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Left Hand Archives

Tapping Technique

Tapping Technique: Rhythmic Displacement of Melodies

Two-hand tapping on an electric bass can be used in a multitude of ways. In his new “Tapping Technique” lesson, Josh Cohen covers the creation of improvisations in the upper register with the right hand while playing a bass line in the left hand.

Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Wicked Riff

In this lesson, Ariane Cap focuses on an angular riff that presents quite the string crossing challenge. It will not only shed your technique, but it will also give you creative ideas.

Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Black Velvet – Nail That Fill

Alannah Myles’ iconic tune “Black Velvet” features a fill that is pretty challenging. Originally played with synth bass, we might be tasked to play that line. Ari covers this (and all the benefits) in this episode of “Talking Technique.”

Ask Damian Erskine

What Fingerings Should I Use for the Modes?

A reader sent Damian a note this week saying he's just starting to learn modes on the bass but is struggling with the finger patterns. He asked for help, and Damian decided to make this week’s column a video demonstration on the topic.

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

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

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

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...

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

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

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...

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...