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Most would call this a regression in technique...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Tupac, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    But I think not. Just adjusted to thumb over neck position and thumb anchored on pickup. Pain in left hand = gone. Muting improved immensely, since my fingers naturally rest and cover the strings. Even quieter than when I used movable anchor. And now that my right hand thumb is on the pickup, string skipping is easier, I can dig in better, and my elbow can be raised. I recently discovered that when I rested my forearm on the bass, I was actually stopping it from tipping over. Now it's easier to take it off since my entire left hand is on the back of the neck. I regret nothing :ninja:

    (although I still switch to 1234 fretting when necessary)
  2. There are no rules, just accepted "norms". If you feel comfortable and you have no pain, then you're on the right track.
  3. billgwx


    Apr 10, 2009
    Centereach NY
    Thumb over neck was good enough for Duck Dunn. If it works then use it! :bassist:
  4. funkybass


    Oct 19, 2006
    I wouldn't play that way but if it works for you use it. I just hope you you don't get new pain one day ;)
  5. FrednBass


    Feb 24, 2012
    Whatever works for you, man.
    I don't use the floating-thumb technique too, feels better to have my thumb nice and steady on one place when skipping strings.
  6. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    A few comments:

    1. I'm assuming that the thumb-over technique now flattens the fingers on your fretting hand a bit more so muting is more natural. This is how I mute, although I only occasionally use the thumb-over technique. So it is good for muting, but be careful - you can damage your hand by fretting notes with "flat" fingers rather than fingering the string "from above" (i.e., with knuckles bent and your hand more "over" the fingerboard).

    2. Right arm - elbow up is great! Glad to hear it. The only part of my right arm that touches the bass body is the tip of my thumb - on a thumb rest or on the E side of a pickup.

    3. Digging in = good if your callouses can hack it.

    Rock on.
  7. 254 stringer

    254 stringer Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Waco Texas
    Sounds about the same as my technique and it has worked great for me for years. As far as damaging your hand with flat fingers instead of arched i don't see any problems but i work with my hands and they are strong, pushing a small string down a few millimeters is the easiest thing I do.
  8. dalahorse


    Apr 14, 2010
    Glad to hear you have found a comfortable technique! I'm guessing you probably wear your bass a bit low, as I could see that technique being more comfortable that way.

    Conventional wisdom would say, "if it feels right, do it!" However, TalkBass wisdom (which is excellent!) would also caution that thumb over could possibly cause medical issues down the road. There is no one technique that is perfect for everyone. Please be mindful of your pains in the future. If they're gone for good, you've probably found the right technique for your own unique build.

    Also, as I'm sure you're aware, there are several excellent bassists that use this technique. It definitely works for many folks! Cheers!
  9. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Really? Absolutely nothing wrong with thumb over (save for potentially inefficient fingering of difficult passages, but that's really minor). The only possible thing that might be wrong with it is that it might be symptomatic of too tight a grip in the left hand in beginners, but I very much doubt that's the case.

    What I've seen in my playing and teaching is that over time people revert to the thing that's easiest for their body to do, which is essentially the basis of good technique. There's a LOT of BS technique views out there by people who have no idea what they're talking about, but the human body generally finds a way to correct it.
  10. dalahorse


    Apr 14, 2010
    Yes - It's easy to hold the neck with an iron grip that way. There is also a potential for decreased finger agility, which could lead to cramping when trying to push through faster passages. And finally, if the bass is worn higher, it's possible for the left hand angle to be bent back too far. That really could lead to medical issues. But that's also why I asked if the OP was wearing their bass a little bit on the lower side. There's a greater possibility of a straighter wrist using a thumb over technique when the bass is worn low. I find that technique to be more comfortable in that situation.

    Like I said in the end... The most telling gauge would be comfort of the individual player. If it feels good, do it! But pay attention and make sure new pains aren't showing up.

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