Floating Thumb Technique Question Not Answered in the Sticky.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by jeffery.addison, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. Are there any books or videos that detail this technique? Maybe something that has some specific exercies that would assist in mastering it?
  2. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Yes, go to our resident "Ask a Pro" Todd Johnson's forum. There is a thread there on this topic and he also has a DVD available. I've seen a lot of postive feedback. Check it out.

  3. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee

    It's not that complicated.

    I only do it on the B E and A string of a 5 string bass, and so does Adam. It's takes a few months to totally get used to, but its worth it in the long haul.
  4. I also don't really see it as being difficult...just looking to speed up the time that its going to take to adapt to it.
  5. trenken


    Apr 24, 2005
    I was always curious why anyone would have trouble playing the floating thumb style. Isn't it much easier than leaving your thumb stationary? Floating my thumb was just always a natrual way of playing for me because it so uncomfortable playing the C, G, and D strings with my thumb all the way up at the B. I play a 6 so maybe thats why I dont have a lot of options outside floating thumb. I can leave it stationary, but it just doesnt feel good.
  6. Well, I have been playing for 21 years. THe majority of those on four string basses, utilizing the anchoring technique via the pickup only. The floating thumb is a little different, thus it will take a little time to adapt. I have heard rave reviews about it in terms of improving.
  7. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
  8. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Here's a tip, the specific exercises are to do it whenever you play and in particular when you gig. Over the course of 6 months or so, you'll have it down if you do it everyday and everytime you play.
  9. trenken


    Apr 24, 2005
    Wow that guy does it a lot differently than I do. I basically do it the same way as Adam Nitti and Geddy Lee where the thumb is planted on a string, 1 or 2 above the string your playing. Only time I would have more in betwene is if im doing some chord work. Todd seems to just lay it on the strings rather than doing any kind of planting. It looks uncomfortable to me. But if it works....

    Although if I am playing faster, there's no time to plant it, so I sort of drag it real fast over the strings. Sometimes I do a weird kind of weaving in and out of the different string with my thumb. It seems weird to me but I can do it really fast and it works.

    Im kind of the opposite where I learned to play this way naturally on my own, and lately im trying to get better with planting it higher up just to see if there is any advantage to doing it this way, although its not really making my playing better. Its actually just slowing me down. I really cant play well trying to plant it more than 3 strings above the one im playing.

    Really the biggest advantage of the floating technique outside of the muting that you get, is it allows you to keep your hand in a natural position most of the time. Adam Nitti talks about the importance of this alot, because for some people, playing with your hand in an unnatural position by leaving your thumb either on the E, B or pickup strings all the time can cause problems in your hand later in life. Dont know if there is any real truth to that since I dont play that was and im only 29.