Left Hand Position Question

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by thewanderer24, Jan 19, 2004.

  1. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    Hi Folks. I have just started working with a teacher for the first time in my life to fill in some gaps in my playing, and clean up any bad techniques/habits, etc.

    One thing that came up, was that my left hand position is unorthodox, especially on the first few frets.

    Proper position has fingers parallel to the frets (when reaching across the neck), I believe?

    For me, when i am low on the neck (further from my body), this is just not comfortable. My fingers naturally come in at somewhere near a 45 degree angle.

    Of course this has to do with hand/wrist position. I have always been more comfortable with my thumb loose, kind of out, to the side, if not hanging over the far edge of the neck. I find I have more strength and comfort, at least right now, and proper hand position low on the neck, to me is uncomorfortable to the point of being painful.

    I am doing some exercises to try and get more comfortable with "proper hand position," cause I can see some situations especially as I get way high up on the neck where it would be very helpful.

    Question is, should I really be concerned with proper left hand position on the first few frets?? What does it gain me?

    I am a reasonably proficient rock/funk/blues player, starting to learn Jazz if, for some reason, that makes any difference...
  2. I started out playing bass 'Jimi Hendrix' style, and I mean totally, and was comfortable with it, fast as well, as I have long fingers. But, as I started playing more complex stuff it sure was tiring! Having to shift position a lot and so on.
    By now I taught myself proper technique and find I can play more intricate patterns with far less effort, I hardly have to move my hand anymore, and my pinky became my main man.
    My point is, at first proper technique really sucks, might even hurt, but once you get used to it and can use it relaxdly (VERY important to remain relaxed, if not the most) you can do far more, with far less.
    Oh, you might have to adjust your strap, proper technique, I found, hardly works if you hang your bass on your knee. I can't understand why you would anyway, but hey, everybody's free to choose.

    So, to me it was defintely worth the trouble.
    Oh, and if you have proper technique, suddenly those six-strings are actually quite comfortable. And leave you wanting one bad! Well, I do anyway.

  3. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    "Hendrix style" that's a great way to put it...

    I also have pretty long fingers, so it just seemed natural.

    Very helpful answer - thanks.

    The good news, is that my right hand is apparently pretty good, and doesn't need any "correcting"