5 Bass Finger Exercises to Improve Your Bass Skills
Are you having issues with moving your fingers fast enough to make chords? Here are some bass finger exercises to get you used to play your bass guitar.
Are you a seasoned bass player looking to speed up your skill? Or maybe a bass playing newbie looking to hit the ground running?
Either way, there’s only one way to do it: practice. The old adage “practice makes perfect” was probably written about the bass guitar, because it couldn’t be truer.
The more hours you log on your ax, the better you’ll get (read: the harder your callouses will become). Despite the thick strings that give the bass its deep sound, some simple exercises can help you get used to them and lay down some sweet basslines in no time.
Keep reading to learn the best bass finger exercises to speed up your playing.
Chromatic Warm Up
A chromatic warm-up is one of the simplest bass finger exercises out there. It requires zero knowledge of chords, notes, or scales.
Place your fingers on the bottom string on frets one, two, three, and four. Then, play each of those notes separately with your right hand.
Once you’ve done that, move your fingers one by one up to the second string. Repeat this exercise until you’ve reached the top, and then move down again.
Three Finger Warm Up
Lots of bass chords require the use of only three fingers. This can be a difficult stretch, and even harder to press down on such thick strings when your hand isn’t accustomed to stretching this way.
Place your index and middle fingers on any string, any fret, one fret apart. Then, skip a fret and place your index or pinky finger on any string.
Change this configuration up a few times to stretch those secondary fingers, priming them for tons of bass chords.
This is one of the most useful warm-ups you can practice. Besides priming your fingers, you’ll be learning valuable and foundational bass guitar theory that’s important for every bass player to know.
Start by learning and practicing the major scale, and then move on to the minor scale and the plethora of others that exist.
The ability to switch between chords quickly is the whole point of practicing bass finger exercises, so practicing chord switches is extremely helpful.
For this exercise, choose two chords and switch solely between those two. Start slowly and build up your speed until the switch requires no thought and minimal effort. That’s when the switch is committed to muscle memory.
Hammer Ons and Pull Offs
This is a great exercise for developing flair in your playing style. Practice hammer-ons and pull-offs using just one or two chords to get the technique down before trying it within a more complicated bassline.
Bass Finger Exercises Make a Better Player
Now that you’ve learned some of the best bass finger exercises out there, put them to use and get practicing! You should be practicing 30 minutes per day for maximum retention. Practicing every day is going to yield much better results than practicing for longer periods once a week.
Once you’ve mastered these exercises, check out our tutorial videos for more bass lessons!
You Might Also Like:
Funk Bass Lessons For Everyone Funk bass is one of the most creative and quite frankly, fun styles of bass to play. Our friends over at TrueFire.com have put together some great course for all levels of bass players that are sure to keep your days and night funky!...read more
The Yamaha TRBX174 4-String Bass Guitar Check out the Yamaha TRBX174 on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2OLuuDT Over the years the number of instruments available for under $200 has skyrocketed. You can easily search the internet and find hundreds, if not thousands of...read more
Helpful Tools and Resources: Check it out here: https://amzn.to/2BlHKNt This toolkit will give you the foundational tools you will need to properly set up your bass (or guitar). Check it out here: https://amzn.to/2BlIdiH Even though this book has a guitar on the...read more
7 Bass Fuzz Pedals Your Need To Check Out A good fuzz pedal is necessary for a bass players arsenal. Like spaghetti and meatballs or peanut butter and jelly, the fuzz pedal is a perfect partner for your bass. So without any further delay, here are 7 of my favorite...read more
The Action of Your Bass Can Impact Your Tone More Than You Think If you have ever talked about bass tone, you have probably heard the term “action”. Most people don’t bother to define everything they say, but action, in this case, refers to the distance between your...read more
The Best Beginner Fender Squier Bass Guitars Links: Squier by Fender Jaguar http://amzn.to/2ziD1WF Squier Affinity Jazz: http://amzn.to/2ziPSrZ Squier by Fender Fender Vintage Modified PJ https://amzn.to/2MlqvAe I remember a day when you had to fork out a ton of...read more
The Basics of Music Theory for Bass Understanding bass music theory will help bring your playing and bass line writing to a whole new level. We'll show you the basics to get started. Some people think that learning theory is unnecessary, and all you have to do is feel...read more
MXR M-181 Bass Blowtorch (Click here to see this pedal on Guitar Center's Website) If you need some serious dirt for your bass, the MXR M-181 is the pedal for you. This is a no-nonsense, heavy distortion pedal engineered especially for bass. This pedal features plenty...read more
Fender Original 60's P-Bass (Click here to see this bass on Guitar Center's Website) To be fair, this review is probably a little biased, as the new Fender 60' Original P-Bass is one of my absolute favorite new basses of 2018, so much so I added one to my...read more