Place for thumb?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bassplayerjojo, Mar 9, 2002.

  1. I was wondering where everyone puts their thumb while playing. I've been recently anchoring it on the corner of the pickup, but I find that the angle can be a little awkward sometimes. But when I don't anchor it there, I can get the "Umph" I want because I have less power in my fingers. So lets hear it. =)
  2. Mellem


    Feb 1, 2002
    Greenville, MI
    I found that same problem. I anchor my thumb on the pickup when I have to, because I'm not very good at floating. But, I plan to buy a thumbrest for my next bass that my step-dad said he would help me screw on.
  3. Id like to get better at floating, I guess practice is the only way to do it. It doesn't really feel comfortable to me right now, but I think once I get it down it will be far better than just resting on the pickup.
  4. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    John Entwistle = Floating Hand King

    he's so friggin awesome
  5. i have rather big hands.. so my thumb stays rocksolid on top of the upper right corner ( player's view ) of the pickup, and i can reach all strings without any problems.
  6. When I played a four string I usually anchored my thumb behind the pickup. In fact I did this so much that I actually wore a hole past the paint finish and into the wood of my bass.

    I am now playing mainly five string basses and I've found that the floating technique helps a lot with muting strings you don't want to ring. If I play on the A, D, or G string I use the floating technique but I usually fall back to anchoring my thumb on the pickup if I'm playing on the E or B string. I will then use my left hand to mute any strings I'm not playing.
  7. I added a thumbrest to my guitar just above the top left corner of the pickup. Now my hand doesn't wander so much and less bad notes :)
  8. Mellem


    Feb 1, 2002
    Greenville, MI
    I really need a thumb-rest; I just can't get the 'floating' thing down (of course, that's what I said about playing the bass too). I've been playing the guitar player's bass when I practice w/ our band, and I actually jarred the pickup loose using it as a thumb-rest.
  9. jamminji


    Mar 22, 2002
    Floating thumb is a very good thing to know. The reason is there is a variety of tones you can get just by moving your right hand from the neck to the bridge while you play. Play at the neck or even on the neck and you get a very woody deep tone. As you move farther back the tone becomes more and more mettalic and bright. If you are locked to the pickup then you are missing out on much of what your bass can do. I jump and slide back and forth from neck to bridge during songs depending on the type of sound that is required.

  10. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    i think it is also easier to play fast riffs when you slide your hand back closer to the bridge. (tension is much tighter right by the bridge)
  11. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    I play a six string and usually keep my thumb anchored on the next string up from where I'm playing. If I play on the top string my thumb is on the body of the bass. Anchoring may be a bad verb to use as my thumb touch is really light so it's easy to switch hand positions for slapping & tapping and whatnot. I also find that for fast passages it's sometimes easier to leave my thumb resting on say the E string and I have no problem going up to the G and C strings without shifting my thumb. Just do what's most comfortable and most effective for you.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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