Developing Safe Left Hand Technique

Adam Neely proudly presents a lesson from:


FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites Hey all, thought I'd post a technique lesson.  Here is the YouTube video of me explaining how to approach developing a safe and effective left hand technique. Here are the basic ideas behind the neutral position that I cover in the video. These are all things that happen when you flip the forearm 180 degrees. 1. The shoulder holds up the arm, and allows all the rest of the arm to relax and go limp. 2. The elbow is most relaxed when it is bent at moderate angle. 3. The wrist is relaxed, flexible and straight. 4. The joints of all the fingers are curved, and the finger tips are all on the same horizontal plane 5. The thumb is to the left of the index finger and is roughly perpendicular to the second finger segment. Remember! Dedicated lessons with an experienced private teacher is the best way of learning technique. A teacher will be able to correct nuances in your technique that you yourself won't be aware of while you're playing and really force you to unlearn bad habits. No matter how advanced you are, there is always room for improvement in your physical approach to the instrument.
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bighomey said,

August 10, 2010 @ 12:59 am

This is such a great lesson advise for me bcuz I am just beginning to learn to play the bass as a hobby since I am retired now. I have ordered some video lessons & am viewing all the online bass lessons that I can to find my video teacher & so far I found some great teachers including you. I am now looking forward to learning to play the bass for my personal enjoyment. Thanx!

varunkapahi said,

June 26, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

when my thumb is pointing the headstock my reach decreases and i cant pivot shift the position to reach further anymore. so i cant play the spider exercise or many riffs which go one finger per fret at the first position

boabyp said,

May 27, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

Superb lesson, I’ve been playing for nearly 25 years and that was still fascinating. Well done Adam. (No thumb high up the neck? Who’da thought it!)
Cheers Dude from sunny Scotland.

lbonifazi said,

May 5, 2010 @ 11:27 pm


If I weren’t such a tight wad I would send you truck loads of money for this lesson. I recently had a guitar teacher chastise me for positioning my thumb as you have instructed to do here today. I have endured much pain & numbness trying to “correct my lefty”. I’ve just picked up the Bass for a year now and it’s all I look forward to (almost). This lesson will allow me to continue playing with my second lover.

Your lessons are held in high regard—yours too Marlow


Smaz said,

May 5, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

Great lesson! I’ll definatley think of that & work it into my playing. Very well explained & well demonstrated 🙂

matt said,

May 5, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

great info. wish i had learnt this years ago and avoided tendonitis. and! i still struggle with left hand position! any tips on thumb position when shifting down the neck?


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