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Is this wrong?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Optimus Prime, Jun 27, 2002.

  1. I had a discussion with my friend the other day and he told me I played with "wrong style" on my right hand!

    I rest my thumb on the "mic/pickup" while playing, and I've always done that, but he says I should rest my thumb on the E string or not at all.

    Help me out!
  2. no such thing as "wrong style." and even if there was, it sure wouldn't be yours, because the vast majority of fingerstyle players rest the thumb on the pickup.
  3. I put my thumb on the pickup when I play. I put my thumb on the pickup when playing the E string and the thumb on the E string when play the A string...etc. So I don't see how that's wrong and also I saw that in a book how to do that style. So unless your friend is a bassist himself he wouldn't know what he was talking about and don't let a guitar player ever think they know how to play or know anything at all about bass. They don't.
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    What a crock. There's no wrong place to put your thumb as long as it's comfortable and doesn't hinder your playing.
  5. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Agree with the others here. However, anchoring your thumb on strings will certainly give you a muting option as well as more flexibility, particularly on extended range basses.
  6. Listen


    May 19, 2002
    Go kick your friend in the bal...face. ;)

    When I'm playing the E string during a song I keep my thumb on my pickup, or somtimes, when I'm looking for a sharp tone, I'll rest it on the corner of the fretboard. But if I'm not playing anything on E, then my thumb stays on E.
  7. Thanks guys! Now I'm gonna go give my friend a bASS whoppin' he'll soon forget. :)
  8. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    Everyone has a different playing style. I think its fun to see how others play. Personally I rest my thumb on either of my pickups or on my B string if I'm not using it. Whatever feels and works best for you is the right technique.
  9. Albemuth


    Jan 13, 2002
    I agree that it isn't wrong, I rest the thumb on the B to prevent it form vibrating (hence sounding) when I'm not playing it, so it's not like it's the right place to rest it, but maybe more usefull, just my humble opinion.
  10. pmkelly

    pmkelly Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    yes, it is wrong!:p

    Now go stick your nose in the corner.....


  11. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Anti-tort heathen Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    when i play with my fingers i rest on the pick up also

  12. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    There is no absolute.

    I play a six. If I'm playing the B string my thumb is on the pickup. Playing the E or A it may be on the pickup or B. Playing the A, D or G, usually rests on the E. Playing the D, G or C, usually rests on the E or A.
  13. sleazylenny


    Jun 20, 2002
    Mpls, MN
    No, it's not wrong. If it were, you'd be in good company, as I can name off a bazillion pros ( and amatures like myself) who play just like you do. If it feels good and doesn't hurt your playing, it's absolutely right.

    It IS wrong, however, not to try different things. I've learned to get different tones by anchoring on the neck, on the bridge or even on the edge of a pickguard. You grow when you experiment! Take what works, chuck the rest.

    Tell yer buddy to go anchor HIS thumb where the sun doesn't shine.:D
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    In the early '70s, there was a guy around here named Benny Bialy...he was "Jaco" before Jaco(if you get my drift).
    Anyway, he mostly anchored on the body of his P-bass...not on the "E", not on the pickup, not on the pickguard, etc...on the body, back towards the bridge.

    And he pressed so hard, he actually wore a dent into the bass.
    Awesome! ;)

    BTW, I agree with everyone else...I would ask you to also consider not locking yourself into ONE position.
    Anchor on the pickup
    Anchor on the "E" or the "A"(floating thumb technique)
    Anchor on the neck(maybe when attempting to emulate an upright tone).

  15. There is no wrong way to play, but IMHO it is better to learn to rest your the on the strings because it helps you mute. I guess I play a hybrid style, if I'm playing the E string my thumb is on the pickup and if I'm play any other string my thumb is on the E string unless I need to rest it on another string to keep it from ringing out. Of course there are other ways to mute so if you are comfortable with your thumb on the pup and have no problems muting, then keep right on doing it the way you feel comfortable.
  16. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I've played with my thumb on the pickup for years. I've done it on 4, 5, 6 and even 7 string basses. No problems here.
  17. Requiem


    Feb 26, 2000
    Costa Rica
    you just got to remember not to let this affect your speed or accuracy when you want to play fast or switch a lot betwen strings. I had that "problem' too and It took me lots of hours of practicing to get rid of it. It is a lot better as in technique if you let your fingers loose...the most you can, that way you can start practicing the tone and presicion of your playing. But it is kinda of a stinky habit...;)
    I mean, you can however you want but if you start now good...imagine yourself in 2 or 3 years!!!!!

    Practice, practice, love; practice, rest....play!
  18. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    I rest my thumb on my mallerd, then when i need to slap i rest it on the bridge..... no really, ive always played with my thumb on the pick up of my p-basses, and on my ATK. I hate when stupid musicains try to screw up others.
  19. Requiem


    Feb 26, 2000
    Costa Rica
    just to explain, Im not trying to change musicians....in fact the coolest things ive seen on the bass where made by players without "technique" and even thou after years of hearing them play, they all returned to the basics....so you see!!!!!! You have 2 roads...and BOTH can work miracously!!!

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