Right Hand Exercises

Whether you use a one, two, or even three finger right hand technique, there is one basic concept for success: a proper balance of evenness, consistency, and control. Whether you use a two or three finger technique, each attack should sound the same – like one finger.

Without evenness, your eighth notes and sixteenth notes won’t provide that smooth, solid “floor” upon which harmony and melody should firmly situate themselves. Without consistency, you (along with the drummer) won’t be able to sustain that evenness throughout the length of a verse, much less an entire song. Without control over the individual fingers themselves, accents, nuances, and rhythmic embellishments will not be executed accurately and subsequent damage to your evenness and consistency will occur.

Here are some right hand strengthening and dexterity excercises. These have really helped me get all my fingers EVEN…… attack, timing etc…..take them slowly and really concentrate on EVENNESS… Enjoy….

i = index finger
m = middle finger
r = ring finger

These exercises must be practiced extremely slowly to ensure proper development of the “basic concept”. Starting with evenness, then consistency, and finally control, these exercises should give you very basic alternation technique. Only time and practice will integrate these concepts into your everyday playing. As rules are made to be broken, deviations from these techniques (raking, breaking sequence) may be necessary to facilitate certain musical passages (wide intervals, string crossings, etc..) Let your instincts be your guide.

Single Notes for Right Hand

Repeat each exercise many times and speed up slowly !



3 Finger Technique

My 3 finger technique is based on i-m-r-m, i-m-r-m alternation. This makes sixteenth note passages simple, but requires extremededication and discipline to master. For a more detailed study of this, refer to my “Advanced Bassix” video. (Backstage Pass Videos)

Practice all of your scales and arrpegios using this right hand fingering.



Hopefully, you are applying the previous right hand exercises to all the scales and patterns that you already know. Now here are some more difficult ones emphasizing control. pay particular attention to accent markings. Use your imagination and make up variations of these.


When first learning 3 finger right hand technique, I soon realized that I would have to achieve extremely even control over all three fingers; both collectively and individually. These basic exercises will get you started. Expand on these and take your time while incorporating this technique into your playing. Pay attention to the accents.


These can also be played with a two finger technique. Make sure to keep your alternation even.


These are basic fundamentals for good right hand fingering technique. Take them and apply them to all these exercises (be patient) as well as your everyday warm ups and performances. Don’t forget to start at slow tempos and move the metronome up one notch every few days (but not before they are mastered at that tempo).

A metronome and a pencil are very important for your practice routine: the metronome for obvious reasons and the pencil so you can write the tempo and the date over each exercise. This will enable you to monitor your progress. Everytime you feel comfortable with a tempo, move the metronome up a notch and mark both the date and the tempo.

For example:

3/24/03 m.m. 160
4/2/03 m.m. 162
4/24/03 m.m. 164 Etc….

Have fun!