hands and forearms are strong.