Everyone wants to improve their playing, but many bassists don’t understand just how they can do it.
If you want to play faster, better, and with less effort, you will need to put in some hard work. Finger dexterity isn’t an overnight thing; it takes months to develop. You have to be willing to put in the time and effort to improve your playing yourself; no one is going to do it for you.
In this article, we will give you some exercises to build up your finger dexterity. It is up to you to put them to proper use and to practice your playing each and every day.
Our first exercise is simple; the stress ball. In order to develop finger dexterity, you need fingers strong enough to take advantage of their speed.
Take a simple stress ball and hold it between the tips of all of the fingers of your fretting hand. Your thumb should be at the bottom of the ball. The ball should not be touching your palm at all. Using only the tips of your fingers, squeeze the ball inwards until you can feel your fingers almost touching through the skin of the ball.
When you can feel all of the tips of your fingers against the tip of your thumb, hold for five seconds. Release slowly. Repeat twenty times in a row, doing each movement slowly, three times per day.
Our second exercise is the chromatic scale. You may not have heard of this scale, but that’s okay; every musician knows this scale, no matter if they just began, or if they have been playing for thirty plus years. The chromatic scale is a scale that covers every single fret on the fret board. It is a scale that consists of half notes steps only.
Start off with your index finger on the first fret of your low E string. Next, play the second fret of your low E string using your middle finger. After that, play the third fret of your low E string using your ring finger. Finally, play the fourth fret of your low E string using your pinky finger. Once you have finished, play the same exact pattern on the rest of your strings.
Once you finish on your highest string, move up a fret. Now your index finger should be on fret on fret two, your middle finger on fret three, your ring finger on fret four, and your pinky finger on fret five. Once you finish on your high string, move string by string towards your low E, repeating the pattern on each string. Once you reach the low E, play the pattern, then move it up a fret and begin again.
Increasing your finger dexterity is all about making your digits independent. Once your finger step depending on one another, you can move them freely and they will be far more agile.
Try doing single hammer on pull off patterns using two fingers at a time. Start with your index finger and middle finger, then middle and ring, then ring and pink, and then try other two fingered patterns. They key is to teach your fingers to have a mind of their own. Once they do, your playing will improve greatly.