A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Archive for April 18, 2011

Sitting vs standing

Background / Senseless prattle

For the first few weeks after I started practicing, I found that I was only able to move around the fretboard if I was seated while playing. I practiced my exercises and got to where I could play them without many mistakes, but if I stood up and played, it was like I was touching the neck for the first time.

The main issues were that I couldn’t see the frets or where my fingers were when not on a chair. Sitting made the bass rest partially against my thigh, which angled it so that the front faced a little more skyward. Standing lost this angle and made me rely on feel, which I don’t have yet.

I didn’t really know what to do about this other than to practice while standing. And you know what? It worked! About 15 years ago, a friend of mine (Hi PJ!) said to me that the sixth sense was sense of body. Its like how you can close your eyes and still know where your fingers are. I think that if you play enough, memorization and sense of body will teach your hands where the contours of the instrument are and where your fingers are along the neck, much like typing.

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