Tag Archives: intonation

6 Steps to Develop a Solid Left Hand

These six steps will help you learn how to have a solid left hand to improve these common problems:

  • Holding down the string
  • Intonation
  • Moving up and down the fingerboard

STEP 1 – Curved Knuckles = Strong Fingertips

Solid Left-Hand
Photo by Kevin Monahan

Curved knuckles allow your fingertips to strongly hold down the strings. There is more clarity in pitch and sound production when we use our fingertips to hold down the string. Sliding up and down the string is easier with fingertips that are formed by curved knuckles.

STEP 2 – Space and Clump

We need to have a “half step” between 1st and 2nd finger that is equal to the distance from our 2nd and 4th finger. There needs to be an extra finger width of space between 1st and 2nd finger and fingers 2 thru 4 are clumped together for any position within the “1st Octave” of the bass.

  • Practice holding a wine cork in between your 1st and 2nd finger and a rubber band or hair tie around your 2nd, 3rd and 4th finger to physically feel the “space” and “clump” while playing the bass.
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