Double thumping. String gauge, tension & resistance.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by JazzCrazy, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. JazzCrazy

    JazzCrazy Inactive

    Mar 25, 2018
    Joshua Tree
    I saw a YouTube video posted by Coco's Basement showing Marcus Miller giving a lesson & "transcription" on Teen Town & double thumping. (No actual transcription). The first half of the short video MM explains he shuts off his onboard preamp for finger plucking, & he demonstrates double thumping technique. Later he explains the original of slapping Teen Town instead of plucking. I can't post a link, but it's easy enough a video to find

    One point of his I don't get. In the context of double thumping & striking rheough the note; Miller stipulates that 1) the action cannot be set too high; 2) & to make sure the bass has sufficient "resistance" here (while pointing at the base of the neck around the G strung where he thumps.

    It's the later part that cinfuses me. Is he equating "bass resistance" with string gauge & tension? Is he warning not to go with too light a gauge of string, say 60 & 40 for the D & & strings respectively? (I use Hibeams 100-40 myself, but I must confess, building up speed double thumping is a slow process!)

    If that's so, he formerly used Fatbeams D string 65 gauge, G string 45 gauge, but his A string was a pretty flabby 80 gauge--& he did some double thumping on his A string as well. So what might he be saying about "bass resistance"
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
  2. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    "Bass resistance" has NOTHING to do with string gauge.
    As I've mentioned in another DTh thread, when your thumb goes down and hits the string,
    "it stops at the right place" due to
    1. the distance between the string and the bass body, plus that plastic pickguard, and
    2. next string beneath the string that was DTh-ed.
    (In case of a 4-string bass, there is NO string to help while DTh-ing the G string.)
    What Marcus is saying is this.
    The bass body physically stops your thumb at the right place and, like those ropes of the bass ring, helps your thumb to spring up.
    I've tried several very expensive bass guitars but could not render double thumb if the distance between the string/s and the bass body was too big.
    It would be very difficult for me(!) to double thumb without having that properly situated "bass resistance".
    I remember, once I've tried to remove the pickguard from my JB (don't ask me why) but even those added millimeters of the string-bass body distance, decreased my technical ability to double thumb.
  3. JazzCrazy

    JazzCrazy Inactive

    Mar 25, 2018
    Joshua Tree
    OK. I just tried double thumping on my MM Signature bass & found that when striking downwards through the g string, my thumb does bounce against the pickguard in preparation for the up stroke. This I have been doing innately (apparently) with the caveat that I only do it maybe 95% of the time. Now that I am consciously aware of what I'm supposed to be doing it should result in some improvement.

    (Yes the neck of my heavily modified Squier DJAV is very highly elevated above the body which also has no pick guard. Ironically I had that bass defretted, & not specifically for the reason that it wouldn't lend itself to slapping---but obviously I made the right choice).