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floating thumb/ renown players

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by sammyp, May 19, 2011.


  1. sammyp

    sammyp

    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada
    Hi dudes, i've been considering floating thumb ...it definately feels stable and improves tone and attack ...it is difficult to get used to though ...

    just wondering what renown or famous bassists use it? for my own curiousity!
     
  2. funkybass

    funkybass

    Oct 19, 2006
    Indiana
    I know Todd Johnson does. I do. I can't play and anchor my thumb after learning floating thumb. I'd definitely learn it.
     
  3. klaus486

    klaus486

    Jun 27, 2009
    portland or
    sales geek Portland Music co.
    I can't do it at all! The only player I can think of that does it would be Steve Harris of Iron Maiden.
     
  4. sammyp

    sammyp

    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada

    so are you able to do this when playing scales and whatnot? if you're not spending much time on one string?
     
  5. klaus486

    klaus486

    Jun 27, 2009
    portland or
    sales geek Portland Music co.
    My bad for not reading the "sticky" about this technique! I totally play this way! Learned it from Billy Sheehan way back in like the second or third issue of Bass Player magazine. I don't understand how anyone could play bass without this technique. If you use a pick then no problem but for any finger style I just hear people haveing strings ringing all day long....
     
  6. mikepcann

    mikepcann

    Dec 14, 2010
    Mono Artist
    John Patitucci uses it! I find it really helpful on 5&6 string basses. Really helps to mute other strings from sympathetic resonating and keep your hand in a comfortable position.
     
  7. Mayers

    Mayers Guest

    Sep 28, 2007
    I do it too ... it was obvious when I bought my first 5 strings bass ( at that time talkbass didn't exist ).

    John Patitucci, Alain Caron, John Myung and Todd Johnson come easily to mind.
     
  8. funkybass

    funkybass

    Oct 19, 2006
    Indiana
    Yeah I have no problem with scales or switching strings. It took a month or so to get used to it, but now I can't play any other way, and I don't want to.
     
  9. Tandrew

    Tandrew

    Jan 9, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
  10. IanIan

    IanIan

    Dec 31, 2009
    Finland
    I have been using the floating thumb to avoid my CTS from developing any further, and I've got to admit it has helped my playing over-all very much. I think that EVERY bassist should use it. I have only had one problem, and that is where to lay my hand when I'm playing the lowest strings, but I have then decided not to worry about it and just let it hang there.
     
  11. gary willis
     
  12. xXColaXx

    xXColaXx

    Mar 8, 2011
    Clearwater, FL
    I had posted a thread on here about bad wrist problems i was having. In the end it turned out the way I had been anchoring my thumb for years had caught up with me, leaving my wrist at a near 90 degree angle when I played.

    I learned the floating thumb technique from this forum and not only did it solve my wrist pain instantly, it cleaned up my playing and actually made some bass lines easier to play for me.

    I HIGHLY recommend it to any bassist.
     
  13. funknasty

    funknasty

    Apr 4, 2008
    South Jersey
    Endorsing Artist: Tasty Kake Krimpets
    Alphonso Johnson.
     
  14. oldcatfish

    oldcatfish

    Jan 8, 2011
    I play using both the floating thumb and the thumb anchored approach. Floating thumb for songs with a lot of string skipping or when I want to mute the strings (like a modified palm mute), but I use the anchored approach for faster 8th and 16th note passages. I just have more speed, endurance, and rhythmic control with the thumb anchored. But I feel that you should be able to use each...just like you should be able to play with a pick and slap/popping when desired.
     
  15. xXColaXx

    xXColaXx

    Mar 8, 2011
    Clearwater, FL
    If I need anchoring I often times will do so on the string below the one I am playing on, this method works well from me and allows my hand to stay at the same angle keeping the same muscle memory, if you anchor on a pick up as you move string to string, your range of motion changes.
     
  16. Billy Sheehan anchor his thumb, not floating.

    You can check that here:

    YouTube - ‪Bass lesson - Billy Sheehan - 3/8‬‏

    Maybe he switched to floating recently, but i dont think so...
     

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