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Dropping Down on the Strings

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Reddog01, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. Reddog01


    Nov 3, 2013
    Georgetown, TX
    As a setup to this question, I should tell you that I am an old guitar player that mostly played by the three-finger picking method. This involved the index finger, middle finger and thumb. I am trying to learn how to pick the bass (at the young age of 63) and I am having to unlearn a few things from my guitar playing days.

    One of my biggest problem is the two-finger plucking. It's very logical in my head to rest the thumb on the pickup while I am plucking the E string, but I want to stay on the pickup when I pluck the A string also. When I drop down to the D and G strings I feel most comfortable resting my thumb on the E string. I have watched many videos of other bass players, and some are dropping the thumb down to the A string and D string, and some others do not drop as much.

    I want to learn this correctly, and I'm not sure how I ought to be practicing this technique. Any pointers?
  2. Check out: Floating Thumb Technique in the Technique Forum, up top in the "stickies" (near the top of the list).

    Good info and some videos, there, I believe.

    And, welcome aboard! We won't hold the guitar thing against you. Lots of crossovers here.

  3. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    What you're using is a moveable anchor and it's a perfectly valid technique. Personally, I like to use a single anchor point and raise my elbow to facilitate getting over the A, D, and G strings.
  4. Reddog01


    Nov 3, 2013
    Georgetown, TX
    Thanks. I've checked out some of the videos, and guess what, apparently there's no one way to do it. I guess i have to find what works for me. Time to get back to practicing.
  5. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Old guitar player here, too. (63 also). Sometimes I anchor, sometimes I float, just depends. I understand what you mean about having to reach for the higher strings, but it's never been a problem for me. My wrist and elbow make up the difference somehow, and all's well. I think you have to read about others' technique and then find your own way. (Actually, I never read a thing about it when I switched to bass back in '88. I just played the bass).