Left Hand Exercises and Resources for Bass Players

Q: I live in Ethiopia and I am a 4th year bass student. I have some problems my left hand. Do you have advanced finger exercises?

A: For this question, I’m going to point you to a variety of resources – here on No Treble, and across the web.

There are a variety of stretching exercises, finger independence exercises, tendon exercises and general hand maintenance links. While these things are helpful, remember that it is important to also play your instrument regularly. Focus on time, tone and feel. Experiment with hand positions, different fingerings and finger positions. Get to know your instrument and how your body interacts with it most efficiently.

And if you really want to dig in, check out all of the left-hand focused columns here.

Beyond that? Plain old time and hard work will get you there.

Readers, do any of you have any favorite finger exercises or stretches that you like? Please share in the comments!

Have a question for Damian Erskine? Send it to [email protected]. Check out Damian’s instructional books, Right Hand Drive and The Improviser’s Path.

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  1. Major scale – one octave, two octave, one-string, two-strings, all strings, modes, intervals (3rds, 4ths, etc…), patterns (1-2-3, 2-3-4, 3-4-5. 4-5-6, etc…) ascending, descending, starting from each finger of your left hand.

    That’ll keep you busy for a few years

  2. MikeyOnBass

    The modes in every key… 2birds, 1stone – hands AND fretboard knowledge. Win, Win Baby !!!

  3. i took Emilio Pujol Escuela razonada de la
    Guitarra Book 4 , there a bunch of excercises for The 4 fingers in 2 strings .althought a guitar book, can be apply to The Bass.