Hand & Finger Exercises for Bass Players
Hand and finger exercises for bass players are designed to improve your finger picking speed as well as your fretting accuracy. While many hand and fingers exercises work on strumming and fretting, some hand and finger exercises focus on strengthening your bass playing fingers to improve stamina and playing speed.
Finger Stretching Exercise
This basic finger stretching exercise is designed to improve your left hand's reach and dexterity. Start by playing the first four frets on the low E string of your bass, one at a time, in ascending order. From here, move up to the A string. Play the notes in descending order, starting from the fourth fret and working down to the first. On the D string, play the four frets in ascending order. On the G string, descend. As you improve, increase the speed of your fingers while playing each note.
Upper Fret Finger Exercise
This finger exercise will improve your accuracy and speed while playing high notes. Start with your left hand in a basic fretting position, starting on the 12th fret. From here, play the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th frets with your first, second, third and fourth fingers on the E string. Move up to the A string and repeat the same motion. Repeat this exercise on the same frets on all four strings. Descend four frets to the ninth fret and repeat the same exercise. Continue to descend three frets at a time until you reach open position.
Right Hand Finger Exercise
This finger exercise is designed to improve your right hand three-finger technique. Place your right hand in front of the strings with your thumb resting just above the low E string. From here, play eighth notes starting with your index finger, moving to your middle finger, followed by your ring finger and then back to your middle finger. Play any scales or single notes you like, continuously repeating this pattern until your fingers are fatigued.
This spider exercise will improve your left hand dexterity and strength. Start with your index finger on the fifth fret of the A string and your index finger on the sixth fret of the E string. Play the E string first followed by the A string. From here, using the same pattern, play the eighth fret of the low E string followed by the seventh fret of the A string. Move up to the D and A string, performing the same pattern on the same frets. Improve your rhythm on this exercise by playing with a metronome.
Jason Aberdeene has been a freelance writer since 2008. His articles have appeared in the "UCSD Guardian" and on various websites, specializing in teen health. An assistant at Kagan Physical Therapy since 2009, Aberdeene has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.