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Playing without using the thumb on the neck

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by DumbChild, May 13, 2006.

  1. Mmm today i noticed a bassist playing without placeing this thumb on the back of the neck at all. I myself havent seen it done before and i was somewhat facinated lol, but maybe thats because i am a Stupid Kid. I was wondering if anyone else has seen it done. Or wether it actually happens often.

  2. jokke_v


    Aug 15, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    I think learning to play without using your thumb on the back of the neck could be wise. You shouldn't rely on thumb strength too much when you're playing, because it will hurt your wrist.

    But the thumb is great for giving balance and a bit of extra pressure.

    I haven't seen anyone playing with the thumb that way, though. I can't really see any advantages of it.
  3. that is a strange thumb position...but like jokke just said, there is absolutly no advantage to playing like that...usually the thumb helps stability, pressure, and even helps with knowing where you are on the fretboard, which explains why that bass player is concentrating on the neck in the pic.
    that bass player is probably just doing it because they think it looks cool...just like wearing you baseball cap to the side...there is no purpose but there are a few people who think it actually looks cool :)
  4. Yea i didnt see the point to it, and he was concerntrating pretty hard on the neck whilst he played like that. Though next song in the concert he returned to playing normally so maybe he was resting it or something lol. I just was somewhat impressed as ive never seen or thought of that.
  5. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    I think he may be doing it for the same reason I do.
    When I play high up I've always had a problem until I started playing without my thumb behind the neck and sometimes as I go back down the neck my thumb will stay out like that, depending on what I'm playing.
    And I hate it when people wear their baseball hats sideways.:rollno:
    Anyway, just a possibility.
  6. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I had to do that once when I injured my left thumb. I really challenged me.
  7. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I'm wondering if he isn't doing something like bending those strings, Billy Sheehan-style, although it would be unusual, to say the least, to bend those particular strings (E and A) in that particular place. But if he is bending the strings, that may explain the thumb position.

    Another Sheehan trick he could be doing is tapping but the position still seems strange. Sometimes Sheehan would come up over the top of the neck to tap on the E-string, though, rather than tap from below the neck for difficult positions.

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