I was just looking on Amazon to see what I could get with my $25 gift card from my sister and found a D’Addario Varigrip finger strengthener for $18. Do those things work or would I just be wasting money that I could be saving for another bass or pedal?
What works - come on, say it with me… Practice
There are zillions of gizmos to take your money to improve your playing.
Nothing improves your playing more than - playing.
None of these gadgets existed when all the old greats were creating all the music we love.
Don’t fall for the marketing.
That’s what I thought but I figured I’d ask the community first
Wise word. @John_E
You only need/use more strength when you are not familiar with the piece you are working for the first few times. When you are familiar with it you only use a fraction of the strength to produce killer tone. No gizmos just muscle memory. So repeat after @John_E ”practice” lol.
The only concern I have is that I DON’T practice enough because of my schedule. I’m hoping to change that in the new year though.
My mentor taught me the most important lesson, he said when you learn forget the time(tempo) trigger the notes as you would normally so you are more relaxed which helps with speed and usually acceleration/reflex.
Once you get the path/shape down then start on a low tempo to get the time down. Speeding up is the last step. That’s the easy way. The hard way is just simply the opposite.
We are no pros, it takes a while to put a song down. Take your time. I’m a slow learner I just keep playing until it feels good under the fingers.
If the pinky isn’t strong enough, fret with the pinky and ring. Time will fix this, faster than you think.
As the video shows, it’s not really about finger strength anyway, it’s about technique.
I have a very cheap (and crap) variation of these, came in a bundle of hand strengthener stuff that I used a couple of years ago when I was recovering from a wrist injury. It’s pretty much useless. The action is not smooth, those things you press down wobble left and right and 90% of the time get stuck halfway through. Maybe this one is better quality though, seems to have lots of positive reviews.
I have a D’Addario finger strengthener and find it to be useful.
As others have mentioned it is no substitute for practice. However I use it when I’m listening to music, watching TV, etc. - times when it would be impractical to be holding a bass.
I like that the tensions are individually adjustable. I started with the ring and pinky at their lowest setting and have been gradually increasing it, although this is definitely a work in progress.
I confess to being a hardcore gadget freak.
I think the most important muscle to strengthen is the core. Sit or stand does not matter, if you have a weak core you’ll suffer soon enough. One of the main reason I can’t do long session sometimes is the backache, that’s directly from weak core.
I agree with all sentiments above - those gadgets are total waste of time, and possibly even detrimental.
Here’s an amazing free version (limited time offer, buy now) (shipping and handling not existent):
- Put your right hand on your left shoulder. Ta da, it’s an imaginary bass neck.
- Practice fretting on it with your left hand - exercises, scales, whatever. No bass required, will totally help your strength, dexterity, neck knowledge, and more.
- (flip instructions for lefties)
That’s a great idea and you can take it anywhere! I hadn’t thought of that but it works.