How To Hold A Bass Guitar Is An Important Thing To Play It Well

In rock music, the guitar is more popular than the bass guitar. Because the sound that is created from the bass guitar is not really suitable for all users to combine it in performances. However, if you know the ways to combine them together, your performance will become more wonderful and perfect than others. And from that time, you will believe that the sound of the bass guitar is able to be indispensable in many songs. To begin feeling those things, you need to know how to hold a bass guitar well first.

The bass guitar gives players more bass notes – this is its own point of the sound. This sound is suitable to be a background for high notes from other instruments such as: guitar, piano and so on. Not only that, the bass guitar will help you to connect drums and guitar in a smooth, harmonious way. If your performances don’t have its sound, everything will still be alright but they will not have an extremely perfect feeling for listeners.

Therefore to have a better performance, your band needs to have a person who plays the bass guitar well. He/She will be the last piece you need. And he/she is also the one who can bring all the parts of the band together into one whole. In the case you want to be that last piece to complete the band, you have to learn to play the bass guitar from a beginner.

And to play the bass guitar well is really not a simple issue. In the case you don’t care about the starting place, prepare and learn negligently, you will not never have a good result that you desire for a long time. To start this journey, before all, you need to know how to hold a bass guitar well. When you know how to hold it the right way, you not only play it more easily but also shorten a period of time to learn the bass guitar a lot. This is the way to begin that we advise you to do.

DownUP The Neck

To help you at the first step on the way to learn to play the bass guitar, we will let you know our knowledge about the way to hold the bass guitar tightly and effectively in this article. Follow us in this article, we will come over these contents – each one is really helpful and necessary for you:

  • Choose a right and good posture.
  • Adjust the angle and height.
  • Things need to be learnt to become a good bass guitar player.
  • Question and answer together.
  • Conclusion.
  • Writer’s opinion after writing this article.

Right now, we will talk about each content detail and clearly to you. Come with us to get off to a good start in your playing the bass guitar career. Let’s get started!

Choose A Right And Good Posture

Sitting position


First thing you need to do is select the posture. You have two choices: standing or sitting.

In our opinion, you should sit on a chair to play first. The chair which is chosen should be the chair without an armrest. Because the armrest will cause difficulty and obstruct you moving your arms during playing.

And at that time, under your right leg will be placed a certain tool to help you raise your thighs. The higher right thigh will allow you to place the guitar on it and  play more comfortably.

Usually, players tend to sit slightly closer to the edge of the chair. Maybe it makes them feel comfortable and easy to play.

Standing position

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Or you can stand and play the guitar, let’s stand comfortably and naturally. The advice we give you that you ought to stand with the straight back. Simultaneously, try to keep your bass guitar isn’t lower than your waist or towards the knees too much.

This can be the problem for both beginners and masters since they think that is comfortable so that is the right position. But this wrong point is able to cause the injury for you if you still maintain it for a long time. So this is a bad habit that should be avoided from the very beginning.

More important thing is you should not be stressed or tense. Because in the case you are too worried and stressed, pressure will be on your hand. Then, even if you can choose a comfortable posture, the skills that have been practiced well cannot show the best.

Standing or sitting is your selection. In addition, the conditions of the place you perform also need to be cared about. Thus, we think that you should prepare for all cases carefully to be able to improvise anytime, anywhere.

Strap up

One tip on the topic of how to hold a bass guitar is using the strap. When you decide to attach a strap to the guitar and wear it while playing, you will feel more comfortable and confident. If you hold the bass guitar and play it without the strap, the guitar can slide down your body gradually. And to keep it not dropping, you have to use more strength to bear its weight. Thus, the strap is really important and necessary for every player.


The length of the strap depends on the height of each one. Moreover, when you stand and sit, the length is also different. So in our opinion, you need to adjust it each time you play.

  • Step 1: Put on the bass guitar.

Every time you want to adjust the strap of the bass guitar before playing. You ought to put on it first. Thanks to that, the length you create will be the most perfect, comfortable and suitable for yourselves.

  • Step 2:  Slowly adjust the strap until it comes to the best position.

You will adjust the strap with the built-in tuning slowly until you feel that it is easy for you to touch and play the string. Because beside the height, the length of players’ arms also affect a lot.

After you have chosen the right posture and adjusted the string length, you should be able to hold the bass guitar tightly while performing. We will talk about basic techniques, knowledge, good for you to start learning how to play the bass guitar right now.

Adjust The Angle And Height

When you sit and stand, the bass guitar’s angle and height is different from each other. And your hand and arm’s position are also changed. Therefore, before each time you practise, don’t forget to adjust your bass guitar to have the right and best angle and height.

Many people like to place the bass guitar too horizontally. It is not only too ugly but also makes it difficult to reach the lower strings. From that, it leads to having some low notes you can play because of the short limit of the reach of your hands and fingers.

The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


However, almost all of them don’t know about this problem. And they solve it by bending the wrist more sharply. Then, everything is alright, they can play better. That is the reason why many people don’t care about adjusting the angle and height.

But according to science, this can make you get the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Just a bad habit, you bring yourself into yourself a terrifying and terrible disease. Avoid it from the first day is best. The solution is really simple. Tilt the bass guitar a little bit, don’t let it cross. Adjust your wrists so that your wrists are straight, not too bent. And the thumb is in the best position to support the other fingers.

Don’t forget it because it will help you hold and play the bass guitar more greatly. Besides, protect you from the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome too.

Things Need To Be Learnt To Become A Good Bass Guitar Player

Using the right hand

That is the first thing you need to do to hold the bass guitar tightly for playing. Next, you will learn to use the right hand to play the string. We will give you two ways to play the string: playing with fingers and playing with the guitar pick.

Usually, the bass players like to play the note by using their fingers directly. And the rock bass players prefer to use the guitar pick. Because this way creates a sound which is more clear and crisper. Besides, choosing the way to play also depends on your hobby and performance cases.

Way 1: Using the fingers of the right hand

Now, we will let you know the basic knowledge about playing the bass guitar with the fingers of the right hand. You only play it with 3 fingers: the middle finger (m), the index finger (i) and the thumb (T). Let’s see the illustration and name on the picture.


To play the string, you will use the m and i. These two fingers will move and combine together on the string to create the melody which you can listen to. The T doesn’t touch the strings directly. It will serve as a support, supporting your right hand by resting on the bass guitar pickup. Thanks to that, the remaining fingers move much more flexibly.

And nowadays, almost all modern bass guitars were equipped with two pickups: one near the neck of the guitar (fretboard), and another close to the bridge. For us, we advise you to put the T on the front pickup. Because having the information says that when you place the T there, in the case the strings are too tension, the sound which is created is still fuller, louder and heavier. Moreover, it also allows you to play more easily and comfortably.

In all, we think that you still ought to make a habit to place the T at the right position because it is really helpful and doesn’t have any disadvantages for players. In this article, we only talk about basic skills so we don’t have detailed knowledge of how to play a bass guitar. Remember that it is only an article only to talk about “how to hold a bass guitar”.

The rest stroke

Virtually players who play the strings directly with the fingers use this skill – the rest stroke. It means after you play the string above, it will come to the rest on the next string. See the illustration here to understand more about it.

By using this skill combined with alternating the m and i fingers, you are able to change between notes and strings more quickly, easily and flexibly. It allows you to learn skills simply and easily. From that, you will quickly go from beginner to master in a very short amount of time. This is such a good part that you ought not to skip any more.

Way 2: Using the guitar pick

This selection is usually more popular with the rock bass players because it will give you the sound which is more crisper and suitable for their music style.

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The material that is used much is plastic. And many brands have many designs, shapes, sizes and thicks for them. For each person, they have their own hobbies and demands. But to play the bass guitar well, players should choose the thicker ones. The thin guitar pick will not have the ability to create great enough sound to do the mission of the bass guitar perfectly.

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And when you decide to play with the pick, your fingers will have to hold the pick, and your hand only moves from the wrists downwards. Remember to avoid moving all arms a lot because it not only doesn’t help you play better but also creates the uncomfortable feeling and is easy to be tired.

If you want you can help make it easier to play by placing your palm or other fingers on the keyboard to support your movement. Afterwards, using the pick to play the strings of bass guitar is an ideal choice that you should try once.

But now, the market has many types of guitar picks. And each one has its own special features. In the case, you have difficulty in selecting the best one, you can read this article to have more good options. It will give you ones which are great about both appearance and features.

Using the left hand

First, you need to completely release your fingers. Then place the T on the back of the neck of the bass guitar and lean it lightly on it. On the left hand, your T will serve as the largest fulcrum for the remaining four fingers to be active.

LH Thumb Position Correct

The remaining four fingers will press the strings according to the numerical numbers of each finger. We have shown it in the picture.

B Flat Note 1st string 01

In the case you have not remembered, you can number on your fingers and place them at the right positions on the fretboard. By the time, you will not forget it and it is easy to play the notes on the string.

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Question and answer together

Q: Which is the best bass guitar for the beginners and master?

A: In this article, we will not give you the good ones or the features that a bass guitar should have. If you want, you can come to this page to know more. It will refer you to many good options and let you know more information and features about the bass guitar which are very useful.

Q: Why do I need to learn how to hold the bass guitar first?

A: Owning to when you hold it tightly, you will play easily. Moreover, you will not be worried and have more confidence to perform well.

Q: Is the step adjust the strap really necessary?

A: Of course, because with a most perfect length, you don’t need to use a lot of strength to hold the guitar, the string has supported you in no small part in this.

Q: Should I only learn to hold and play the bass guitar with one posture?

A: No, you shouldn’t. It will limit your performance at some events.

Q: After finding out the right way to hold the bass guitar, should I learn to play the right hand or left hand first?

A: It is not force. Which one you think easier, you can study before. Or which one you think it’s more important, let’s learn it first.


In general, to play the bass guitar well, you have to learn many things from simplest to advancest. And in all those knowledges, how to hold a bass guitar following the right way is one of the most important and essential things you need to study at first. You can choose to hold it when standing, sitting or both of them. And adjust the strap to have the most suitable length depending on your height, your arm’s reach, etc.

Then start by studying to play the string with the right hand: by fingers or by guitar pick are alright. Remember that to learn each step slowly, carefully and special is to be right. Next, learn to use and move the left hand on the fretboard. You need to hold the guitar tightly and carefully to move the left hand press the fingers on the fretboard easily. Because the left hand is the part which decides that you can create good or bad sound, you should learn following the most exact knowledge.

To become a good bass guitar person, you only need to practise much. And of course, everyone starts from the simplest things. Therefore, you can do it too. The information above is one of the best ways to hold and play the bass guitar.

Writer’s Opinion After Writing This Article

According to our knowledge, we think that everything that we talked about in this article is necessary and essential like each other. They are not too hard to learn. And they don’t cause any disadvantages for you during the time you learn playing the bass guitar.

Moreover, you also have many abilities of performing on many types of stage, party, etc. That is the reason why we advise you to study all things we gave you here.

How about you? Do you have an opinion like us?

Please leave your comments and suggestions below in the comments for us to improve in the following articles.

Thank you for reading to the end of this article. And hope you will like and share it to your friends if you feel it is helpful. See you soon.

Read also:

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