Bass Technique Breakdown!

2019-01-09T12:42:29+00:00October 18th, 2014|Categories: Bass Guitar Technique|10 Comments

This week we’re putting our technique under the musical microscope and breaking down a scale into fragments that we can work on in isolation. As we play through the scale we’re going to analyse our technique and pay very close attention to every movement of both hands.

This method is also great for ironing out technical problems in tough lines and for troubleshooting mistakes.

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  1. tcttwo October 18, 2014 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    I joined a while ago but never downloaded the scale guide. When I try to now, it tells me I already joined. Is there a way to download the guide if you joined previously?

    • Mark October 22, 2014 at 2:58 pm - Reply

      Send me an email and I’ll sort a new download for you.

  2. Jim V October 20, 2014 at 12:56 am - Reply

    Hi Mark ,
    I keep my thumb on the pickup all the time. Sort of my anchor. Is this a bad habit to get into. What are the benifits of moving your thumb down or up as you play?

    • Mark October 22, 2014 at 2:57 pm - Reply

      There are two main benefits. One is that you can mute the lower strings as you move. If you keep your thumb on the pickup and play the G or D strings you are likely to have sympathetic string vibrations on the E and A strings that muddy your sound and make for a terrible mess when you play through loud amps in bigger venues. Moving the thumb onto the E string automatically mutes the E string and allows you to play up to the D string because your fingers will then stop on the A string, muting it. Moving the thumb onto the A string mutes the E and A string if you hold the thumb back a little and allows you to play the G string while all the other strings are muted.

      The other upside to moving is it helps with building speed. Having an open hand like you get when the thumb is on the pickup can be less comfortable when building speed on the D and G strings. This is obviously subject to taste and less important than the muting.

      • Jim October 23, 2014 at 1:52 am - Reply

        Thank you for getting back to me. Everything you said makes sense. I’m so acustom to playing that way, that it will take a bit of practice to change.
        but the results sound worth it.

        Thanks again, and I love the site and the lessons.

  3. uche October 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Comment…pls mark I do not know how use the lesson progression signs what do I do?

  4. joshua October 28, 2014 at 4:44 pm - Reply


  5. Alberto January 7, 2015 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    I always put my thumb on the pick when I play E string, but I put it on the E string when I play A, D and G, as i learnt from classical guitar… Is there a problem with that??

  6. She Harvel October 24, 2016 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Hi Mark

    Thank you this is helpful. I’m still struggling to keep my fingers close to the fretboard.

  7. james chua September 6, 2018 at 6:49 am - Reply

    Do i have to position my thumb up and down the string/pickup if I am playing continuous alternating root-octave or root-fifth ?

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