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help with up-thump

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by A Minor, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. ok so i've watched countless victor wooten videos, watched my friend do it numerous times and everything else. But i still can't get the up-thump with my thumb down right. So for those that can do it can you tell me how long it took you to get too even sounding thumps with your thumb from the double-thumb technique and what were some of the things that you tried doing or had to do to get tot he point that you're at now. Thanks in advance.
  2. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    Not sure how long it took me, i'd say about 3-4 days of hard practice, it stops hurting after a while, drink lots of milk :D
  3. it didn't take me that long after i figured out how to properly do the down stroke. that was the hard part for me, the up stroke just came when i got the down stroke

  4. well then if that's the case, what's the proper way to do the down stroke? maybe that's where i'm havin problems!
  5. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    Im sure youve seen it in the videos youve watched, you just go straight through the string, and let your thumb rest on the next string, then come straight up through the string again with your thumb.
  6. It took me about a week of practice to nail it.
  7. that's exactly what i'm doing but i can't seem to get it, this is really startin to piss me off
  8. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    Just practice it real slow, and then gradually build it up when you perfect it that speed, where exactly do you think your going wrong?
  9. one thing that i noticed is that if i do it over the end of the fretboard where there are no longer any frets my thumb will hit the fretboard and not sink inbetween the strings as much making it easier to do the up stroke

  10. permadave


    Jul 20, 2004
    Atlanta, GA

    I learned the down stroke by imagining that I was going to be slapping but then using a more downward motion continuing "through" the string and resting on the next one below. The amount of pressure I apply is pretty much equal in slapping as it is in the down stroke part of the double thumb technique.
  11. my friend told me that he thinks i use the nail of my thumb too much and i should try usin the side of my thumb more. But i can't go directly down i have to go at an angle on the down stroke(if that makes sense) so i guess that's what i have to work on
  12. unity bass

    unity bass

    Dec 15, 2003
    Modesto, Ca.
    I raised the bass up a little higher on my body. This made my forearm almost parallel with the strings. Experiment with the length of your strap. I hope that helps.

    Good luck,

  13. This is my problem too, but when putting other fingers in the mix. I cant get consistent sound because when I up-thump my nail creates a pick sound and takes away from the cool double thump sound. Im having a really hard time with nailing this technique. I hate my bass though and cant get a good sound out of it no matter what technique I try to learn.
  14. i'm glad somebody feels my pain, though i can't blame my problems on my bass because my bass isn't the problem. my friend does it perfectly i guess i'm not just good enough:crying::bawl:
  15. ignignok


    Dec 25, 2005
    Make sure you keep your thumb stiff as a board the whole time, if you wiggle it at all it tends to get caught under the string
  16. orlfl


    Jul 22, 2005
    The upstroke is a smaller movement than you expect it to be. Once I realized that it came much easier. If you go throwing your wrist around you will be out of position.

    Consider that once you do the upstroke your index finger should be in position to pop (sometimes on the same string). It is a small movement up, not a rotating of your wrist.
  17. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I feel your pain too!

    It's potentially pretty demoralaizing to see all these guys saying that they had it dicked in twelve minutes. That sure hasn't been the case with ME!! I've been struggling and struggling for like.. well - over a year really.

    ...but just over the last few months: it's starting to fall into place! As I practice repetitive excersises, I'm starting to 'surprise myself' with freaky-fast, grooving little muted sounds; I have to look down and figure-out what I did (and it's usually due to thumb up-strokes) - like I'm learning new techniques and licks from my own fingers! - And I'm saying that working on this was like just lame-sounding drudgery for SO long... but nooooowwww - now I'm getting VERY glad that I've kept with it. What really helped has been to do scales with my thumb - back-and-forth, like it was a pick (a big, fat, clumsy pick...).

  18. JohnnyRook


    Jul 1, 2005
    As discussed many times before (here and internationally) www.musicdojo.com is the place to learn double-thumps.
    After all, Ant Wellington is Vic's bass player and an excellent teacher at the same time.
    I did all three 1-month courses and yes, it helped a lot.

    And no, you can't learn it in 3-4 days. It's rather 3 to 4 years.

    BTW: double-thumps don't work equally well on all basses. I have quite a collection here and it's only my full-graphite Miller with .35 strings where double-thumps, flams and flicks work (more or less) accurate.
    It's definitely impossible on my twice as expensive custom fitted with .45 Elixiers...but that's just IMHO.
  19. orlfl


    Jul 22, 2005
    It is your opinion that it is definitely impossible??
  20. What he said...the upstroke should basically be just your thumb moving up "through" the string you just slapped. It isn't a whole wrist/arm movement...just your thumb naturally plucking back up. This is the easiest way to do it you just need to practice slowly (practice doing it perfectly) and gradually your thumb will gain the strength and speed that you're wanting. I usually practice this one while I'm watching TV or something because it's a simple movement to learn, it's the speed and precision that is the difficult part.