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Left Hand Archives - Page 2

Talking Technique: Introduction to Pull-Offs and Hammer-Ons
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Introduction to Pull-Offs and Hammer-Ons

Hammer-ons and pull-offs are extremely handy techniques that add variety to your groove and tone. They each utilize the left hand to perform the next note to allow for some slick fretwork. For this lesson, we have some technical and musical exercises that will strengthen your left hand and get you used to each technique. Don’t miss the tip of...

Talking Technique: One Finger Per Fret In The Lower Register
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: One Finger Per Fret In The Lower Register

The lower frets on the bass are arguably the ones we use the most, but they’re also the largest frets. That makes it difficult for us to apply our “one finger per fret” rule in the lower register. So how can we overcome this physical obstacle? We’ll go over some exercises to get your fingers in shape for the low...

A Quick Left Hand Warmup
The Lowdown with Dr. D

A Quick Left Hand Warmup

Most people are aware of the importance of warming up before we practice or perform. A slow warmup can protect against injury and help to ensure we are performing at our optimum level. In situations where time is short, however, it can be tempting to forgo the warmup portion of the day. When I am pressed for time, I sometimes...

Talking Technique: String Jumping Exercises
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: String Jumping Exercises

Bass grooves often have lines that move across strings on the same fret. To keep a smooth and legato feel, we need to focus on the technique of jumping from string to string. Here we’ll dig in on a few exercises with plenty of variations to get all your fingers in shape. Today’s tip is on getting an even attack...

Talking Technique: Jumps Without Looking at the Fretboard
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Jumps Without Looking at the Fretboard

Now that your fingers are getting in shape from the first two lessons, but how do you tackle making large interval leaps on the fly? Accurate shifting is an equally important skill to mastering technique. Upright bass players work meticulously on shifting to be as accurate as possible. We’ll borrow a few pointers from them as well as dive into...

Talking Technique: Permutation Variation
Talking Technique

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 and half-whole diminished scales. Be...

Talking Technique: The Permutation Exercise
Talking Technique

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 4, we can build finger...

Classification of Three Types of Thumb Position on the Double Bass
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Classification of Three Types of Thumb Position on the Double Bass

When we speak of thumb position on the bass we are referring to a left hand (l.h.) fingering system where the thumb is used to depress the string. The thumb is on top of the board (rather than behind the neck) and it presses the string down like any other finger. However, often telling someone to “play that in thumb...

Thumb Position Below the Half Point of the String on Double Bass
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Thumb Position Below the Half Point of the String on Double Bass

Although I sometimes use a 1-2-3-4 fingering technique below the half point of the string (12th fret, if we had frets), I often find a thumb position fingering to be more efficient, easier on the hand and, most importantly, more accurate. Of course, many bass players first learn thumb position starting at the half point of the string (G harmonic...

Left Hand Exercises and Resources for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

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...

Some Thoughts on the 1-2-3-4 Fingering System for Double Bass
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Some Thoughts on the 1-2-3-4 Fingering System for Double Bass

For as long as there have been bassists, there has been debate about what fingering system to use. While most players today use a three-finger technique (1-2-4, or the Italian 1-3-4) some suggest a four-finger technique, especially in the middle positions (i.e. between D and G on the G string). One of the main arguments for using a 1-2-3-4 system...

A Quick Warmup for the Left Hand
The Lowdown with Dr. D

A Quick Warmup for the Left Hand

Sometimes we need to warmup in a hurry. When I need to warmup in two minutes or less I do exercises like the ones below. Some things to remember when doing these: Start slowly and speed up as you go Keep the fingers light and flexible, don’t press any harder than necessary Don’t’ go any faster than feels easy, slow...