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getting clarity out of doublethumbing?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by jasonbraatz, Feb 5, 2002.

  1. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i was wondering if anyone who considers them proficient at double thumbing had any pointers on getting more note and less click. i have my sterling set up as my slap/doublethumb bass, with low action and smaller strings, so i think it's just down to me :) i can do it fast, but i get more click and 22nd fret plinks (like, when the string gets pushed into the 22nd fret and makes a note) than i'd like to.

  2. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I thought posting here, even though I have a different question, would be better than starting yet another double-thumb thread.

    Anyway, I've just started to double-thumb (hadn't really thought about trying it much until I came to TB) and about the thumb attack: Are you supposed to perform the up/down motion with your wrist, thumb, or a combination of both? It didn't really start working for me until I used the wrist...
  3. feelthagroove

    feelthagroove Guest

    Feb 18, 2002
    i've been a "double thumber" for about 2 years; let your amp do the work!!! with your action lowered, and a general knowledge of slap use your thumb much like a guitarist would use a pick.:)
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Use a lighter touch
  5. I have a similar problem especially with the clicking sounds. Recently I started not thinking about hitting the string and just moving my thumb up and down without really concentrating on the attack. I guess it just makes me hit it softer or something. I've noticed that it sounds much clearer and I can actually go a bit faster. It works for me so you might want to give it a try.
  6. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    when double thumbing, do you guys actually slap on the way down and pop on the way up with your thumb or are you supposed to try not to get any fret click? I thought the idea was to achieve a slap sound when you double thumb.
  7. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I guess what I meant to ask was: Is it your thumb or your wrist that is supposed to be doing the work? I've tried it both ways and it sounds better when I use my wrist; the downside is, popping is a lot harder. I was wondering how you guys did it...

    Thanks! ;)
  8. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    IME, most of the motion still comes from the wrist.

    I try to get the thumb downstroke to sound like a good slap, and the thumb upstroke to sound like a conventional (non-thumb) pop. Still working on it...
  9. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    One thing that confuses me is that some people say you should use your thumb as a pick and some people say you should use it to 'pop' on the way up. Which is it? Do I push my thumb literally underneath the string next to the body of the bass and then pull it out? This seems extremely illogical especially on basses with close string spacing. I'm starting to think that this technique is something that just can't really be explained in words.
  10. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    Can someone name a song with good doublethumbing? I've only heard Victor Wooten's doublethumbing and that doesn't make me want to learn it! It sounds hideous IMO.
  11. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I was trying to learn this technique recently and found I can do this thing where I use my thumb like a pick to play triplets - leaving my fingers to play the rest of the strings.
    It makes it a hell of lot easier to play notes in fast succession on the B, E or A and then play a chord or run on the higher strings without having to do a big string jump.

    It doesnt make any slap sound at all unless I use a more rigorous technique, but it does sound good with just the bass note coming through. It all goes a bit pete tong when I incorporate the slap, but I do have pretty high action.

    I assume this is double thumbing?
  12. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    ...oh and also.. the movement comes from the bass of the thumb when I do it.

    If I slap usingthe same technique the movement tends to comes from the wrist.
  13. RedV


    Mar 19, 2002
    Eustis, FL
    Okay, I know this question has been beaten into the ground, BUT...

    To anyone that has the Bass Day 98 tape of Victor, does he go over this technique? I mean actually get to see shots of his hands doing this? Cuz I too believe this is just something you can't explain in words.

    Oh well, I just ordered the tape, so I guess I'll find out in a couple days!!:)

  14. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    i would say a little more finesse and changing the angle of your attack. i've also found that changing the amount of pressure i exert on the fretted note can yield some pretty neat results, too. at any rate, try changing your attack to go through the string to the next string vice through the string towards the body/neck of the bass. i hope that helped.
  15. oozon


    Aug 11, 2001
    Sweden, Malmo
    TRU - Listen to Alain Caron. He's got some samples at his www.alaincaron.com site and also a link to his MP3.com site. He doublethumbs Donna Lee beautifully. I also like Marcus' use of doublethumbing. Check out Power from M2, the descending 32nd note pattern in the main riff is doublethumbed. He uses that technique quite much on M2 but he uses it in a very transparent way.

    ReDV - Victor goes through the technique quite extensively in my opinion. Definitly enough to get an understanding of how he does it.

    Good luck

  16. lowb


    Jul 27, 2000
    London, UK
    Also try Marcus Miller: "Power" on M2, and "summer time" on Live and more.

    its more simple double thumbing but sounds cool.

  17. RedV


    Mar 19, 2002
    Eustis, FL
    Thanks. I'm gonna go check out that site you posted and see if I can download some more Marcus Miller:)

  18. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    Thanks oozon! Is Power doublethumbed? No wonder I can't play it exactly like Marcus ;)

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