Bass Guitar For Dummies
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When you strap on your bass guitar for the first time, sit down to do it. Adjusting the strap is easier this way. Ideally, the strings of the bass should cross over your belly button at a slight angle upward (up on the neck end). This position ensures optimum right- and left-hand coverage, and it works well regardless of whether you're standing or sitting. The strings should face the outside!

Strapping on and adjusting a bass eventually becomes as natural as riding a bike, but when you first start out, you have to follow some basic instructions to get it right. If your left hand is strained when playing, try raising the height of the bass. If your right hand feels uncomfortable, try lowering the bass.

You can achieve the ideal compromise position for both your left and right hands by following these steps:

  1. Attach the thick end of your strap to the strap pin (the little metal knob) on the body at the neck end of the bass.

  2. Attach the thin end of your strap to the bottom strap pin (also called the end pin) of the bass.

  3. Hold your bass solidly by the body or the neck with your left hand, and pull the strap over your head and right shoulder, putting your right arm through as well.

    Allow the strap (with the bass attached) to rest on your left shoulder and continue across your back until it connects with the bottom strap pin of the bass just below the right side of your rib cage.

  4. Adjust your strap in length until the strings are crossing the area over your belly button, and then fine-tune it from there.


    You can find your own personal preference, but you want your bass to rest in this general area. Note that the general position of the bass is the same whether you're standing or sitting.


About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Patrick Pfeiffer is a professional bassist, bass educator, and composer. His former clients include Polygram, Red Ant Records, Arista Records, and other major labels as well as Adam Clayton of U2. He has recorded with George Clinton, Phoebe Snow, Jimmy Norman of the Coasters, Paul Griffin and Bernard Purdie of Steely Dan, and many other stars.

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