Struggling a bit with fretting

Hey, total noob at bass here, bought it as a Christmas present to myself and Ive been playing Rocksmith 2014, of all things, to try and get some extra practice. What’s been giving me the most trouble this far is fretting (and by extension, hammer-ons and pull-offs). I’m not sure if it’s my finger strength or positioning, but I’ve been having a really hard time just moving my hands in the right places to hammer and pull. Seems like I’m always one fret off.

Was this a common issue when you guys learned? Or am I just dumb?


If you haven’t subscribed to the Beginner to Badass course yet, you can find some basic information (about frettting as well) under the following link:

I wouldn’t bother too much about not mastering hammer-ons and pull-offs as a beginner. Those are advanced fretting techniques that need time and dedication to master. Just take it slow and easy :slightly_smiling_face:


Welcome, @jwharton41. First things first: Are you taking the B2B course?

If not, you should. It’s the smartest bass money you’ll ever spend.

If you are, then just follow Josh’s lead. There are basic fretting techniques that will get you where you want to go.


Yeah it’s more of building up your finger strength and wiring the synapses in your brain. Soon it would be so basic to you like using chopsticks :laughing:


Agree with everything said here above. Are you may be biting off to big a chunk to start with by messing with these special techniques? When I started playing from square one about 18 months ago, I got a bass and headphone amp, found some simple songs to play and started in. At first my fretting sucked but all I was aiming for was to get some of the notes right, more if I could. Remember, your training two hands from the start, not just one.

You’ll find a ton of bass videos on Youtube teaching you this and that but honestly, Bass Buzz and Josh are by far the best teacher and he makes it entertaining to watch. For now just concentrate on songs that have only 1-3 notes (ZZ top is the first one that comes to mind for me) and work on those. Keep a diary of how you feel you’re doing so you can go back and see your progress. The first day sucks. The first month you’re doing a little better and by the end of the first year you’ll be very happy with where you’ve come since you started.

Check out a site called Search up a song you want to learn and on the right hand side of the screen look for the icon that has the guitar symbol. Click on that and change the instrument to bass guitar. Then you’ll see the bass tracks for that song so you can see how the notes are played.

Set your throttle to slow and stay the course grass-hopper! We were all in your spot at one time and we’ve survived.


Don’t feel dumb. Part of the equation is that your bass should be set up nice with comfortable string action and hopefully you’re not using crap strings that will feel like razor wire. Getting good action is why guys like Billy Sheehan can do his sweeps and all that. The second part is if you’re still really new to this then your hands aren’t really used to things and it takes time for muscle memory to help you not have to think about what you’re doing so much. If you’re graduated from the stage of first picking this up to trying to do hammer ons and get funkier and you have doing the basic fret and pluck thing down then I’d probably be looking at my set up. If your strings are comfortable to hit then you have a better chance of not getting sloppy. And your tone will be better because you’re not struggling.


Actually that, with two Rs:

Absolutely. If your bass isn’t set up properly, all of this will be way harder than it needs to be.


Yep. Second the recommendation though, it’s the best site for tabs overall. I like it better than U-G.

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