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Keeping left hand straight and using the pinky

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by antwon deserter, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. antwon deserter

    antwon deserter

    Mar 3, 2010
    After watching this video on left hand straightness and technique, I am very concerned. I find that when I do as instructed in the video and keep my wrist straight, my fingers lie on the strings at much more of an angle, instead of being parallel to the frets. This greatly reduces the distance I can spread my fingers horizontally, which impairs my ability to do scales, arpeggios, and almost everything. I have small hands, and I'm very worried that it's not possible to have small hands, have good technique, and have a good economy of motion at the same time. Does having good technique necessarily restrict finger range, do I have to have longer fingers, do I have to not use my pinky, or will lots of practice help my predicament? I am very disheartened right now and I could use some advice from people who have experienced something like this before.
  2. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    Take it all with a grain of salt. What is comfortable for me might not be for you and vice versa. Its good to see videos like this because it can give you some ideas as to what you should do but everyone's anatomy is slightly different. Play however you feel the most comfortable regardless of what anyone else tells you.
  3. antwon deserter

    antwon deserter

    Mar 3, 2010
    The problem is that the new technique is more comfortable than my old technique, which has been causing me wrist pain from too much wrist bending.
  4. mcglyph


    Aug 17, 2011
    Just guessing here...you need to slow down, look at what stress you are carrying in your fingers and everywhere else when you play. All your fingers, etc need to be as relaxed as possible. On both hands. Your fingers on the fretting hand should be so loose that when you shift to the next finger at least two of the others should fall naturally and lightly onto the string sonically below the one you are playing. This is how you know your fingers are relaxed and useful. Or not. All the best.
  5. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Let's face it, it's not possible to be left-handed, allergic to peanuts, and be a legume inspector in the southern hemisphere. Or maybe it is.

    The point being, you need to adapt "ideal" suggestions to your style of play and to your body type. There's no need to be worried. You may, however, need to learn how to change positions more than your average bear (hey Booboo!).

    So, get to work and figure out what troubles you in your specific situation, not what someone else indicates might be a problem for you. All of us here are different and have had to learn how to hammer a bass in their own way. Take what you read, use what you can, and ask questions about what you cannot adapt to your style.
  6. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Missed this point - ALWAYS defer to techniques that may be more difficult but cause less or no pain. You can and will adapt to the better technique. Mastering any instrument takes approximately 10,000 hours. Keep that in mind, but always use neutral wrist and learn how to make that "your style."
  7. Swipter


    Sep 7, 2009
    Great video. I can use some thumb shifting I think. I will actually have to look to see what I do. I can't think about it without holding a bass. Isn't that stupid.
  8. Wear your bass higher. Shorten the straps. That worked wonders for me. It looks cool slung low, but it's murder on your wrist.