Songs to practice fretting

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Biank, Jun 15, 2021.

  1. Biank


    Jun 15, 2021
    Extra beginner: I started playing yesterday. I'm having a lot of problems with my fretting hand: it hurts a lot, my pinky seems to not work and the position just doesn't feel right. I (kinda) play guitar and I've been wanting a bass for weeks now and during that time I practiced baselines on my acoustic guitar, thinking that it would make me sound better when I started with my bass. I was terribly wrong. The frets are much bigger than I expected.

    My right hand is fine (I need more technique, obviously, but I can defend myself). My left hand need works.

    I'm a very impatient person, but I'm aware this is a matter of practice. My problem is that I find exercise incredibly boring. I've trying to look for easy baselines than can help me practice my fretting, but all the songs that I like are difficult. Do you know any esy (but not EXTREMLY easy) baselines to help me?

    Another question: how long will it take for my hand to get used to fretting? Just an approximate time. And, how intensively do I need to practice to reach intermediate level by September ? (I call intermediate a level in which I can play some easy baselines in a band or play a song with multiple people and not make a mess lol
    skycruiser likes this.
  2. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
  3. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Practice 1 hour minimum per day. Seven days a week.
    Get a teacher, he will save you time & frustration.
    There is no formula for when you will advance.
    Time will tell.
    Good luck, have fun.
    Biank and fearceol like this.
  4. Basslines don’t really help you learn fretting. Fretting helps you learn fretting. And you fret every time you play. So play as much as possible.

    my main concern at this point is harmful technique. We don’t have enough information to go on to know whether the pain you are experiencing is a result of fatigue or improper or dangerous technique. Honestly, the best thing to do In the beginning is work with an expert teacher. He can save you lots of time and pain.
    Biank likes this.
  5. WrapRough


    Jan 26, 2021
    It's a marathon, not a sprint...
    fearceol likes this.
  6. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Hi and welcome to TB. :thumbsup:

    The first thing to work on is....patience !!! As WrapRough says, it's a marathon, not a sprint. So slow down, take your time and work on your technique. It takes as long as it takes. As has been said, a good teacher would be your best bet. In the meantime, Lobster11's clip is well worth checking out, as is the clip below. Bass lines, in and of themselves won't teach you good fretting technique. I would suggest working on the advice given in the two video clips and then try to incorporate this advice into your bass lines. During a practice session, do the exercises in the clip below, for about five to ten minutes. Then try some bass lines and come back to the exercises. Rinse and repeat as often as required.
    Best of luck.

    Biank, Lobster11 and WrapRough like this.
  7. Biank


    Jun 15, 2021
    Yes!! I'm working on understanding this, but I'm having a lot of fun practicing and learning easy bassines, so that anxiety to be perfect has vanished hahaha. I'm really enjoying the process.
    Thanks for answering!
  8. Biank


    Jun 15, 2021
    Thanks a lot for answering!! I'm looking for exercises to try and practice everyday. About the pain: it's kinda going away now. I think the thing was my thumb. I was pressing it too hard and it tensioned my whole arm. I've been looking for YouTube videos to learn but it's difficult to improve as I don't receive any feedback. I'll look for a teacher asap. Thanks for the advice!!
    dreamadream99 likes this.
  9. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    The secret -- which is good to know just as you're starting out -- is to try to play in a way in which your hands, wrists, and everything else are relaxed. With this in mind, here are some things you might want to work on:

    1. Spend some time experimenting to find the minimal amount of pressure needed to fret a note without it buzzing. As @Mushroo likes to say, this shouldn't require any more pressure than typing a letter on a computer keyboard. Try to work on applying no more pressure with your fretting finger than is necessary.

    2. Some teachers recommend experimenting with fretting notes without your thumb touching the neck at all. This is another way to grok the idea that you don't need much finger pressure for fretting, as well as the idea that your thumb's job behind the neck is not to "squeeze" but simply enable the fretting fingers to work as they should.

    3. While we're at it, think about your plucking hand in the same way. The word "plucking" is kinda misleading, because all you really need to do is brush your "plucking" finger across the top of the string. Turn up your amp and try to "pluck" as softly as you can.
    fearceol, 12BitSlab and Mushroo like this.
  10. Biank


    Jun 15, 2021
    Thank you for answering!! sometimes when my thumb hurts too much, i don't use it and it sounds the same. but when I use it, the pressure is almost inevitable. now I pay extra attention to it and i relax it as much as I can, and it's working so far.

    about my plucking hand:
    when I play, i feel a noise when I hit the string. for example, if I'm playing the A string, i hear the noise of my finger hitting the E string (it's not the noise of the note, it's the noise of the hitting, like I'm hitting plastic). I recorded myself playing and i don't hear it. is it a normal noise or does it mean I'm doing I it wrong?