Hello, I’m going to start digging into the lessons, but I’m having a bit of a rough time finding the proper right hand position without bending my wrist. I’ve been adjusting the strap but can’t seem to find a comfort zone while anchoring the thumb. When it’s time for the D & G strings I assume the thumb will be moved because when I try and reach those strings my wrist is arching forward. I have ordered a padded strap so that should help a little bit. Also, when I sit down I find I’m getting slack on the strap no matter how I set it, so I have to balance the guitar on my leg rather than having it just lie there supported. I’ve been digging into every video I can find for proper technique but I just can’t seem to mimic the position I am seeing in the examples. Suggestions?
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@phillyball how did you get on? I was watching Leland Sklar yesterday and he looked chilled with his bass on his lap and no strap. I think it’s a lot to do with comfort.
One of the reasons I’ve heard for a strap for sitting , is then when you play standing up your bass will always be at the same height. Well being in a wheelchair, I aint going to be playing standing , so as of yesterday I’ve gone strapless. The strap for me was just a restriction, strap, cable, headphones all I got was tangled up like Houdini. You got to try getting it off the axle. I’m sure by now you will have it sorted.
Sitting down, I have also gone strapless for a while. It’s just so much easier swapping basses when you don’t have to disentangle yourself from yet another thingie (other than the cable to the DAI and the headphone cable, for instance).
One good thing about a strap, though, is that you can loop your cable around it, which helps to prevent unplugging it by accident and while the other end is still in the amp…
And you should be careful not to let go with both hands at the same time if you don’t have a strap to catch your bass…
Yes I saw the cable idea on the lesson. I think I figured that out at least, just trying to get proper form before I dig into the actual playing lessons. Also, anyone know about arm/wrist/finger exercises done without the bass to warm up? I want flexibility, all those years of using a computer mouse and smart phone I’m sure have done a number on my arm
I don’t use a strap when I’m sitting for practice.
I have been practicing on and of for 25 years and have never used a strap while sitting.
@phillyball this is my warm up
@b.s.excavations Brian It’s making more sense to me, when I run over my cable it pops out far better than me an bass doing a somersault like when it was wrapped around my strap.
Thank you everyone for some of the tips. I am really trying to nail down how to hold the right arm in terms of wrist and elbow etc. I saw one video where the guy had his elbow at a 90° angle so the wrist will be straight but I would think that would kill my shoulder. To me using a pick feels a lot more natural but these lessons I just signed up for here are mostly with fingers I see. Thanks again for any advice you can give. @Gio
@JoshFossgreen is a much better and more reliable source for posture and technique than I am. I tend to play with a bent wrist half the time, and then an elbow-up straight wrist the rest of the time.
Look at 15 different videos on YouTube of top notch bassists playing live.
See if any two of them have the same technique.
Try and emulate their posture and style, and see how it feels.
And try and match what @JoshFossgreen prescribes in his lessons. The less your body is kinked, the easier it will be on you!
Best of luck.
I use to play my electric guitars sitting down most of the time without a strap. I had the same problem with the plug pulling out so I used a heavy duty rubber band and wrapped it around the corn and the strap button. Seemed to work. Have never tried it on any of my bass’s since I always play standing up but I’d think it should still work…??
Keep on Thumpin’!
Not entirely sure which part this is, @Lanny
Josh has a pretty good section for this as well:
Thanks, the more tools I have in my bass playing bag the better!
Sorry @joergkutter… Hahaha. Meant to say wrap it around the strap button at the end of the body.
Was probably on my second single malt when I wrote that one:tumbler_glass:
Then it’s not tight enough! Some straps actually won’t shorten adequately, it’s amazing the poor adjustment designs that are still widely used…
Haha, am I? I hope I’m an okay source on that. I play with a bent wrist sometimes too, but the key for me to stay comfortable is to try to be fluid, changing wrist/elbow/shoulder positions (slightly) multiple times within a song.
You do have to balance wrist bend (which comes from letting your arm drop and sit on the bass) and shoulder fatigue (which comes from holding up your elbow so your wrist stays straight). It’s a spectrum, not a black/white choice you have to make. And your shoulder will get used to taking the weight for longer periods as you go - I’d recommend just jumping into playing and feeling it out as you go.
Here’s a right-hand technique question for you folks: how often do you change where your thumb is resting? I’m working on this exercise, which is meant to be played on the first 3-4 frets of each string:
I haven’t quite gotten the hang of moving my thumb while playing yet, so I’m tending to play the whole thing with my thumb on the pickup, but it’s a bit of a reach to the G string, plus it would be nice to get better muting. If you were playing this, would you move around all the time, just in a few spots, not at all?
I just played through it and noticed this with my thumb:
I only have my thumb on the pickup when I play the E string.
When I play the D or G string, my thumb rests on the A string.
When I play the A string, my thumb rests on the E string.
This is my default position for everything.
It keeps the basic shape of my hand consistent across the bass.
I’ll sometimes move my thumb to the D string, but only if I have an extended passage on the G string.