Today we’re going to take a look at a classically inspired etude I wrote for the Technique Builder course over at the Talkingbass website. The course contains 60 etudes covering a variety of different technical hurdles. There are major lines, minor lines, arpeggio based lines, intervallic lines and many more.

Etude Performance

This particular etude is from the classical section of the Technique Builder Course at and is a great workout for the fretting hand. This is Etude 25 from the Technique Builder Course as shown below.

Etude Breakdown

Etude 25 is much longer than the previous etudes and it works through a succession of broken chords. The only way to learn this is to go through one bar at a time. Its a very Bach inspired line, where we start by playing around the C minor arpeggio. Be sure to use alternate picking and one-finger-per-fret to play this piece comfortably.

In bar two we are playing around a Dominant 7 chord broken up as an arpeggio. Watch the fingering in your fretting hand as this bar is a little tricky. Bar three is more straightforward as it’s just a descending line, although there is a bit of a stretch. There is a position shift in the fourth bar.

In the fifth bar, we are changing up the pattern quite a bit so take your time with this while paying special attention to your fretting had fingering. Bar six is where we just move down, although there is now quite a stretch. Stay in this position for bar seven, where we play the same pattern but just move the lowest note down a semitone. In the final bar, we ascend through a G7b9 arpeggio (or Bdim) which brings us back nicely to the start of the piece.

Final Performance

As this piece is in a minor key, its worth moving through the cycle of fifths rather than the cycle of fourths. These keys are: C, G, D, A, E, B, F#/Gb, Db, Ab, Eb, Bb, F. You will come across some tricky stretches as you move through these keys, so be sure to use micro shifts and pivot your thumb at the back of the neck using one-finger-per-fret.

Technique Course

That was Etude 25 from the Technique Builder Course, if you’re looking to improve on your technique than this course is the right choice for you. The course contains a complete module of technique training, before moving to the 60 progressive etudes in module two.

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