Thumb of left hand (fretting hand), I think I am using it wrong?
I don't have the greatest technique but I am working on it. I have been told by some people that the thumb of my fretting hand shouldn't do any work. But I use it to counteract the backward movement of the bass that results from the pressing fingers as I fret a note. This I am thinking is causing some strain in my left hand.
I'm not sure if I'm counteracting the movement using an incorrect technique or if I'm not supposed to counteract it in the first place. Any advice is greatly appreciated...
The thumb is meant to support the fingers. As far as bass playing goes, that about sums up it's "work". Sometimes people work the thumb too hard by using it to press down excessively on the strings.
Here are some clips that should help :
The second video seems right on target to me.
My right arm holds the bass where it needs to be (by resting on the body of the bass). That counteracts any pressure my left hand fingers are putting on the fretboard. Your thumb on your left hand should be quite relaxed while playing unless your bass is set up with really high action that makes you have to press down really hard on the strings.
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