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I can't get his Vic Wooten double thumb technique.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by TUEP, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. TUEP


    Apr 8, 2007
    My hand moves to far away from the neck. Its so dang frustrating. :bawl::bawl:

    Any online vids you guys can suggest?

    I would like to be able to play like this one day.

    I taught myself how to play slap many moons ago in my high school garage band and I have bad technique. Kinda home grown.

    Anyway I want to be more precise.
  2. What exactly is the problem you're having with it?
    I had some trouble getting it going too, because for a long time I though of it as another version of slap bass. But than I started thinking of it more like using a pick, once I had the image of my thumb being a pick it suddenly became easy.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Vic plays VERY lightly. And he uses VERY light strings. And his action is VERY low. So if you are starting out with one or more of those things different, it may be quite a task.
  4. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    What two fingers said. I couldn't get the hang of it until I saw how a lot of double-thumping bassists had their instruments set up one NAMM show a few years back. It was an eye opener.

    The pick analogy is pretty good, too.

    Get lighter strings, drop the action, and play with a much, much lighter touch, letting the amp do the work. I actually use Vic's signature 5 string set on my BTB. It was just one less thing to worry about while learning; I was more sure of my setup and technique once I had the right gauge strings.
  5. TUEP


    Apr 8, 2007
    Ahhh...I use heavy gauge rotosound steels strings on mine. Not a drop of nickle. I mainly double and triple pluck the bass, cause I play heavier music and only .05% of the time every use a pick. I will keep this in mind.
  6. pringlw


    Nov 22, 2008
    Seattle Area
    Question: My technique is (slowly) coming along - but my practicing is always slowed down by THT (Thumb Healing Time). I've noticed some of the heavy weights use a tape or something on their thumb (Mark King for example). Everytime I try to do this I end up with gooey tape gunk on my strings. Has anybody found some sort of tape or thumb protection that works?

    (I'm anticipated a "just man up and toughen up your thumb" response or two - but who knows perhaps someone has an idea)
  7. a_magg


    Sep 23, 2007
    I just wanted to throw this in there as a more comprehensive video on practice techniques. I'm no slapper by any means, but when I went through my slap-happy phase, I was all over this one:

    Great closeup angles, along with everything slowed down to really show the technique of it. :bassist:
  8. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    All I can suggest is (i) move less and let the amp do the work; and (ii) don't think of it as slapping so much as picking with alternating down and up thumbstrokes.
  9. xyloeye


    Sep 30, 2005
    Anacortes, WA
    I've watched the Amazing Grace Live at the Quick video on youtube about 50 times and I can't figure out what Vic's doing just before the harmonics (melody) section. It's so fast, I can't tell if he's just sweeping with his thumb or adding to it with his index finger. Are there left hand hammer ons in between? Any thoughts?
  10. LaklandBass


    Jan 26, 2005
    pretty much what every body has said. what works for me is to try it super slowly.... then try it very fast and sloppy. after i get used to the action ill clean it up.
  11. cynical-rabbit


    May 19, 2009
    Is there a way to slow down YouTube videos? I think learning through observation would be very helpful.

    Is double thumping really the sole reason light strings would be used? Because if it is, I'm never going to learn that technique (not that I've tried.)

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