Basic Bass Fretting Technique (Beginner Bass Basics)

Skip the bad habits and nail your bass fretting technique from the start.

0:22 – Fretting basics
1:28 – Where to press on the fret
2:05 – The goal of good fretting technique
3:29 – The right way to use “up” and “down” on bass
5:04 – Play-along sneak peek
5:28 – How to play the groove
10:07 – Slow play-along
10:59 – Medium play-along
11:37 – Full play-along

In this beginner lesson I’ll walk you through all the basics of good left hand technique (or right hand, if you’re playing left handed!), plus we’ll play some music together at the end with your killer new fretting technique.

Most beginners get this stuff wrong without a good teacher, so I’ll walk you in detail through what angle to put your fingers, which fingers to use, where to press on the fret, and more.

I’ll also tell you how guitar and bass players use the words “up” and “down” when fretting – it’s the opposite of what most people think.

Then we’ll apply everything you learned to a weird indie-prog-fusion play-along. Let’s do it.

Get all the beginner bass basics you need by subscribing to this channel:

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#bassfrettingtechnique #beginnerbasslessons


  1. Been playing bass for years but always review the basics every once and awhile. Great job.

  2. Have you done a Fretless Video?
    I play fretless exclusively but I do own a fretted Fender Jazz 5 string as well.
    I love exposition on the MAGIC of the fretless.

  3. Started watching all your YouTube lessons, your explanations and demonstration are superb to say the least… Not even Fender Play explains it better and your real life down to starting at beginner level is much more understandable contrary to the others that have somewhat robotic presentations … What sets you apart is that you touch on the basic things that we encounter as beginners down to specifics which we not only can associate with but also tells us how much work you put into this program.. Best described as attention to detail, something that today is hard to find…

  4. I have a short fingers and really trying to work it out hard for hand positioning. I really love your videos man! Keep it coming ☺

  5. is that the banana from Velvet Underground?

  6. I don’t fret with my left hand, I use my right!

  7. I want to thank you for all your experience and great humor in your teaching. It helps to retain more if you are emotionally connected to the lesson. On a totally unrelated question, why a banana? I tattoo'd for 13 years, and that's got me puzzled. Thank you again.

  8. Late comment here in 2019. A lot of this basic Bass stuff is skipped by others, and yet it is so vitally important when you are beginning or restarting later in life. Thanks Josh

  9. Very good insights on fretting! Just starting out.

  10. Do you have any tips on playing with out looking at the neck

  11. Only issue I have is when I play a note on the E string when i lift my finger it vibrates as I'm lifting ive head the neck checked for warping and had the action checked but I keep experiencing this issue. Really like your vids btw I've been playing bass about 3 weeks now did a live gig already two days ago that went very well (only did like 1hr of music) but it wasn't until I got in the studio that I noticed that noise.

  12. The problem I struggle with is too much pressure on the fretting fingers. Every good bass player looks like they're hardly even touching the frets – no sign of pressing effort. I know to apply 'just enough' pressure, but my thumb always seems to be pressing a little too hard, making sliding my hand along the neck harder. What's the secret?

  13. My pinky cant reach the E string :((

  14. 0 dislikes, nice

  15. Thanks for these videos, keep ´m coming!! 😀

  16. Thanks for these videos, keep ´m coming!! 😀

  17. i think im holding the bass wrong, because it's hard for me to play up at the ninth string, my wrist hurts from being bent too much. can somebody tell me whats the right thing to do and what i might be doing wrong?

  18. You're a fantastic teacher. I'm really enjoying your videos. Keep up the great work!

  19. I hurt my thumb and discovered it can't stick to the back of the neck when it's wrapped in a band aid.

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