I usually charge 50 bucks per hour for this stuff, but there's so many questions here regarding LH basics, I thought I'd just share with y'all some basic left hand concept that works astonishingly well. 1. Play on the tips of the fingers. Especially important on fless and upright, but by far the most efficient method for all string instruments. More accurate, and less painful than playing on the pads, which should be reserved for barring. 2. Arch the hand always, making a "C" between the tip of the thumb and the first finger. As soon as any of the joints collapse, you have lost strength and stability. And speed... 3. Play right behind the fret. Eliminates fret noise, and makes playing much easier. Also preps for fless playing with accurate intonation. 4. Use the non-active fingers to help. When pressing with middle, brace with index. All the way up to (most importantly,) when playing pinky, press with ALL FOUR FINGERS. Your ring and pinky are weaker than the other two, and need support from the stronger fingers. 5. Traditional upright technique (1-2-4 for 3 frets) is very strong at the bottom of the neck, and will allow you to groove harder with less L.H. strain. Even Jaco used this for stuff on the bottom, and of course, slappers all know how much easier it is to play octaves 1-4. The bass is as long as a guitar from the 5th fret up. Bellow that, use the technique of the instrument it resembles in that range. Some people will argue about the 5th point, but look closely and you'll see professional players using 1-2-4 on the bottom of the neck all the time. Whereas RH technique is debatable and perpetually evolving, the left hand is a fairly well defined system, with centuries of trial and error on our parent instruments, the guitar and the upright. Use the tried and true methods mentioned here, and you will avoid injury, groove tighter, and yes, even learn how to play faster. Good luck, and practice hard.