Whether the fretting hand fingers are placed over the fingerboard in a static playing position or as you shift up and down from one position to the next, the thumb should always remain on the back of the neck approximately opposite to the middle or second finger. For example, if you are using the one-finger-per-fret technique spanning the fifth to eighth frets, the thumb should rest on the back of the neck opposite to the middle finger at the sixth fret. When shifting, don't allow the thumb to drag behind the rest of the hand on the back of the neck as it ascends or descends across the fingerboard.
Although many guitarists frequently place their fretting hand thumb over the top of the neck, that technique is much less effective on bass guitar because it greatly reduces your reach and ability to use the one-finger-per-fret technique. Decreasing the amount of reach in the fretting hand will require the use of needless shifting.
Very little thumb pressure is needed on the back of the neck so don't squeeze it more than is necessary. The thumb is present to function as a guide, and so little force is required from the thumb to press the strings down that you should be able to play practically everything without the thumb.
One of the most common mistakes made by beginners is that they generate so much tension in their hands from just trying to hold the bass that their muscles are actually fighting against each other, and much of that tension is created from gripping the neck too tightly with the thumb. ... Subscribe Today & Read More!
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