Stu Hamm's Fretboard Fitness

Stu Hamm's Fretboard Fitness digs deep into bass guitar fretboard navigation, finger agility and the theoretical knowledge necessary to play all styles of music. If you consider yourself an intermediate bass guitar player, Stu Hamm's Fretboard Fitness is the bass boot camp you need to take your skills to the next level.

Video Introduction

Click below for a sample video from the course.

About the Guitar Lesson Plan

Interactive Video Bass Guitar Instruction

"These are the bass guitar lessons I wish I had when I was coming up. I've distilled the curriculum in Fretboard Fitness to the essential nuts and bolts of playing bass guitar; navigating the fretboard, building hand strength, and understanding the essential principles of music theory and harmony. All of the video bass guitar lessons, exercises and workouts that I've included in Fretboard Fitness are designed to form a strong bond between your hands, ears and mind."

The best quality of this course is how you work with it; you'll play your way through Fretboard Fitness. No tedious, boring routines or theoretical math here. Stu designed each workout to provide equal measures of applied theory, fretboard navigation and hand strength. This 3-in-1 approach gives you more of a musical perspective and makes working out more fun. The lessons and workouts include:

STRETCHING: Stretching exercises designed to loosen you up and keep you loose so that you can avoid harming yourself when you play.

TRITONES & WHOLE TONES: A series of tri-tone and whole-tone stretches to loosen up your left hand and rhythmic quarter to eighth noted patterns to work out your right hand.

DOUBLE STOPS & BARRING: Major pentatonic patterns, barring/double stops and the technique of holding down ( or “fretting”) 2 or 3 (or 4) strings with one finger.

MODES & SCALES: Stu de-mystifies modes and explains where they come from, what they mean, and what to do with them. Hamm runs down the tonal characteristics for each of the modes demonstrating both single and double octave fingerings for Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian & Locrian modes.

DIATONIC MODE EXCERCISE: Here comes the bread and butter; this exercise puts all of the modes together to demonstrate how they operate within the key of G and on your fretboard. This is the foundation of Hamm's own warm-up routine and the basis for the patterns that will follow in the course.

PARALLEL MODES: Stu twists your brain a bit by taking you through a routine where you'll play all of the modes starting on the same note as opposed to going up the scale diatonically.

PATTERNS 1 & 2: Learn another couple of Stu's favorite warm-up techniques; patterns of 3-note phrases going up the modes diatonically.

ARPEGGIOS & 7TH CHORDS: Theory, arpeggios and application of 7th chords is discussed and demonstrated. Stu throws another brain/finger twister at you with a workout of 7th chord arpeggios going down the neck.

DYADS: Work with dyads to learn how to play major and minor 10ths to train your fingers and ears to tell the difference between major and minor. Stu presents another great exercise working the G and C major scales, playing the appropriate major or minor 10th.

7TH CHORDS: Learn where 7th chords come from to form 4 note chords by going through the modes starting on all of the different tonics, and finding which major or minor 7th notes are created by each scale.

DIATONIC 7TH CHORDS: Another great exercise that takes you up a G and C scale, playing the mode-appropriate root, major or minor 3rd and major or minor 10th (the octave of the 3rd) to play 3 note chords and further familiarize yourself with the fingering patterns and tonality of the chords created by the modes.

3-NOTE CHORDS: Here you learn the different fingers for 3 note chords (triads). You'll learn a few different sounding ways to play major 7th, minor 7th, dominant 7th and flat5 triads.

DIATONIC 3-NOTE CHORDS: This exercise once again takes up the C major scale, playing chords using the root, 3rd and 7th tones from each of the modes that are created by starting on the different notes of the scale.

4-NOTE VOICINGS: Stu introduces you to some 4 note voicings and shows you an exercise that will show you how to play chords using the root, 5th, 7th and 10th. Challenging stuff but well worth it.

9TH CHORDS: Another way to add spice and flavor to your chordal playing is to add different notes other than the root, 3rd, 5th or 7th to add more tension. Here Stu demonstrates adding a 9th (an octave 2nd) to major and minor chords.

OPEN NOTE MAJOR & MINOR ARPS: This exercise will introduce you to using open strings and provide you with patterns outlining G major and C major as well as G minor and C minor arpeggios.

OPEN NOTE MAJ & DOM 7THS: Stu adds 7ths to the arpeggios using the open string leaps. This time, after the leap you will not just be outlining a major arpeggio, but adding the major and minor 7th twice in the upper register.

MAJ 7 & DOM 7 ARPS: This particular exercise is the main part of Stu's warm-up routine. It helps strengthen and stretch your hands out...and sounds cool as well.

OPEN NOTE MINOR 7TH ARPS: You'll utilize the same techniques that you've been working on and apply them to G minor and C minor arpeggios.

COMBINING MINOR 7TH ARPS: Another exercise for you to work on that utilizes the open note jump idea to string together C minor 7th and G minor 7th arpeggios.

All in all, Fretboard Fitness will get your bass guitar theory, technique and fretboard savvy up to speed in a relative hurry. Stu has organized an extremely efficient and well-balanced course of study that will save you hundreds of hours of wasted practice, but you need to bring the desire and discipline to the table to make it happen. Start today.

About Your Instructor

Stu Hamm

This musician is none other than Stu Hamm, bass player extraordinaire who first came to prominence after playing on Steve Vai's Flex-Able disc. Going on to become the bassist of choice to lay down the low-end for virtuoso guitarists like Frank Gambale and Joe Satriani, Stu has continued to hone his already considerable chops, both on stage and in the studio. Fortunately, Stu's teaching skills match his musicianship, giving you a rare opportunity to learn from one of the very best bassists on the planet.

About the Series

Stu Hamm U

Stu Hamm U is a complete course of study for ALL students of modern electric bass. Never before has a bassist of this caliber shared such vast knowledge, in such a comprehensible and accessible way. Whether you're just starting out or already a working pro, there enough solid material and insight across these four volumes to take your playing wherever you want it to go.

Stu covers it all; rhythm patterns, theory, fretboard navigation, right and left hand agility, harmony, modes, chords, chromatics, arpeggios, stretching exercises, tone, stylistic approaches, muting, hammer-ons, ghost notes, slapping, tapping, improvisation and soloing. Best of all, no tedious theory or boring exercise to struggle through - you will play your way through the entire course working with Stu's engaging, interactive video lessons and play-along workouts.

Dig in at the beginning and work your way through the entire STU U method or just cherry-something new and cool to bring to the gig tonight - it's all there!

Watch Now

Watch video samples on TrueFire TV. Enrolled students have full access.

Check out sample lessons from this course on TrueFire TV

Video Order Options

Student Discounts and TrueFire Cash can be applied!


For PC, Mac & Linux computers only. Not compatible on iPad, iPhone, Android or other mobile devices. For a list of our mobile apps, click here >>

Join for Full Access

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What you Get:

Video software (Windows and Mac) with TrueFire's Lesson Player, PIP, full-screen, looping, slow motion, keyboard shortcuts, plus...

  • - 159 Minutes of Video
  • - Text Commentary
  • - Tab
  • - Notation
  • - Power Tab



Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Warm-Ups
  3. Tritone and Wholetone Stretches
  4. Double Stops & Barring
  5. Modes & Scales
  6. Ionian Mode
  7. Two Octaves
  8. Dorian Mode
  9. Two Octaves
  10. Phrygian Mode
  11. Two Octaves
  12. Lydian Mode
  13. Two Octaves
  14. Mixolydian Mode
  15. Two Octaves
  16. Aeolian Mode
  17. Two Octaves
  18. Locrian Mode
  19. Two Octaves
  20. Diatonic Mode
  21. Parallel Mode
  22. Patterns - Part 1
  23. Patterns - Part 2
  24. Arpeggios & 7th Chords - Part 1
  25. Arpeggios & 7th Chords - Part 2
  26. Chords Diads
  27. Diatonic Chords Diads
  28. 7th Chords
  29. Diatonic 7th Chords
  30. 3-Note Chords
  31. Diatonic 3-Note Chords
  32. 4-Note Voicings
  33. 9th Chords
  34. Open Note Major Arpeggios
  35. Open Note Minor Arpeggios
  36. Open Note Major 7th Dominant 7th Arpeggios
  37. Combining Major 7th Dominant 7th Arpeggios
  38. Open Note Minor 7th Arpeggios
  39. Combining Minor 7th Arpeggios
  40. Conclusion

Stu Hamm U Courses

Choose a course below for full descriptions and video introductions.

Bass Basics
Bass Basics


Slap Bass
Slap Bass


Tap Bass
Tap Bass

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