How to Position Your Left Hand on the Bass Guitar

Learn how to position your left hand on the bass guitar from musician John Sutton in this online guitar lesson from Howcast.

Transcript

So, when it comes to positioning your left hand on the base guitar, a lot of people like to position it so that, you know, one finger per fret. That can be uncomfortable for some people. If the spacing is too much for you, it's better to play with your ring finger and your pinky together, so that you're getting three frets under your hand but it's a more comfortable position, and it won't slow you down very much. Most importantly though, whether you have your fingers on one fret each, or closer together, the thumb is going to secure your hand to the neck of the [??]. The thumb itself will always be behind the middle finger, and as you move up the neck, that will always stay the same. And, regardless of which string you're playing, the thumb always stays behind the middle finger, and that avoids a few big problems people often have. If your hand is flat against the strings, often your thumb will be raised up above the neck.And, this is a sign that your, your, hand is squished and your not going to have as much dexterity. So, bringing your thumb down into the center of the back of the neck is going to open up your hand, and it'll give you a lot more flexibility and dexterity with your left hand. Another good measure to make sure you are doing it correctly is to make sure you're playing on the top of your finger. So, if you're playing the strings in the middle of your finger, again, that might slow you down or it might be awkward. So, rounding your fingers out, and playing as close to your, the middle of the tip of your finger as possible, will be the best way to get a warm sound and to have the flexibility and dexterity you need for any type of passage or movement, regardless of tempo or difficulty.

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