In this bass guitar lesson we’re going to cover a common challenge I see, when I review videos from my coaching students, regarding How To Stop Flying Fingers.
Flying Fingers is where the fretting hand fingers feel out of control and look like they are flying around out of control. This results in a lack of speed, accuracy and dexterity. Basslines can often sound ‘lumpy’ and ‘disjointed’ and timing can suffer. Typically there is always far too much movement in when changing from note to note.
The number one solution to flying fingers is to develop the ‘1 Finger Per Fret’ finger system which will install discipline in to the fretting hand. Typically it also opens up the hand so in one ‘position’ there are always 16 notes available.In this lesson I’ll show you how to develop the 1 Finger Per Fret System (you may hear me refer to this as ‘curing the crab’ too!) and take you through the 24 fingering combinations which develop dexterity, strength and finger independence.
My teacher, the great Paul Westwood (who wrote The Bass Bible) gave one invaluable piece of advice which changed the way approached technique - play all notes long to begin with.
Playing notes long is very powerful because it forces bass players to develop a good fretting technique by removing the gaps between notes that are created by poor technique. It’s also the very best way of practicing the 1 Finger Per Fret Technique to begin with.
Lesson Wrap Up
Good technique is our engine. It’s absolutely essential to play the bass lines we love… and if we don’t work on it, it can be like driving a car with a flat tyre!
You can also discover the ‘Spider’ exercise mentioned above in the 24 Fingers table inside my book… The Essential Guide To Technique For Bass Guitar Players.
This book and my full technique course ‘The Essential Technique Course’ are available inside the Bass Lab PLUS Membership.
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Good luck and get stuck in!