Watch the Holding & Sounding Notes online guitar lesson by Stu Hamm from Learn Bass 1: First Steps for Beginners
So, you've got a bass. Now what? You've got to learn to hold it first. I've got a strap here, and you have to decide how low the bass will hang depending on if you're sitting or standing. Luckily, I keep the bass about the same when I'm in both positions. Some people (like metal players) wear their basses super low. So, it's up to you!
We use our left hand to fret the notes, but also to keep the notes quiet when we're playing other notes with our right hand. When fretting notes, you need to play it with your fingertips, and arching your fingers. The thumb is placed on the back of the neck, not on top. This will help us play the notes clean and clear, which is our first priority: music is supposed to sound good!
For the right hand when using the fingers, you need to figure out the angle of your wrist that works best for you. I personally have a little bit of curve in my wrist, although some would tell you that having a curved wrist is a bad thing. Take these suggestions along with what works for you - don't play something in a way that hurts. Especially when you're playing new things - if something starts to hurt, it's time to stop and come back later.
We're now ready to play the bass!