- Thumb placement
I'm awful at keeping my thumb behind the neck where it belongs. I know plenty of pro players let it wrap around, but traditional bass technique says you keep it behind the neck. My hope is that keeping it back there will keep things fluid for faster movement.
- Fretting fingers perpendicular to the fretboard
Sometimes I get lazy (especially with my ring and pinky fingers) and fret a string with the side of my finger instead of the tip. Sticking with the tips means faster movement when it's time to change notes as well as better tone in the note when played.
- Clean fretting matters
Learning to play isn't just learning to play notes, it's learning to play good notes. Make sure the tips of your fingers are right behind the fret. Do it right, even if it's slow, to build up strength. Speed comes later. Don't fret lazy.
- Economy of movement (or, use your damn pinky)
Move your fretting hand as little as possible. Sure, you could slide it a bit to use your index finger again, or your ring finger instead of your pinky, but the extra movement adds up. Speed comes with time, but start the right way. You're eventually going to want to be able to play songs by written by people who used their pinky. Use yours too.
Need more fretting tips?