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Have prolbems with holding the frets

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by imarley66, Feb 26, 2003.

  1. imarley66


    Jul 14, 2002
    Ewa Beach, HI
    Well I am new to playing the bass, just started to learn. I am learning on DVD, and I am having a problems with holding the frets,

    I have a four string bass, the problem is the four finger and slidding up and down the neck.

    Has anyone had this prolbem, and what did you do???
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Get a teacher - it is much easier to give advice when you can actually see what the person (i.e. you!) is actually doing - when they are in front of you.

    You have found the big disadvantage of learning by DVD - the DVD is not looking at you and seeing what you are doing, where you are having trouble etc. ;)
  3. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Not really TAB related, so off to technique this goes...
  4. If you're new to bass, then your finger strength isn't going to be as developed as those who have played for a long time. Therefore, it is expected that it will take you a while to build up the dexterity etc. Just keep plucking away and if you have the time and money, get a teacher. If not for anything else but to correct your technique so to avoid pain and injury later in life (and hey, the improvement in your playing ain't half bad either!).

    The most important thing is that if you are teaching yourself (which you are, essentially) then you need to get a mirror next to your DVD player so that you can watch yourself as well as the proper technique. This way you can compare what you are doing to what you should be doing. If you're not going to get a teacher, then you have to be the teacher for yourself and make sure that you're fully aware of what good technique looks and, more importantly, sounds like!

  5. holding the frets? how do you hold a fret in the first place? You have to take the fret out to hold it...

    JUst J/k i know what ur talking about. I dunno I cant really remember what troubles I had when I first started (damn pot...) But All i can say is work on scales and practice alot, it will click in eventually.
  6. There are two possible sets of problems here:

    - Mechanical:
    -- Maybe your nut slots are cut too high.
    -- Maybe your bridge is too high.
    -- Maybe you have too much neck relief.
    * Solution for above: professional setup.
    -- Maybe your strings are too heavy.
    * Solution: try out lighter gauge strings.

    - Technique:
    -- Maybe you are trying to press the string down in the wrong place.
    * Solution: this is one of the most common beginner mistakes. The place to get the best results for the effort you expend is right behind the fret, not halfway between! You should be pressing the string down just behind the fret. The feeling I get is that I am wedging my fingertip at a 45 degree angle down into the crack between the fret and the fingerboard. Definitely reduces effort!
    -- Maybe you are trying to hold your hand in a weird, rigid shape.
    * Solution: think electric. Acoustic bass players need to expend so much effort that it helps them to sometimes hold down a string with more than one finger at a time; not so with electric. Also they learn to plant the thumb directly opposite the middle finger for max leverage; we don't use that much effort with electric. If you roughly put your thumb in the middle of the back of the neck (imagine a line drawn down the middle of the back of the neck, imagine it's like a little track, imagine your thumb is attached to it at one point but that it can swivel and pivot in any direction), then you will see how many notes you can reach from that place--lots. You don't have to make your hand into a rigid claw, you just have to fret one note at a time. As you go from one note to another, you may find yourself fretting two notes at a time, and you should work on this slowly, the transition from one note to another, particularly in very fluid passages, but you will never have your hand in a rigid claw with your fingers poised to cover every fret. Relax!

    HTH, Kurt
  7. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    I've still got the frets from when I defretted by 5-string bass. So I can actually hold 24 frets... I'm talented.