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Left Hand/ Fretboard Hand Positioning

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by JeffreyW, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. JeffreyW


    Sep 1, 2010
    Orlando, Fl
    Been playing bass on and off again for several years, cover bands, picking out parts from records ect... Decided about 3 months ago to get really serious and have made some great gains. One question I have that I feel may help many is the fretboard hand postion. There are a lot of diffrent approaches but I really want one that will allow me the freedom to move all over the fretboard.
    Five areas that should be answered:
    1. Hand and thumb posistion in the first position of fretboard
    2. As you move up fretboard what should happen to hand and thumb.
    3. Elbow and forearm postion
    4. What should we expect when creating good habits and changing bad habits. ie.. Pain
    5. Stretching and exercises to aid concept.

    The focus here is to assist other in great technique and avoid injury. Please post with great care.
  2. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
  3. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    +1 Adam has it covered.
  4. JeffreyW


    Sep 1, 2010
    Orlando, Fl
    Thanks all. This really has it all.
  5. JeffreyW


    Sep 1, 2010
    Orlando, Fl
    I have found the video speaking of the neutral posistion the most helpful. One thing that I must mention is an exercise that I play that really feels better when playing using the neutral position described in the video.
    G string 16, 15, 14, 13 fret
    D string 15, 14, 13, 12 fret
    A string 14, 13, 12, 11 fret
    E string 13, 12, 11, 10 fret (Fingers 4,3,2,1)
    B string 12, 11, 10, 9 fret
    E string 11, 10, 9, 8 fret
    A string 10, 9, 8, 7 fret
    D string 9, 8, 7, 6 fret
    G string 8, 7, 6, 5 fret
    D string 7, 6, 5, 4 fret
    A string 6, 5, 4, 3 fret
    E string 5, 4, 3, 2 fret
    B string 4, 3, 2, 1 fret
    on the way up you can revewrse the process:
    B string 1, 2, 3, 4 fret
    E string 2, 3, 4, 5 fret
    A string 3, 4, 5, 6 fret (Fingers 1, 2, 3, 4)
    D string 4, 5, 6, 7, fret
    G string 5, 6, 7, 8 fret
    D string 6, 7, 8, 9 fret
    ect..... back to G string 16th fret.

    When doing this exercise if find it really seems to narrow down poor technique. One question? I find myself shifting the bass when moving into the extreme upper register and extrem lower register. Is this common?
  6. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Of course it is, you move the instrument to suit you, not contort to suit the instrument. That is the beauty of the instruments today. With the technology and materials today instruments can be made to be very user friendly. I have written in the past about how because centuries ago because of materials and sound qualities, instruments had to be designed to be the size they were. Double bass, cello,viola,violin they are the same basic construct but the size will vary the depth of tone. As the size would get bigger so the joints in the wood will have to be bigger, so the techniques to play them belonged to a certain person with the physical characteristics to handle the instrument. There shape was made symmetrical for aesthetics and practicality of manufacture, not for playing.

    For more info on neutral thumb go to


    There are other pages there with some useful info.:)
  7. BullHorn


    Nov 23, 2006
    Subscribed. I'll try this natural position when I get home. Hope I'm still able to re-learn my technique...
  8. JeffreyW


    Sep 1, 2010
    Orlando, Fl
    Thanks Fergie for info. I think a discussion of strap length maybe forthcoming.

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