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Left Hand Archives

Talking Technique: Geddy Lee and the Fifth Rule of Power
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Geddy Lee and the Fifth Rule of Power

In episode #60 of Talking Technique, Ariane Cap breaks down how Geddy Lee uses power chords in Rush’s “Dreamline,” with a quick harmonic run down, tips for fingering, technical execution, and practice.

Talking Technique: Short-Scale Bass Shedding
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Short-Scale Bass Shedding

Short-scale basses have recently enjoyed a bit of a resurgence – be it as an alternate tool in a pro’s kit or as a main axe chosen for its sound, lightweight, easy playability and hip factor. In this episode, we’ll explore some right-hand, left-hand, and coordination drills that will help you wrap your mind around the shorter scale. I’m using...

Talking Technique: The Pinky Workout
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: The Pinky Workout

Is the pinky your weak link? If it is, you are not alone. The pinky and ring finger share a tendon. Either of those fingers prefers moving in tandem, rather than on their own, so it is a good idea to isolate them. As for the pinky, it is also the weakest of the bunch. These drills will get your...

Talking Technique: “Mordents” for Finger Strength
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: “Mordents” for Finger Strength

Today we have another multi-layered workout for you to build up your finger strength. This lesson will help you practice a scale up and down one string while improving coordination and strengthening your fingers. It’s not a beginner’s workout, but wherever you are on your journey, give it a good try. You’ll need to be ready to play hammer-ons and...

Finger Substitutions
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Finger Substitutions

When we play the same note, usually on the same string, consecutively, but with different fingers, it is called a finger substitution. For example: This technique is most often employed is when we want to avoid shifting within a slur. While we should be able to shift silently within a slur, it is sometimes musically more appealing, or simply cleaner,...

Talking Technique: The One-Finger-Per-Fret Controversy
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: The One-Finger-Per-Fret Controversy

Some people are afraid for their fingers, while others swear by it: the one-finger-per-fret position. Is there is a reason to fret “one-finger-per-fret”? Not if done right. Is it worth getting it down? Yes! [Read to the end for “Practice-with-me” videos.] I definitely recommend having a solid grip (so to speak) on the one-finger-per-fret method. Practicing this way has numerous...

Talking Technique: Changing Technique Habits – What it Takes
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Changing Technique Habits – What it Takes

There is a step by step process that can help you change ingrained habits. It is a fast and effective technique to practice just about anything so effectively that it can become addictive. But it is also a great catalyst for changing ingrained habits. That is good news, because if you have ever tried to change a habit – be...

Memorizing the Fretboard: A Checklist for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

Memorizing the Fretboard: A Checklist for Bass Players

Q: I’m just starting out and was wondering if you had any tips for memorizing the fingerboard? A: This is one of those columns where I need to preface my answer by saying “your mileage may vary.” Personally, I was lucky. I started working on reading notation from day one. I still think that reading music is the best way...

Talking Technique: The Pistol Grip
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: The Pistol Grip

If you’ve been following this column for a while, you know we place a lot of emphasis on the details of good technique, including the left hand. Sometimes, though, we go to see our favorite bass players and they have the “pistol grip”. So is it really necessary to use one finger per fret and good posture on the fretboard?...

Talking Technique: Feeling Rusty?
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Feeling Rusty?

So you haven’t gotten to touch your bass in a while. It happens! We all have those times where we don’t get time with our bass for extended periods. When we get the bass in our hands again, our gut instinct is to get all our fast chops back, but that’s not such a great idea. The way to get...