how do you use your thumb other than slapping

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Brian Stefan, Oct 3, 2003.

  1. Brian Stefan

    Brian Stefan Guest

    Sep 22, 2003
    Wall, NJ
    how do you use your thumb when you play. it always seems to make me faster to just pluk with my thumb rather than all my fingers, but i have not been playing long and that might just be from playing the regular guitar. should i go with that style or brake a dirty habit quick.:confused:
  2. I use it for sweep arpeggios, classical guitar style picking, and tapping.

    It may be fast using your thumb like a pick but how does it sound? If it works for you keep doing it, it could be a cool trick to have up your sleeve. It's always a good idea to learn the basics too though ;)
  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Sweep picking, and classical guitar styled picking, as well as many chords I'll pluck the low note with my thumb and the higher voices with my fingers.

    also some grooves just sound better when plucked with your thumb and not fingers.

    that's about it. some tapping riffs I do incorporate my thumb.

    also sometime I use it for false harmonics(other times I use my index finger)
  4. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I use it for chords very often; also to play rhythms while my index and ring pick out melodies. I use it in place of my fingers when trying to get a thumpy tone, and when I play the occasional artificail harmonic, although I'm not very good with those yet.
  5. Maybe it is due to 40 years of fingerpicking guitar, dobro and steel guitar, but I use my thumb, index and middle pretty much independently. I do tend to alternate thumb and index or thumb and middle for quick 16ths sort of like a bluegrass flatpicker cross picking. Two or three strings plucked in unison makes for wonderful chords also. Some of the time I mute with my palm and sometimes with the tip of my thumb resting on the lower strings.
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I use it for chords when i play Mudvayne stuff. (ie: Death Blooms)
  7. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    It's one of 2 fingers that I use to hold my pick. :)
  8. kwelch28


    Aug 31, 2000
    Allegany, NY
    I use it when I palm mute the bridge.
  9. Stephen Soto

    Stephen Soto

    Oct 12, 2003
    Yeah, false harmonics are easy with your thumb. I do fals harmonics, slap, and try to incorporate it with tapping as best as I can. I say you can use it with chords, but I do mine with my whole hand/fingernails.
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  11. sunburstbasser


    Oct 18, 2003
    Banjo rolls and a few harmonics.
  12. Mostly palm muting, taping, and popping (mostly on the low strings, though).
  13. I use my thumb for slapping, thumping, strumming (got quite good at that lately :) ) and that's about it me thinks. How do u do sweeps with your thumb? My friend does it on guitar but it has always puzzled me. I need some more techniques.:bassist: