Shifting Exercises for Bass

Double bassist

Sometimes, just for fun, I like to work on the short shifting exercise below. It helps me measure my accuracy, ensure I am light during the shift, and that I am using minimum pressure with my fingers, all while keeping my shifting fluid. It’s short, fun and challenging.

Keep the following things in mind:

  • Play with the bow, this trains the left hand best
  • Shift quickly and lightly
  • Make the shifts as inaudible as possible
  • When you are really comfortable, do it on every note of a scale!

Without further ado:

Shifting Exercises for Bass

Dr. Donovan Stokes is on the faculty of Shenandoah University-Conservatory. Visit him online at and check out the Bass Coalition at

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