Am I the only one who cannot fret this?

This is from Module 6, Lesson 4 (even though the image shows the 4th and 5th frets, when the actual music calls for the 6th and 7th, but no matter).
I cannot will my hands to fret these two notes simultaneously without my pinky partly muting the G string. I’ll accept it as a limitation that will not prevent me from enjoying bass, but it’s driving me crazy and I’m wondering if anyone else can’t do it.
Even resorting to unwise postures, grips, and positions, I can’t do it.
Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?



This takes time and pinky behavioral training.
You just have to keep at things like this - trust me, it will come.

A lot of it will play into your fretting hand position and curvature etc.


Ya! It takes time to build up strength on your pinky. Now you probably can only do straight pinky only, but later with some practice and build up, you can shape it like a hook and place it over G or D string with enough strength.


What helped me is a one finger per fret exercise, where you fret with all four fingers adjacent frets in succession, but iterate over it again and again, while first fretting the first 3 fingers on one string, but move the pinky to one string above or below, then also the ring finger, and so on.

But it seems to be something I should do more often, just tried fingering that pattern, and it gave me more problems than I would have anticipated.

The thing that you mute the G string while fretting the D is also a thing for me, I have a hard time not muting it, but then again, most basslines would be fine with muting the G-string, it doesn’t have to ring out.


I had the same kind of problem and it was because of my elbow. Or, more correctly, due to how I positioned my elbow in relation to my body.

Try this and start in slow motion so you can understand the motions and gradually build up the speed:

-Start with the note on the G string and fret it with the tip of your ring finger.
-Pull your elbow in closer to your body, the tip of your ring finger being the pivot point.
-Fret with the pinky. You should find that your hand is now in a position where the pinky forms a hook and doesn’t mute the G string.

Build up speed and eventually you’ll be bringing down both fingers at the same time with your hand in the correct position and fretting clean notes. :slightly_smiling_face:


To add to @Korrigan 's great explanation, try raising the neck up in relation to your wrist/elbow. You can do that by playing standing up and shortening your strap, and / or putting the bass inbetween your legs, tilting up the headstock, … just experiment a bit, you’ll find a way. :hugs:

You’ll also find that most advice on fretting usually focuses on one aspect. Meaning, you might have to find multiple ways to fret, each helping you in a different situation.

Source: I have the same straight pinky finger thing going on, too, but no muting issues.


Have a go at this for a while (sorry, took me a while to find it.
It is from Talking Bass and I used it a ton in the beginning.
It is higher on the frets on purpose so the reaches are closer.
If you nail it, start moving down the fretboard one fret at a time.


Thanks everyone who replied. All these answers are very helpful. My main takeaways: time and good practice will help solve this, just keep doing “all the things”, no need to get stuck here.

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If it’s an issue with strength, try this: Varigrip+ Hand & Finger Exerciser | D'Addario

Many purist bass player don’t like it, but it helped me. And I like playing with it while watching TV etc.

If it’s an issue with posture, maybe this video helps.

BUT: don’t tell anybody here. Justin is a well known GUITAR teacher (so EADGBE, not EADG), and as such kind of the Josh of “normal” guitars, without the flashy humor.
He is a great teacher and a generally kind person, though…


He’s also one of the best instructors out there :slight_smile:

Picking up guitar will actually help your bass playing in my experience, and practice with one is fungible to the other. Nothing wrong with guitar IMO. I only gave it up due to time.


Yeah - I really like “Hey hey Justin” too :slight_smile:

I got myself a little guitar, just for learning some chords and understanding their relationship to whatever the bass player is playing. It’s actually fun, though I struggle with the knots that my finger have to go into and thin strings I only know from spy movies, where bad guys try to kill James Bond with one of those.

So I can always say, I have that guitar as a means of self defence, in case a narrow minded bass player asks ^^

My “Aha” moment came, when I tried one of my favourite practice songs - Doll Parts by Hole - on bass and then on guitar. It’s all related, man LIGHTBULB-GOING-ON

In terms of didactics he is very different from Josh, but nevertheless I like his approach a lot, especially the way he approached the beginners course for fingering a chord and transisitioning to another.

Last but not least, I find it very endearing, how he almost “cuddles” every song, if you know what I mean…


Yeah, he’s just impossible not to like. Really humble guy too considering his accomplishments.