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how to do it without thumb?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by fatjazzcat, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. fatjazzcat


    Mar 21, 2005
    please help if you can I`ll be very grateful...
    I`ve been trying to play without LH thumb, and it was quite easy for me to do it on G string, but on the other strings in lower positions, my DB starts to fall backwards, or rotate around my left hip...How do you maintain balance of the instrument (whats the opposite force, which keeps the DB in position when applying pressure with LH without thumb?). Is it bad posture or what?
    Thanks for answer.
  2. Why are you trying to play without your thumb????
  3. fatjazzcat


    Mar 21, 2005
    I know opposite thumb is my friend, but in lots of threads here i found, that to assure myself of applying right LH technique (like incorporating larger muscle groups), I should try to play without my LH thumb, that`s why am I asking...
  4. fatjazzcat


    Mar 21, 2005
    ...that is, try to play without LH thumb, but of course not constantly!!!
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Expound on the 'victim' part.

    Ultimately you will use some pinching here and there, but it doesn't take much. The best way to practice this is to sit on a stool and really get the feel. Then figuring it out while standing is easier.
  6. FractalUniverse

    FractalUniverse Guest

    Jan 26, 2002
    Valparaíso, Chile
    in fact, it is exactly what you said
    i use streicher method!

    but i must add, there is going to be pressure on your thumb.... but the idea is to free it the most you can.

    the other thing is that if your elbow is at the right angle, you will free some thumb tension... and your fingers are also going to be more opened....
  7. my 2 cents:

    1) playing without the thumb is possible when sitting and a good excersize.

    2) you can kind of get close to no thumb when standing but my experience has been that it is impossible to eliminate it COMPLETELY. still, i start my practise with playing a chromatic scale and try to lift the thumb off the back of the neck. get it pretty free on the G string but very hard to get good sounding notes on the other strings without a little bit of thumb IMHO.

    CHALLENGE: if there is anyone out who has eliminated the pressure of the thumb COMPLETELY (while standing) let me know how you do it!

    oh and not the striecher way (using the left foot to lever against the pressure of the left hand on the strings) - i am too tall for that to work.
  8. Rob Downie

    Rob Downie

    Jun 20, 2004
    Tualatin, OR
    I am a self-taught guy, so you can take this for what it is worth, but I don't see how you can get the thumb COMPLETELY out of the picture. The thumb has to go SOMEWHERE. My thumb is usually either straight up behind the neck or resting on the side of my index finger. In either case it is relaxed and out of the way. The thing to avoid is hyperextending your thumb around the neck. Extending your thumb like this not only causes you to squeeze the strings instead of pressing them down with your fingers, but can lead to some serious pain issues as well.
  9. Libersolis


    Sep 9, 2004
    Austin, TX
    I started sitting on a stool and layed the bass against my left leg and started pulling back instead of clamping down. I can play without my thumb anywhere on the neck and on any string and I experience no pain at all. I think it is very possible for you to do the same.
  10. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    You're right. A lot of the 'without thumb' questions come up because people are squeezing the life out of the neck with their thumb, resulting in pain. I was one of them. Perhaps 'playing without excessive thumb pressure' is a more apt title for the thread. If that's the case, check out the following threads.

    Related threads:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=143044&highlight=vomit http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=151490&highlight=vomit