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Left Hand Thumb

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by JoeRules00, Mar 5, 2002.

  1. Recently, when I've been playing stuff around the 4th through 9th frets or so, i've been pressing it up really hard against the back. The problem goes away as I move up or down out of this area, but regardless of how hard I try, I can't seem to stop doing this.

    Anyone else had this problem or have some advice (besides don't press your thumb against the back of the neck)?
  2. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    I couldnt really see a problem with you doing that. Its not as if you are doing any damage to yourself or to the bass, so as long as its comfortable for you to do, and your not hurting yourself or the bass, i cant see any promblem with that happening.

    Keep it up and if it starts to hurt your thumb after a few hours of playing, then tape your thumb, or practise a light touch. You'd be amazed at how little preassure is needed to give the bass a clean sound.;)
    Good luck, and if it starts to hurt, tell us.:D ;)
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I know you don't want to hear this, but learning to play more lightly is the answer. Sounds like maybe your action is too high, causing you to press too hard. When you press to hard, the muscles in your hand tighten up, which can both fatigue you and cause your playing to suffer. (when you're tense, you can't play as well).

    Get your bass set up by a professional, and learn to play with a lighter touch.

    See? I never once said "don't press your thumb against the back of the neck". :cool:
  4. Thanks for the advice, guys.

    A couple of things, just to add on to this.

    1) I forgot something when i made the original post. The reason it's a problem to me is that it fatigues my left hand way faster when I'm pressing the thumb.

    2) I, too, thought it'd be too much "action", but even when I play quieter or slower bits (keep in mind, only in that set of frets, and moreso on the E and A strings), the natural tendency is to press down.

    But again, thanks for the tips.

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