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Correct right hand position...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Growler, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. Growler


    Sep 26, 2004
    I'm pretty new to bass (been "playing" for about 6mo), and I'm wondering if there's a way to avoid having my right wrist be at a sharp angle without having my right elbow way up in the air.

    If I raise my elbow, my wrist straightens out, but then my elbow/shoulder gets tired. Currently I only play sitting down. I only finger, no pick.

  2. Sorry nobody got back to you yet...When I first started I had the same problem...when you sit down, hunched over the bass, the break angle of your wrist is pretty severe. Some players take to that angle readily, and those are who you see with their bass really high when strapped on. I wear mine right at my belt line, so I have only the slightest wrist angle when I play standing.

    I found when I was starting out that having a strap (even when sitting) allowed me to hang the bass a little lower, easing any undue tension on my wrist...after working like this for a while, I found I could deal with the harsher break angle while sitting because my arm, wrist, and hand had all become accustomed to it. It's really all about conditioning.
  3. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    I play exclusively standing up - I just cannot get comfortable playing while seated - bass feels too high and, yes, my right hand wrist angle is too great.

    Anyway, if you stand, the body of the bass can be positioned a little lower (than when seated) and that should help minimize wrist angle.

    Also, angle the neck upward so that the right hand can approach the strings in a way that it remains in alignment with the forearm - any yaw at the wrist is not good either.
  4. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yes, angling the neck up really makes a difference, but I also find myself remembering to raise the right elbow up a little too to 'rest' the wrist. I also put the bottom of the strap (the one at the 'butt-end' of the body) over across the front of the body; this tilts the front of the bass up a bit, further reducing right wrist angle (I'll admit that even after years, I still have to look at the neck a lot, so it helps by tilting the fretboard into view too...).

  5. 2cps...

    The higher the bass, the stronger/smoother the left hand; the lower the bass, the more comfortable the right hand.

    Personally, I angle my wrist like no body's business. I didn't notice this though until I looked at myself in a mirror. My wrist is almost as curved as it can get with my forearm resting on the back of the bass. This is how I think the bass is best played, end of story. As bigotrous as that sounds, I don't hold it as a conviction and I've seen many greater players than I use a different technique.

    Also, those who don't sit miss out on relaxation points while practicing. I feel more relaxed when I sit and practice not because of how I hold the bass but because of how I feel. And I know for a fact that relaxation is directly linked to learning.
  6. I play with my strap pretty high as I feel it's comfy. However, both sitting and standing, I usually raise my elbow to an almost right angle where my shoulder gets tired.

    This happens whenever I play complicated lines on the E and A strings. I feel that with my wrist resting on the edge of the bass, I lose some playability (which is true), so I raise my arm up uncomfortably. I'll try lowering my strap, but does anyone have any suggestions?

    My teacher watched me and found I groove better and am more relaxed when my wrist is on the edge of the bass, so I really want to fix this problem. Thanks.