Right-Hand, String-Crossing Bass Guitar Warm-up Exercises
Before your hands will be strong enough for hours of bass guitar playing, you need to strengthen them with exercise. Knowing how to warm up using right-hand string crossing is the final stage to preparing your right hand for those complicated fingering techniques. Remember, a few minutes a day with the proper exercises go a long way.
Crossing the strings is very straightforward. Just remember the following three rules:
Alternate your middle and index fingers when you’re striking the same string.
Alternate your middle and index fingers when you’re crossing from a lower to a higher string.
Rake multiple strings with the same finger when you’re crossing from a higher to a lower string.
The lower string is the one on top (nearest your head). Try the following exercise for right-hand coordination:
To simplify the patterns for this exercise, i means play with your index finger and m means play with your middle finger. So let's begin!
Strike the E string with i.
Strike the A string with m.
Strike the D string with i.
Strike the G string with m.
Now strike the G string again, this time with i (alternating on the same string), and rake it all the way across the D, A, and E strings.
Keep the rhythm and volume even.
After you play the E string with i, continue with the second half of the exercise:
Strike the E string with m.
Strike the A string with i.
Strike the D string with m.
Strike the G string with i.
Now strike the G string again with m (alternating on the same string), and rake it all the way across the D, A, and E strings.
Keep the rhythm and volume even in both directions.
Listen to this exercise. Notice that there is no difference in the sound of the strings as the fingers alternate. Listen to the evenness of the volume of the notes, and to the timing between the notes. The timing is identical whether you’re going up or down on the strings. Make sure that your fingers strike the strings evenly.