Bass Lessons 101: Part 1: Basic Positions 4 Basic Bass Exercises


In the past I’ve written guitar tutorials, now it’s time for my favorite instrument, “The Bass!”

I’ve been a professional working bassist and instructor for almost 15 years as of this date of this tutorial. Now it’s time to share my knowledge with you guys. Shall we begin.

How to hold the bass

There are many ways to hold the bass guitar but there a few no-nos. Just look at the examples below to get the idea.

Stand Up Position 

It’s important to note that you must be comfortable at all times. Don’t pick a strap position just because it looks cool.

Bass Lesson 1 Good Standing Position.jpgBass Lesson 1 Poor Standing Position







Sit Down Position

When you’re in a sitting position take into consideration your performance comfortablility. If you practice a tune sitting in a certain position and then you perform standing in a totally different bass position you won’t feel comfortable and won’t execute. I make sure my strap length is equal regardless if I’m sitting or standing.

Bass Lesson 1 Good Sitting PositionBass Lesson 1 Poor Sitting Position.jpg







Hand Positions

At the end of the day hand positions are arbitrary. If you have great technique with only using two fingers on each hand then more power to you, but 4 fingers are better than two for your fretting hand. Check out the images below to get and idea.

Basic Fretting  Hand PositionBasic Picking Hand Position

Frets are the spaces in front of your bass neck separated by fret wires. All frets are numbered starting with the first fret and can go up 24 frets depending on the bass. Check out the image.

Bass Frets

Bass Tab 

You only have to remember two things to learn bass tab.

What string?

What fret?

Looking below at the image, the bottom string actually refers to your top string which is the E string, then the A string, D string and the very bottom string is the G string. The numbers indicate the fret to be played on that particular fret. It’s not that hard you can do it.

Thinking Musician Bass tab

Open String 2 Fingers Exercise

For this exercise we are going to apply your picking hand only using your index and ring finger. Click on the audio for more instructions.


Thinking Musician Open strings 2 fingers

2-Finger Open String

2 gifs with audio  picking hand. bass tab

Bass Chromatic Exercise

Now it’s time to work with your fretting hand with all four fingers. Now your going to use muscles you’ve never used before, take your time. Let’s not forget to alternate your picking hand fingers to keep a smooth flow. Click on the audio and check out the animation below.


Thinking Musician Bass Chromatics

Thinking Musician Bass Chromatics 2


ChromaticsPicking Hand Chromatics

Animated gif with audio?

Index Ring Holding Exercises

This exercise will help with mostly 90% of all bass lines played. Click on the audio. And check out the GIF.


Bass Index Ring Exercises

Index-Ring Exercise


Ring Index Release Exercises

This is the exact opposite. Click on the audio for instructions.


Bass RIng Index Exercises

Ring Index Pull-Off

Basic Bass Practice Routine

Click on audio. 

  1. Practice all previous 4 exercises once through the entire neck.
  2. Practice daily.
  3. Choose a time and place where there are no distractions, you want full concentration.
  4. Focus on a big full bass sound on every note that is played.

That’s it for now all see you on the next tutorial with an actual groove…

Please leave a comment below and let me know if I’ve left anything out.


{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment