Bass Lesson Two - Holding the Bass



Your posture and the way you hold your bass are very important techniques to get right. It can have a negative impact on all other aspects of playing technique if this isn’t done correctly.


It can be beneficial to use a strap when you play bass. A strap allows for more freedom in your hands as they are not needed to support or balance the bass.

Getting the strap height correct is important. Ideally you should be able to play with the strap on whilst sitting or standing without the need for adjustments.

It’s best to sit or stand up straight as you play, and not lean hunched over.

Though it may look cool, playing your bass far down low makes things harder and more awkward!

Guitar Position

Beginner players tend to tilt the bass so the fret board is easier to see. This is a bad habit that you should try to avoid early on. Tilting the fret board will make the angles of both wrists more awkward. The guitar should be positioned straight upright.

It’s important to allow both wrists to be straight but relaxed, and also the shoulders to be even. Having the neck position raised around 30 degrees higher than the body will make this easier to achieve.



Attempt to play the notes that are displayed on the tab. It’s worth trying to play both with and without a strap. Attempt these exercises always considering your posture.

Things to think about:

• You are sat or stood up straight
• The guitar body angle is straight upright
• The neck of the guitar is raised above the body


Exercise 1


Standard Tab



Exercise 2


Easy Tab


Standard Tab



Exercise 3


Easy Tab


Standard Tab



Exercise 4


Easy Tab


Standard Tab



What Next?


Keep practicing this week’s exercises focusing on the way you are holding the bass. In next week’s lesson we will be looking at plucking technique.