Bass guitar is a pretty big instrument and sometimes it can seem a real challenge to play even basic sounding basslines or solos because of the stretches involved. In this lesson I show you how to make the most of the hands yo mama gave you and even stretch an octave on one string without moving your hand. Boom.

Tips For Large Stretches

  • Keep the thumb in the back of the neck
  • Flatten out the fingers
  • Pivot the thumb


Pivoting is a way of angling the thumb to the left or right in order to jump wider distances. Practice this technique using the G major arpeggio below. Pivoting will help with the stretch between the 7th and 12th fret on the G string.

You can apply this to any arpeggio for practice. Here is an example of an F major arpeggio – try pivoting between the 5th and 10th fret of the G string this time. This is a very large stretch made much easier by way of the pivot.

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