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SBG Lesson: Left Hand Position

Good or proper form when holding the bass are relative experiences. What might be considered comfortable for one person might not be for another and vice versa.

As I made note in the last newsletter, I felt like as Smart Bass has grown, I’ve neglected the one thing thin imparticular that I’ve wanted to do from the start: have online bass lessons done and have them done my way. Well, this post is the first of what will hopefully be many like it, a brand new series of bass lessons done the way that I had always hoped to see bass lessons done online.

Click below to check out the first new lesson: left hand position.

To summarize:

  • Form is relative. If holding the bass a certain way delivers you the results you want without any of the risk of wrist or elbow pains, then continue doing what you’re doing.
  • If you are experiencing pain with the way you’re currently holding the instrument, consider the way to hold the bass mentioned above. Personally speaking, this way of holding the instrument has never delivered me any pain and has made me feel like my playing is more fluid and have never got in the way of affecting how I actually play music.
  • To set yourself up to hold the bass like the way demonstrated in the video:
  1. Relax your hand so it forms a natural ‘C’ shape.
  2. Slide that C shape into the neck from the bottom up so your thumb rests roughly center of the back of the neck along where the truss rod runs.
  3. There should be a considerable amount of space from the palm of your hand and the bottom of the neck. You should not be cupping the neck in your palm or ‘palming’ the neck.
  4. Your fingers should rest perpendicular to the strings across the neck with the base of your fingers at the bottom of the neck and the tips of your fingers just poking off of the top of the neck.

This way of playing encourages you to play with your fingers rather than your wrist. Your thumb will be guiding where your hand goes across the neck while your wrist remains relatively in place and your fingers will do the work.

As I mentioned in the video, these are just suggestions to hold the bass. If you’re perfectly content with the way you play, then by all means continue to play the way you want to play.