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Bad technique?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by CodyDEM, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. CodyDEM


    Oct 21, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    I really imagine this has been talked about before, and I'm not looking for a "whatever works for you" answer!

    I'm wondering, if in the long run, my technique of constantly moving my thumb from string to string is decent (IE - when playing on E, it's on pickup, on A on the E string, on D its on the A sting, you get the picture).

    What do you knowledgable bassists have to say about this?
  2. I don't consider myself a knowledgable bassist, but when you put your thumb on the D string you risk not being able to mute the E string. And for the sake of muting you don't need to move your thumb so much, so shouldn't you strive to move as little as possible? On the other hand, your attack on the string may be more consistent between strings with your technique.
  3. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    that would contain a lot of different thumb positions, i havemy thumb on the pickup when i pluck the E and A string, On the Estring when i plick the D string and so on... and if i do a lot of quick jumping between strings i like to anchor my thumb wherever it fits best...
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I wouldn't recommend doing it. Sooner or later that thumb is going to trip you up moving it from string to string. There are people who like to anchor their thumb in one spot, there are some who don't like to anchor it at all. Me, I anchor mine on the neck pickup for easy stuff and don't anchor for hard stuff. But you should leave it above the strings, if for no other reason than just to get it out of the way.
  5. I depends on how 'heavy' you anchor it. Putting it lightly on top of a string can make muting a lot easier, and keeping the distance between your thumb and fingers the same on all strings is also a benefit. I use it, and I've seen a lot of pro players using it.
  6. CodyDEM


    Oct 21, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    oh yea, the anchor is VERY light, just barely on the string
  7. a memory a hope

    a memory a hope

    Jan 23, 2005
    i do it sometimes. usually if i'm going to be doing a faster run on the d or g i anchor on the string above. most of the time i try to mute with my pinky or ring finger though and keep my thumb anchored on the pickup
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Your technique is called the 'floating thumb'...certainly a viable method & one that is generally espoused around here as 'good technique'.
    Advantage? It keeps the same angles(more or less) for the plucking fingers & does mute the strings nicely.
  9. CodyDEM


    Oct 21, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    yea, the flaw I can see is maybe rapidly skipping strings can get tough, but i feel like definately my fingers are always in a good place to pluck, and muting works like a charm
  10. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    In addition to the answers here, I would suggest playing around with really floating your thumb. Usually my right hand thumb just hangs loosely against all strings lower than it while I pluck. Since there is no "anchor," there's nothing to trip you up on faster passages. Since you're not anchoring it on a pickup, it's easy to slide closer to the bridge or neck for different sounds. And since you're hanging it against the lower strings it's always muting them.

    I don't anchor my thumb on my left hand unless I know I am gonna be playing mainly on my E string (I play 4 string) for a stretch.