Jamie Jamerson’s Bass Session Warmup

James Jamerson, the legendary Motown bassist known for his influential playing on numerous hit records, is often cited for his incredible technique and musicality on the electric bass. His approach to playing, characterized by inventive lines, fluidity, and a deep sense of groove, has inspired countless bassists.

One of the exercises attributed to Jamerson for warming up is often referred to as “Igor’s Exercise,” a chromatic finger exercise designed to improve dexterity and finger independence on the bass guitar. This exercise was not originally detailed in mainstream bass pedagogy texts but has circulated among bass players through oral tradition and more informal channels. It’s important to note that “Igor” in this context does not refer to Igor Stravinsky, but rather, the exercise is affectionately named “Igor’s Exercise” for its rigorous and somewhat classical approach to technique development.

While playing the exercise, I would encourage you to identify the intervals as you play, noticing how chromatic notes are used along with arpeggios.

Jamie Jamerson’s Bass Session Warmup

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