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  • Talking Technique: Got Dexterity?

    Talking Technique: Got Dexterity?

    Let’s go to the gym. The bass-finger gym that is! This work out practices one-finger-per-fret with elaborate string crossings. I have plenty of tips for you to succeed if one-finger-per-fret is hard for you. As always, this only works if you stay relaxed, move as little as possible and keep your fingers close to the... »

  • Talking Technique: Permutation Variation

    Talking Technique: Permutation Variation

    In the last lesson, we introduced the Permutation Exercise. This time we’ll talk about some more pattern variations to increase your dexterity. The permutation exercise can be played to drill down on lots of different fingerings that come in handy. We’ll be practicing the concept across strings and by implementing it with the whole tone... »

  • Talking Technique: The Permutation Exercise

    Talking Technique: The Permutation Exercise

    To start things off in this new series, we’re going to be working on our left hand dexterity with the “Permutation Exercise”. Each finger is assigned a number: 1 for index 2 for middle 3 for ring and 4 for our pinky By practicing each variation or permutation of the numbers 1, 2, 3, and... »

  • Playing Fast (and Cleanly): A Discussion for Bass Players

    Playing Fast (and Cleanly): A Discussion for Bass Players

    Q: When I hear you playing I think how amazing your technique is and the way you apply it to whatever you want to say through your bass. In the past I didn’t mind about the sound of the notes I was getting. I tried to play fast and didn’t really see or hear what... »

  • Trill Exercises for Bassists

    Trill Exercises for Bassists

    For better or worse, trills grab the listeners attention. If a trill is quick, clear and under the performer’s control it can generate excitement in the listener. If it is slow, clumsy and uncontrolled, however, it can have a most deleterious effect. To ensure trills are at our command, we should train our fingers to... »

  • Thumb Position Exercises for Bassists

    Thumb Position Exercises for Bassists

    “Thumb position” is a left hand technique in which the thumb is used on top of the board to press down the strings. In essence, we use it just as we use our other fingers. Although the technique can be used anywhere on the instrument, this technique is most often used at the midpoint of... »

  • Left Hand Dexterity Drills on Three and Four Strings

    Left Hand Dexterity Drills on Three and Four Strings

    After mastering the exercises on one and two strings, you will be ready to challenge yourself with some three-string exercise, like the ones below. Some Notes: These exercises can be done pizzicato or arco. If done pizzicato, I suggest beginning each pattern using the second finger of your right hand, followed by the first (i.e.... »

  • Left Hand Dexterity Drills on Two Strings

    Left Hand Dexterity Drills on Two Strings

    After you feel comfortable with the single string exercises from last time you may want to challenge yourself a bit more with the two string exercises below. Two String Left Hand Dexterity Drill Notes: These exercises can be done pizzicato or arco. If done pizzicato, I suggest beginning each pattern using the second finger of... »

  • Single Position Left Hand Dexterity Drills for Bassists

    Single Position Left Hand Dexterity Drills for Bassists

    Although scales, arpeggios and repertory are necessary for any musician’s development, etudes and exercises such as the ones below should also be part of any instrumentalist’s diet. Such exercises allow us to focus on a single aspect of technique. Single task left hand drills are essential if we desire to have true dexterity in the... »

  • Bass Aerobics

    Bass Aerobics

    Hal Leonard has released Bass Aerobics, a new book in their Bass Builders series, offering a 52-week, one excercise per week workout program for bassists. Authored by bassist Jon Liebman, Bass Aerobics focuses on developing, improving and maintaining technique on the bass guitar, for beginner through advanced players. The 112 page book is designed to... »