Left Hand Technique for Bass: Try This Fingering Hack!

2019-01-09T15:59:33+00:00October 12th, 2018|5 Comments

This week we’re looking at one of the biggest problems I see in students. The left hand pinky. But it’s not always a problem with Pinky Strength. It’s often a problem with technique and leverage.
So this week we’re looking at a technique I call Joint Barring!

The Riff

This riff is just a straightforward bass line using a root-fifth-octave shape. It might seem pretty simple and easy, but it can be a test of your pinky technique if you use only the 1st and 4th fingers.

Joint Barring

The trick to playing any riff like this is something I call joint barring. We’re going to use the lever action of this joint in the pinky and leverage of the whole hand in generating the required pressure on the string. (see video)

This isn’t all about creating a strong pinky, it’s more about using the correct technique to make everything a little easier.

Once you have that technique under your fingers you can use it in loads of basslines. It can provides you with a clean technique and helps with being more efficient overall.

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  1. dave October 18, 2018 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    This technique is something I fell into awhile ago. I’d use it from time to time. Now, I’ll have to practice it so I can use it more often. Thanks!

  2. Jen Cormier October 24, 2018 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the exercise. I do have problems with the 3rd and 4th fingers because I’m a petite woman and have a small hand. I can barely get an octave on the piano! I’ll fit this in my left hand exercise routine for warm ups. 🙂

  3. Vanessa reece October 27, 2018 at 3:00 am - Reply

    Thanks, Mark. I seldom use my pinky finger because my hands are so small ‘seemingly’ but your video has tremendously helped me in practicing and getting it into my playing

  4. Larry Duke November 3, 2018 at 7:33 am - Reply

    I have had my eyes opened to what that 4th finger can do, another great video Mr. Mark!😀

  5. Chandler Felty November 3, 2018 at 11:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Mark! great exercise!. I know you have probably answered this question before, but is it ever appropriate to use your thumb to fret the E or occasionally the A string?

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