Double Thumping

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by iwearpumas, Jan 8, 2014.


  1. iwearpumas

    iwearpumas

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,353
    Location:
    NYC
    I've tried, and Ive tried. I can't get that Victor Wooten double thump thing. I find it rather painful to be honest. Maybe because for years, I've been slapping the bounce style, and now this technique is different. I play Ken Smith basses, so sometimes I think it is because the 18mm spacing. I dont know. I really want to learn and effectively use that technique in my playing.
     
  2. chicago_mike

    chicago_mike Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    2,703
    Location:
    Chicago - LA - Rome
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist : Genz Benz
    It's gonna hurt a little when you first do it. Because your thumb is not used to the pressure against the string that way.

    What works for me is not a true UP in the sense. But an upwards snap. I keep my thumb a little stiffer than normal when I thumb up.

    I started by double thumbing octaves in a triplet format. Instead T T P. It would be Tdown Tup Pluck.

    There a couple ways to get into it, but you'll get it. Also the "greas'in" technique is a lot like double thumbing, but youre much closer to the bridge and your index finger is used for the up pluck...to a point.
     
  3. BioWeapon

    BioWeapon

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,057
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Wait, why would 18mm hinder you? I thought tighter spacing was worse?? Huh.
    It's normal for your thumb to hurt. I mean, your fingers hurt after playing too long as a beginner, no? Same sort of thing.
    I'm working on double thumb too, and i'm in your same situation. Bounce since I've started, it took a while to actually get my thumb to do what I wanted it too. Worse yet, I have 15 mm spacing.
     
  4. iwearpumas

    iwearpumas

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,353
    Location:
    NYC
    Whoa. I definitely have to be more diligent at trying to learn it.
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Messages:
    803
    Location:
    South Haven, Michigan
    A light gauge E and A string go a longgg ways with the technique
     
  7. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2000
    Messages:
    4,240
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Accuracy, Carvin, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    What I sometimes tell students is to play up and down strokes with a pick first and then replace the pick with the thumb. Also, I am pretty much always playing right at the edge of the fingerboard, so the strings are pretty loose and can strike the fingerboard (the real slap tone) easily. I first saw Doug Rauch using this technique with Bill Cobham in 1976 and Larry Graham in 1973 so it's been around a long time.
     
  8. bass12

    bass12 Fueled by chocolate Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    6,104
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Whenever I decide I'm going to work on this technique I lose interest after a really short while but maybe one day I'll lay into it and make it happen. Strings make a big difference in how easy it is. Try some light gauge strings or some DR round cores and you'll notice a big difference compared to the alternatives.
     
  9. iwearpumas

    iwearpumas

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,353
    Location:
    NYC
    I've been using Smith taper cores.
     
  10. Jensby design

    Jensby design

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    840
    Location:
    Hastings, NE
    Wooten uses .095 .075 .055 .040 that's about 35 lbs of tension on each string. Try tuning your bass a step flat just to see if that helps.
    I'm using a Circle K .090 for my E-string :rolleyes: that will change how you play ;)
     
  11. Jamerman

    Jamerman

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2013
    Messages:
    119
    One important thing is make sure the up and down thumb sound the same. Then you can do things like a quieter up thumb, I think there's a video of victor talking about it

    Try doing classical thump, that'll get you doing it in no time :D You can also do scales, and try doing triplets and popping an octave or something
     
  12. BritFunk

    BritFunk

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Messages:
    215
    My friend,

    I had basically the same problem as you describe when I started double-thumbing: it was REALLY uncomfortable (I hail from the "Mark King" school of bass, BTW).

    As an alternative, I started doing a variation on the double-thumbing technique - instead of using the thump-through-the-string-and-catch-the-string-with-the-thumb-tip-on-the-upstroke that most players use, I tried thumping with a slight up and down-stroke, almost like using a pick. Basically you're thumping with a slight upward or downward motion rather than straight inwards, moving your thumb in an arc (think: crescent moon or parenthesis shape with the string contact at the apex/highest point of the curve). I promise it's way easier to actually do than to explain. :D

    After some time passed I started double-thumbing in the more conventional manner and eventually I got my thumb up to the task. I still use both techniques, as there are times one is just smoother than the other, and the sound is essentially the same.

    BTW - string spacing isn't generally a big factor until it gets *really* tight. I can double-thumb on an old Aria pro Avante 6-string bass with 16.25mm spacing with no problem. Getting my fat fingers between the strings for plucking is another story, however... :meh:

    @BioWeapon: 15 mm spacing? Just...wow. :confused: You're a brave soul - I can't imagine playing anything that tight.


    Good luck thumping!

    ----
    Kurt
     
  13. brakkum

    brakkum

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    It's all about practice! I've been shedding the technique since last February, and my thumb even hurts today, probably because I was doing it too strong yesterday. You'll find the right pocket for it once you get it down enough. Try learning to intro riff to 'Scratch & Sniff' By Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, it's simple and could get the technique more in your hands.
     
  14. iwearpumas

    iwearpumas

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,353
    Location:
    NYC

    Thank you so much for the insight.
     

Share This Page