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what can i do to increase finger independence?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by RiCKdoesntTrip, Oct 11, 2002.


  1. RiCKdoesntTrip

    RiCKdoesntTrip

    Aug 16, 2002
    pa
    hey every one. i want to know how i can increase the finger independence of might right hand middle and ring fingers (i play with 3 fingers). Im asking this because when i pluck the string, my ring and middle fingers go down together and they arekind of stiff. you know how your first and middle fingers alternate wonderfully, so that one finger is always on the string? well i want that for my middle and ring fingers too. any tips on how to increase finger independecne would be appreiated. ( i already know the 'lift a finger off the table one at a time" thing.)

    thanks

    RiCK
     
  2. leanne

    leanne

    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    A good variation of that lifting your fingers off the table exercise is to do the same thing but holding a pen. Hold the pen with your thumb on one side and put the tips of your other four fingers on the opposite side (kinda like you'd hold a neck to fret notes). Then do things like lift one finger at a time and two fingers at a time, etc. Lift your 1st and 3rd fingers at one time, then put them down and lift the 2nd and 4th fingers, then the first two again, etc--this one is pretty good for coordination and can strengthen your muscles a little too.

    For some reason I never thought of using this exercise on my plucking hand. Thanks for the idea, heh. :)

    As far as exercises to do on the bass, dunno, sorry.

    Leanne
     
  3. Scott Green

    Scott Green

    Sep 16, 2001
    One thing I did when I was trying to get my ring finger to "work" was to take somthing simple like a major scale and play it in triplets. You don't have to go fast, in fact it is probably better that you don't. Another good one is to practice playing octaves using your index for the root and ring finger for the octave. Once you get the triplet thing going try playing the triplet part in "the Trooper" from Iron Maiden that will give your fingers a workout. the main thing is to incorporate your third finger until you don't have to think about it. Hope this helps a little. Peace.
     
  4. I get independence by playing with those chinese balls you can find in novelty stores.

    They are chrome or other finishes and are sold mostly for some believed acupuncture thing or something.

    But they really teach your fingers independence if you use them right............and they loosen up your hands too, learn to use them for both

    later
     
  5. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Ahh... post recycling. This is a copy and paste of a post I made in the "My pink don't work so good" thread.

    A good exercise for developing finger dexterity in general is to start at low F (first fret on your E string) and play 1-2-3-4, that is, index, middle, ring, pinky. Then move up one half step and up one whole string, and then repeat the pattern up the WHOLE freboard. It would look roughly like:

    ------------1234--------
    --------1234----1234
    ----1234------------1234
    1234--------------------1234----

    This helps overall finger dexterity, as well as your pinky problem. Then do the same thing with a different finger order, like 1324. Start slowly, and play with a metronome. REALLY slowly. Speed will come with practice. Play your scales, but one finger per fret. The pinky strength will come, but not right away.
     
  6. RiCKdoesntTrip

    RiCKdoesntTrip

    Aug 16, 2002
    pa
    your recycled thing was for left hand independence, i cant practice that fro my right hand. im talking about excersizes to do to increase independence.


    RiCK
     
  7. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Well, I certainly did a half-assed job of reading your initial post. My apologies.

    Do my left hand exercise anyway. ;)
     
  8. SkaTiM

    SkaTiM

    Oct 18, 2002
    Carroll County, MD
    There's a great book that my teacher had me buy a year or two ago...it's called "Bass Fitness: An Excercising Handbook" by Josquin des Pres (Hal Leonard). go get it.
     
  9. K-Frog

    K-Frog

    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    Leanne,
    I just tried the pen exercise and almost had instantaneous brain melt-down when thinking about moving fingers 1 & 3 and then 2 & 4. That was mean!
    I have decent independence already, but this should help.
    K
     
  10. BlindSide

    BlindSide

    Oct 11, 2002
    Wausau, WI
    Practice.

    I can't tell you how many times someone has asked me for that voodoo, all magical thing that will replace simply practicing.

    It doesn't exist. If you want to be a better bass player, if you want to have stronger fingers or more dexterity in them…practice (with your bass). Then practice some more (with your bass)…and when you think you just can’t practice any more…practice even more(with your bass)
    .

    If you want to get from point A (being a beginner) to point B (being a great, or even good bass player)…you have to practice your instrument. There is no magical cure-all between points A and B.
     
  11. K-Frog

    K-Frog

    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    There are many good exercises that shouldn't be dismissed in general. Try Patitucci's "Spider".
    Guess what, an exercise done more than once is called "practice".
    Practicing scales for the left hand is an exercise.
    Get the idea? It's all good. Some exercises better than others.
    K
     
  12. BlindSide

    BlindSide

    Oct 11, 2002
    Wausau, WI
    Yeah I get the idea.

    There are no shortcuts and practicing on the bass is the best way to play the bass.

    To control muscle function properly in order to play bass, there is simply no substitute for actually playing the bass.

    The muscles in your fingers, hands, wrists and arms will get stronger and retain the ability to move in a particular way specific to your instrument. It's called muscle memory.

    Making them stronger and more flexible by using anything other playing your bass will not result in playing bass better. Only the repetitive motion of playing your bass will result in this muscle memory.

    Actually playing your bass for "exercise" has a two-fold effect. The time taken practicing your instrument will develop this muscle memory WHILE working on your musical development.
     
  13. BlindSide

    BlindSide

    Oct 11, 2002
    Wausau, WI
    I should add that we all have had this muscle/flexibility problem when we first started. It’s the natural course of things.

    Over time, the frustrating inability to move our fingers in the right way goes away. I know people with very strong hands and nimble, flexible fingers and they couldn’t play a bass to save their lives. Not because they don’t know how as much as their fingers are not “trained” (muscle memory) to go where they want them to.
     
  14. K-Frog

    K-Frog

    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    I agree. That is probably also a good explaination as to why it was so frustrating to play a pair fast major triads ascending from scale to 1 to 2. That make any sense? In other words, G-B-D-A-C#-E, blistering fast. It must have been much practice, and that muscle memory thing.
    K
     
  15. BlindSide

    BlindSide

    Oct 11, 2002
    Wausau, WI
    Even after many years of playing, we will still find passages to songs that are difficult to play.

    Over time and with much practice, not only do our minds fully comprehend what to do (memory), but the muscles in our fingers, hands, wrists and arms also develop a memory and then, and only then, will it come easy and naturally.
     
  16. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
  17. RiCKdoesntTrip

    RiCKdoesntTrip

    Aug 16, 2002
    pa
    i know i have to practice actually playing the bass to achieve this independence, but i was looking for supplemental exercises to do while in school, like in study hall and broing classes.

    thanks for that bass book , i will try and look for it.

    RiCK