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Pre-Practice Finger Exercise for Bass: The Small X

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This week, I wanted to share a finger exercise for bass that’s a personal favorite of mine and that is the Small X.

The name comes from that if you were to look at it from the top view, the exercise would be forming an X shape.

This finger exercise is particularly good exercise for beginners who are looking to build dexterity and strength early on in their playing and works just as well on guitar as well!

Here are some things to remember when practicing this exercise:

1. Your ultimate goal should be fluidity from one end of the neck to the other whether its the end of the neck itself or to the 12th fret.

To achieve this, like with most exercises, begin slow taking time to deeply understand how your hand is moving with this exercise. The purpose behind it was to challenge your hand movement. This is not a common movement for the left hand (or right if you’re playing lefty).

2. The exercise is meant to feel strange. Like I said above, these kinds of shapes are meant to challenge your hand and mind by forcing you to play in different ways.

3. Once you feel like you’ve mastered the exercise itself, take it one step further and see if you can jam on it. Most exercises are done to get the hand warmed up (a point I make in the video below), but another reason to use them is for “jam fodder”.

All these exercises are are different patterns and arrangements of notes. To leave them alone or in their intended form wouldn’t be making the most of it. To really get the most out of it and to open even more musical doors with it, the best thing you can do with the exercise is turn it into something, turn it into a bass line, a fill, the A section of an entire composition – something!

Check out the video below for the whole lesson

Plus, if you’re looking for more cool exercises for bass, check out these links here and here. 

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