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New/aspiring basist questions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by betabassman, May 4, 2005.

  1. betabassman


    May 3, 2004
    Looking for the wisdom of the many.

    I've been playing the bass for about 4 months, and have a curious problem with my thumb. I play two finger style, and when playign the lower strings my thumb tends to float.

    I've been renting a "slammer - hammer" - don't laugh - from my local music store, and I'm I played a couple of bases at the closeby Guitar center particularily a Warwick with MTD pickups that were high enough to allow my thumb to be fixed on the top of the pickup which seemed to minimize the problem.

    My question is should I move towards purchasing a bass with higher pickups and move on, or is this problem really a technical problem that I should keep doing exercises to try and control?

    Secondly, I do want to move from the rental world to the owning world, and would love advice on a good easily playable bass to start with. I'd don't mind spending a little more and get something that might be easier to play rather than fighting a cheaper bass.

    The music style that I'll be playing is generally praise & worship music.

  2. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    When I play, particularly 5 or 6 string, I like to use my thumb as a "floating" anchor and have it hop up and down between strings. Though others prefer to use the pickup as their one anchor point. I prefer the floating/moving anchor as it allows me to play in a variety of positions over the body for different sound- from the burpy-honk near the bridge to the vintagey fuzz near the neck.

    You say you like MTD's right? So why not go for a Kingston or Heir 5-string? Many say those are two of the nicer entry level imports. And I believe a lot of praise/worship/Gospel music requires a low B.

    If you're going to go Warwick, go used. Better value, especially since many people fall in love with the bass's tone, but then fall out of love with its weight.

    Try out as many as you can and see which one inspires you. If you're not averse to buying used, you can snag some great deals.

    Affordable 5-strings are much better than they used to be 10 years ago, and more readily available.
  3. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    1. You say your thumb floats? Floating anchor or just is not anchored to anything. I second that he floating anchor technique is the best. Basically, you put your thumb on whatever string is below the string you're playing. If you're at the highest string (E or B, 4 or 5 string), you anchor it on the edge of the pickup. Scale exercises and 2 weeks practice and you won't even think about it. It's totally natural.

    2. I can vouch for the quality of MTD's. I'd say a 5-string MTD Heir (active) would be the best way to go. They go very cheaply on Ebay, but the newer ones without the pickguards look a lot better. They have excellent tone and playability. Designed by Michael Tobias, of course it's gonna be awesome.


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