1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Weak Left Hand, would appreciate advice! :)

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Jackery, May 8, 2010.

  1. Jackery


    May 8, 2010
    Hey everyone, I've joined seeking help on a real big problem. When I play live with my band or sometimes generally, my left hand gets tired really quick, this can really hinder my performance :atoz: & if it does get tired, this means I can only stick to root notes - which is okay but not what I want to play for our newer songs :meh: I really want any advice on how I could strengthen up my hands generally, scales-related stuff would be appreciated but I'm really looking for how to strengthen my hands up generally & efficiently. :) I hope someone can help me, it would mean an awful lot.
  2. BKBassDude


    Jun 17, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I think it's hard to be certain without actually seeing you play but two things come to mind -

    First, how hard are you fretting notes? Are you gripping on for dear life? This will tire your hand out very quick. Work on having a light touch, it'll save you from fatigue, let you play with lower action and give you better speed. Also be very aware of proper hand positioning. Don't do the guitarist thumb over the top of the neck baseball bat thingy, or curl up your fingers that aren't fretting. Keep your hand flat with your fingers spread slightly, always over a fret. Watch the position of your thumb on the back of the neck. You generally want it near your index or middle fingers.

    The other could be that you are physically fighting your bass. How is your action? Has your bass been set up recently? Are the strings you are playing the proper tension for your playing style?

    In my case, I was having a lot of right forearm fatigue when I was learning to 3 finger gallop. It was all because I was putting so much effort into it I was cramping up. I eased up my touch and was able to play faster for longer.
  3. Jackery


    May 8, 2010
    I do grip pretty hard :( I eased of on that in practice, I guess that's something I should work on more, but I get very nervous at gigs, it's just because I'm pretty musically inept, but have a huge will to learn and just love music... it just frustrated me that I have very weak hands. But you are right, easing off is something I'll work on, thanks so much :):)
  4. derelicte


    Dec 25, 2007
    i use TI Flats with lowwww action.. i barely have to touch the strings to fret it. big + on a fretless. maybe that could be a good alternative.
  5. Jackery


    May 8, 2010
    Yeah, this is for my fretted, I have a fretless too, I love both... I have Rotosound's Rotowound steel strings on my fretted & Rotosound TruBass Nylons on my fretless. For those songs where I want a more rock, upbeat sound, obviously I love using my fretted.
  6. Jackery


    May 8, 2010
    Also, I love the nylon flatwounds but I think I'd prefer steel flats.. they would have more sustain, I think.
  7. Always my first question:

    How high is your bass (strap)? If your SERIOUS, sit down and play, then adjust your strap to that height (or higher) and then stand up. Never mind the cool look down to your knees. Playing a bass or guitar like that is like eating soup with chopsticks.

    Also, IS your action too high?
  8. Jackery


    May 8, 2010
    Well, I play with my fretless at belly button level & fretted a little lower. I can play it lower, but I prefer the control (& incidentally the look, a little higher) & I'll be taking down the action of my fretted, but the action on my fretless is almost fretboard low :| Thanks for everyone's help by the way! :)
  9. Marginal Tom

    Marginal Tom

    Apr 28, 2010
    O'Fallon, IL
    You can try squeeze balls, finger exercisers and wrist exercisers to build strength. Show your teacher or other bass players how you play, in case the problem is in your technique. And make sure your bass is set up properly.
  10. All of the above and make sure to stretch before and after each set!!!
  11. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    sounds like death grip to me! from an earlier post:

    Many beginners have no clue how little pressure is actually required to fret.

    Gary Willis also wrote about it his 101 bass tips book.

    The exercise is simple:

    1.) fret a note, and start plucking ( fret cleanly: on top/just behind the fret)
    2.) as you pluck, slowly decrease your left hand pressure
    3.) eventually you will ease up too far and the string will buzz/rattle against the fret
    4.) as you pluck, slowly increase the pressure until the note rings cleanly again. This is "the minimum pressure required to fret a note"
    5.) repeat 2-4 over and over again, paying close attention to how your hand feels at the moment you start/stop buzzing.

    The point is to familiarize your brain and left hand muscles with that magic pressure point so that you know how much to relax, when you notice your death grip kicking in.

    As mentioned elsewhere, this is an awareness that you must develop as much it is a muscle skill. You must spend some playing time consciously thinking about easing up , and eventually is becomes more of a natural sensitivity than a a conscious effort.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.