YouTube Bass lessons for Beginners
We are going to talk about the proper way to hold the guitar. As you can see the guitar has an arch right here, this fits pretty perfectly over your thigh. It will sit pretty comfortably right over your thigh.
Proper Hand Technique
Now, your right hand, you want your forearm right here resting comfortably on the body of the guitar, in this area. You want the palm of your hand, this part right here, to rest lightly on the bridge. Not in front where you are muting the strings, but right behind. It gives your right hand a good pivot point, and more control. You definitely don’t want your right hand to be floating around, especially with the exercises we will be starting here.
Now your left hand, you want the pad of your thumb on the neck of the guitar, on the back of the neck. Don’t use the tip of your thumb, use the pad. And you want to wrap your hands around, so when you are pressing down on the fret, your fingers are arched. You always want to be playing with the tips of your fingers, not the pads. Your fingers will be sore when you first start playing, but that will go away after time and practice. So wrap around this hand and arch your fingers. You always want to have a gap between your palm here and the bottom of the neck. You do not want to rest your palm on the bottom of the neck. You should be able to fit a pencil between the palm of your hand and the neck.
Alternating Your Picking
Back to the right hand. We have our palm lightly on the bridge, and you are going to hold your pick with either your thumb and two fingers or your thumb and first finger. Either way is acceptable. With our right hand resting on the bridge, I want you to pick the sixth string, which will be the E string. Just pick one time down. We do something in guitar called alternating your picking, where you do down strokes and up strokes. Picking down towards the floor would be a down stroke, and picking up would be called an up stroke. So I want you to pick the sixth string, the E string, also referred to as the low E string. I want you to pick that string 4 times, alternating your picking up and down. Now I want you to go down to the fifth string, the A string, and I want you to pick that 4 times alternating your picking. Now to the 4th string, your D string, and pick that 4 times. Now to our third string, which is G, pick that 4 times. Remember to keep your palm rested on the bridge. Pick our second string, that’s B, pick that 4 times. Finally our 1st string, which is E, often referred as the High E string.
Before you move on, make sure that you have that alternating picking method down. It’s also really important to memorize the notes of the open strings. When I say open string, I mean the note you play without putting any fingers down with your left hand.