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Left hand technique wrist angle

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by bajistaman, Nov 7, 2017.


  1. Hi! I’ve been trying to find out why I keep having my wrist in the wrong angle and it seems that is because I put the neck too far away from my body but it feels strange to have it so close by.

    Do you think that the problem is the neck distance or something else?

    I have included a picture of me and also John Goldsby as reference.

    Thanks again!
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  2. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    Bassist
    From your photo what I think you should correct is your elbow. You need to raise your elbow (but not your shoulder!) so your forearm is more or less parallel to the floor AND your wrist is straight (this is very important to avoid injuries and to use all your muscles from your back to your fingers).
    This video has a description of some very common mistakes and the proper way to fix them:
     
    bajistaman likes this.
  3. Thanks Fran, looking at the video you posted I got to this other video from Nicki Parrott and says that bringing the bass closer would help to avoid bending the wrist:
     
  4. s van order

    s van order

    Oct 4, 2012
    Delaware
    Good advice on elbow from the other posters. I also noticed your fingers are relatively flat compared to the more curved fingers from JG. Using more curved fingers should then require less wrist angle and help get the fingers over the strings. Then adjust as needed the amount of finger pad contact with the string for quick passages (less) and held vibrated notes (more).
     
    bajistaman likes this.
  5. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    Bassist
    Looking at your photo again it seems like you are way too behind the bass (since I can barely see the bass maybe I'm wrong). Your body needs to have the correct angle...you sure can find more about this on Youtube.
     
    bajistaman likes this.
  6. Seanto

    Seanto

    Dec 29, 2005
    USA
    Raising elbow might help a bit as well as angling the bass inward, although this might throw a wrench in any bow playing you might do on the low E string(especially if using a german grip).

    Also consider that the way the bass is held is vastly different among players and styles. What might work great for your pizz playing can be horrible for your bow playing. You may even have to switch between postures when utilizing different techniques.

    You will likely be experimenting quite a bit to find your comfort zone.
     
    bajistaman likes this.
  7. Seanto

    Seanto

    Dec 29, 2005
    USA
    Also to more so answer your original question, i do keep the bass neck very close to my face. It is usually just a few inches from my eye brow. This is in part achieved by me raising the end pin and tilting the bass back at a steeper angle, as compared to the bass sticking straight up in the air.
     
  8. Seanto

    Seanto

    Dec 29, 2005
    USA
    and finally check out this very cool video made by our own Chris Fitzgerald showing the variations of posture among some very talented, high level players.

     
  9. Thanks, for now I am playing seated, might the posture be a bit different?
     
  10. Thanks, I watched it today afternoon and is very good
     
  11. Do you have a tendency to look at your hand when you play? This will effect your posture.
     
  12. Yes, sometimes I look at my hand to check the position, I have a tendency to open the 4 finger too much so I get intonation issues.

    Today I managed to improve a bit my left position, raising the elbow, curving my hand and moving the neck closer to me but still for the E String I need to bend the wrist otherwise my fingers aren't able to stretch enough to cover the half position.

    left.
     
    s van order and vin*tone like this.
  13. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    Bassist
    Maybe it's only on this photo but your pinky seems to be collapsed; try to keep it rounded like the others. This will have the added benefit of keeping it closer to your third finger and the intonation will improve.
     
    bajistaman likes this.
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Studying piano, Aikido, and Jiu Jitsu from some seriously great teachers has taught me that there is a logic to using the body that is pretty simple in essence, so simple that it can be remembered by paraphrasing the words to the children's song "'Dem Bones". In this case, the wrist itself isn't the issue; rather it's everything further up the chain leading to it. Wrist bone connected to the...forearm bone....connected to the....elbow bone....connected to the upper arm bone.... connected to the....shoulder bone....connected to the ....back bone...

    So all any of us really need to do is to be aware of the issue/puzzle we're trying to solve and experiment further down the chain to make it happen. It doesn't hurt to have a couple of good guides along the way who can not only explain how they solved the puzzle, but also exemplify their solutions in real time. That combination is very powerful and persuasive! John Goldsby is one of my models for many things related to healthy bass playing. I would recommend his online series highly.
     
    the_Ryan and bajistaman like this.
  15. Thanks Chris, looking at your video about posture and stance and how it related to the left hand technique I was wondering, while seated, how do you stop the bass endpin from slipping while in that position? For now I've found that seated is a lot more comfortable position for me than standing but it makes me put an extra effort trying to stop the endpin from moving ahead. Thanks again!
     
  16. the_Ryan

    the_Ryan

    Jul 10, 2015
    Ithaca/Seattle
    If the spike is sharp enough I might use that, but I have a rubber ball with a threaded insert (made by New Harmony) that goes over the spike and I really don't get any slippage from that.
     
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    On most floors, the rubber endpin stop, the angle of the bass, and the weight of my leg in the C bout are enough to keep the bass in place. When that fails, I use the spike. In places where floor is slippery and the spike would be inappropriate, I'll sit the stool and bass on a small area rug.
     

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