Step One: Adjust the endpin so that your right hand touches the bridge somewhere between the tips of your fingers and your knuckle while the bass is facing you. For the teacher: This will vary depending on the physique of the student and dimensions of the instrument.
Step Two: Hold the bass at arm’s length with your left hand. The side of the bass should be directly in front of your left leg with the bridge of the bass pointing directly to your right.
Step Three: Bring the bass in toward your body and lean it on your left upper thigh. Then, turn it at a 45° angle to the left so that the top back edge of the bass is resting on your pelvis just above your left inner thigh and somewhere on or below your waist. For the teacher: These contact points will vary depending on the physique of the student and dimensions of the instrument.
Step Four: While transferring your weight on to your right foot, turn your right heel slightly in to the left, turning your foot to the right, and take one step forward with your left foot. For the teacher: This is just a good starting position for the student. Flexibility and freedom of movement should be encouraged. While playing, it is entirely acceptable to shift weight from leg to leg.
Step Five: To check the height of the bass, hold the neck with a fist in your left hand just below the peg box and nut. Point toward your head with your index finger. If your finger is pointing into your left ear, the height is approximately correct. For the teacher: The height of the bass also will vary depending on the student and the bass. There are two general guidelines for the height. First, the student’s left elbow should not be higher than the shoulder while playing in the lower positions, and, secondly, the student’s right hand should be able to hold the bow comfortably between the fingerboard and bridge without bending at the waist or bending the elbow at an acute angle.