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How low and relaxed is your fretting hand?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Wes Whitmore, Jun 29, 2005.


  1. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I've been playing for a little over 3 years. I'm not a ton better than after my first year, but I think it really has to do with basic technique. I question the efficiency of my fretting hand. I know for a fact that I only have one finger down on a string at a time, and I hold the other fingers in the general 4 fret spread most of the time, but for some reason I pull them up at least .75" from the fretboard while they are waiting to be used. I'm sure that isn't a great way to do it. It's makes me pretty slow on changing strings and frets. I watch a lot of bass players, trying to pick up on how they do it, and they choose different fingers than I would for that particular fretting, and I'm probably doing it incorrectly. An example is if I am playing G (3rd Fret on E) then A (5th Fret on E), then D (5th fret on A), I only use my 1st and middle finger and the pinky floats in the air. Almost everyone else uses the first and pinky, and has their fingers "together", and much straighter across the neck than I do. It's hard to explain, but their hands look much more relaxed, and it's like they are baring multiple frets all at one time.
    I know my hand position needs help, so I could use some guidelines to follow so I can break my bad habits.
    Thanks,
    Wes W
     
  2. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    A good way to work on this is to practice playing very slowly(with a metronome). Play at excruciatingly slow tempos and you'll expose flaws in your timing/technique. Once you can play something slowly and perfectly, your fingers will naturally assume a more relaxed position at faster tempos because you've built up solid muscle memory. But, like most things, it takes more than a few days to develop, so stick with it.
     
  3. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I'll try that.
    Thanks,
    Wes