I am just starting to post examples of some of my bass playing since I started the BTBA course a year ago. I would like to hear what you all think. This tune is 455 Rocket by Kathy Matteo. Constructive thoughts appreciated. Thanks!


Thanks for sharing!

One thing that I noticed it that you could consider keeping everything down in the first four, five frets and thus avoid the “long distance” movements along the fret board with your fretting hand. Most of the bass line seems to be centered around the third fret and could be played there, without really having to move your hand. Of course, this includes more string crossing and potentially you need to use your pinky as well :grin: The walk up, for example, that you play several times has the shape of a major scale starting from G. I think it is a decision based on economy of movements, but of course also what sound you go after (as the same note has a slightly different timbre whether played on the 8th fret of the A string or the 3rd fret of the D string). And, then, if you want to include the slides, then you probably need to play it as you do (at least sometimes).

Anyway, just a few thoughts for consideration. I am sure our trusted bass teacher Josh can provide even more constructive feedback :smile:


Thanks for your input. I am not sure how clear the recording is. I am using the camera on my MAC with my practice amp near by.
I am using a slide from the F on the A string down to the C and back again. I do this a couple of times. This might clarify why I am moving up and down the fret board those few times. The base line for this song is of my own creation. Its one of the songs I have been playing with the band I am with. -Brian


OK, yes, I hadn’t quite noticed how often you use the slide. That would probably indeed require you to play the bass line as you do - perhaps @JoshFossgreen has some ideas here on how to combine long slides and “economic” fingerings!?
In any case, the line works well with the song and it is constructed to let you support the music rather than having to struggle to pull it off - isn’t that what really counts in the end!?


Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate the inputs.


Thanks for sharing @bsickels! I like all the slides you incorporated. There are some fingerings that you could probably make a little more efficient, like @joergkutter said, but if you’re getting where you need to go and getting the slides you want, doesn’t seem mission critical to me.

One big thing - you’ve got your thumb hanging on top of the neck, which is putting your fingers at almost a 45 degree angle to the strings. That’s gonna reduce mobility, make it harder to use your pinky, and harder to stretch when you need to. I would -

  • Play with a strap so you don’t need to support your bass with your fretting hand
  • Get your thumb behind the neck
  • Rotate your fingers perpendicular to the neck

Might be hard to break the habit, but it’s worth it, I promise. :slight_smile:


Thanks Josh. Your comments have been and continue to be very helpful. So much of what you say is linked to my posture too. I noticed this the other night as I was rehearsing with my blues group. I normally practice in a chair at home so I can use my laptop. The bass is supported in my lap. As I moved to the standing position, my guitar strap took the weight of the bass and my thumb position changed which allowed my fingers to be more perpendicular to the neck.

I don’t hear a lot about posture, but it seems to make a big difference.

Thanks again. I hope to post a few more videos in time as everyones comments are extremely helpful.



Glad to help Brian!


I started the course several months ago but stopped practicing for the last 3 months due to a blitz of personal priorities and business travel. Disclaimer: Music has been my hobby for 35 years, mostly singing bass (4-part harmony), but I’m new to electric bass.

That said, I wanted to compliment you on your progress. I agree that your thumb placement was the big issue I noticed in addition to not moving up and down the neck as often as you could be. I was impressed by your accuracy and ability to keep a good tempo regardless of very small mistakes enough to kick myself in the butt and get back to practicing regularly, so all in all, great job, thanks for sharing! You’ve inspired another beginner to work harder.