Originally Posted by Anderson4
Good videos. Still struggling on how to keep the neck from moving if I don't use my left thumb at all. Without the thumb pushing the neck out doesn't your fretting fingers push the neck in?
This depends on your set up, with no idea of what sort of bass you use or its height, it is hard to give you the right answer for your personal situation.....for me I would have to see you playing in order to comment constructively.
First point is you learn to do it at the 12 fret area, or where you strap holds the bass, this is a neutral balance point and the weight of the bass is more than able to counter the lever action of the neck. (It is about leverage between the two hands till you learn how it feels)
Fact is the weight of the plucking arm will help counter any movement from the fretting arm. I would say if your plucking arm needs extra pressure then you are indeed playing to heavy with the fretting hand.
But here are the main areas to look at.
1/ Make sure there is enough flex in the fingers, this means they have enough curl to come back to the fretboard.
2/ The finger movement is from the fingertips, not the finger base, so the wrist needs to be as straight as it can be.
By learning to co-ordinate the fingers correctly the finger movement becomes lighter.
3/ The forearm does all the work, the fingers just react to the use by using muscles is the correct sequence.
4/The elbow is like a rudder, it controls the forearm, so it can position it and use the weight of the forearm to help fret notes.
That is it sort of in a nut shell, there is much more than this, but try these two simple exercises to get a feel for what is being said.
Put your hand to the neck, let the neck sit on the palm of the hand, curl your finger to the fretboard and touch a string.
Without moving your finger anymore, pull back your elbow so your forearm comes back, making the hand comes back and the finger push on the string down to fret the note. Then push the elbow forward to release it.
Do this with any finger, or any number of fingers to get the feel that it is not your fingers moving to creating any pressure to fret the note, but your elbow using the weight of the forearm through the hands, through the fingers, to the fingertips.
You should learn to feel what a heavy forearm feels like, it is this heavy forearm that helps stabilise the bass against a firm elbow and allows a lighter use of the fingers. Simply put the fingers do not create all the force needed to fret so there is no need to grip.
It is about keeping muscles active in a lively way not in a supportive way. It is the same muscles but use in a different order to create a better defined action.
If you have access to a trampoline, try this.
Jump up on to the trampoline and work out when you stop jumping and start bouncing?
May seem strange, but the fact is on a trampoline you stop jumping and use your leg muscles to bounce, you use them in a completely different way than you do when you jump.
So bounce on that trampoline for a minute or so, them get off and jump in the air.......see what I mean...same muscles, but a different action.