Finger spread

So I have large hands but not extra long fingers. More like hands designed for strength & not dexterity which they have been used for most of my life.
Since starting to play bass from a zero musical experience life, I have had little trouble with the #1 to #2 finger & #2 to #3 stretch onto frets. But now I’m working on #2 to pinky & then it will be #1 to pinky which is a 4 fret spread. Not to mention my pinky is much less coordinated & weaker than the rest.
I’m failing miserably trying to get the fingers right onto the frets with these spreads.
Any helpful suggestions or am I doomed to not being able to ever do this?


Micro-shifts are your friend…


Are you following the B2B course? If so, Josh teaches about micro-shifting and its benefits for those who are uncomfortable with finger stretches.


Like the others said, microshifting for now, but I can tell you the more I play, the easier to stretch and the more proficient I get with the pinky. The pinky strenght actually comes from the forearm, and not the pinky itself. Just keep playing Ernie, and it will come. I think the dexterity it takes to play the bass is not natural and has to be trained into your arms, hands, and fingers. Only comes with time on the instrument.


+1 more for the micro shifts.

Light and loose with the pressure of the fretting hand, and just move to what you need.
The bass - particularly in the lower frets - is too wide for most any human to play with comfortable 1-finger-per-fret technique without lots of micro-shifts.

Hope it works out for you.

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This will come in yime thru use.
Micro shift for sure, but as you use your pinky and ring finger more and mire they will both build their own strength and endurance.
Once you get that, you may start to notice your shifts get smaller, and on areas of the neck, go away.
That said
Shifting is just fine, and as you start to play more and more, you may notice that later in your practice session, or later in a set played with others, as you get tired, you may need to go to yhe bigger shifts ttat work for you now while your pinky is still weak.

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Thanks everyone for the advice.
It’s mostly my own fault in that the B2B course is one of the best & it’s what gave me the confidence to play bass. But I also was taking lessons in person mostly to learn music theory & of course once you go down that road it’s all about “perfect” technique where micro-shifts are not an option that’s discussed.
So I’m going to play the way that works & feels best for me in order to progress.

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“Perfect” technique has nothing to do with being able to do finger stretches. Micro-shifting is perfectly valid.

You must have had the wrong teacher.

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Do you hit the right notes? Than your technique is perfect.

It’s what works for you.

James Jameson doesn’t alternate pluck. Heresy I say!

But he’s a bass legend