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Poll what do you do with your right thumb?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by drewphishes, Mar 30, 2020.


  1. Anchor always same place (thumb rest pickup etc)

    95 vote(s)
    19.1%
  2. Floating thumb

    154 vote(s)
    30.9%
  3. moving anchor to string below one you are playing

    141 vote(s)
    28.3%
  4. something else

    108 vote(s)
    21.7%
  1. drewphishes

    drewphishes Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2017
    just curious what most of you guys do,
    not sure if there is a right or wrong way here

    not talking about slap technique here!

    1. Anchor always same place (thumnb rest pickup etc)
    2. Floating thumb
    3. moving anchor to string below one you are playing
    4. Other
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
    Mark_122 and jdh3000 like this.
  2. underwhelmist

    underwhelmist

    Nov 16, 2018
    UK
    I voted always anchor in the same place. I’m aware this might not be good technique though.
     
    jdh3000 likes this.
  3. drewphishes

    drewphishes Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2017
    I don't know what's proper tbh I don't think there is a proper way just what you use
     
    wesonbass and jdh3000 like this.
  4. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    I do many things other than slap with my thumb.
     
  5. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    All Of The Above, depending on the situation.
     
  6. +1 (so I voted "something else.")
     
    dmichaels10, the_home, JRA and 3 others like this.
  7. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    If you're always anchoring in the same place you're throwing away half your tonal palette. I almost always thumb anchor, but I pluck anywhere from the 12th fret to near the bridge depending on the sound I need to make.
     
  8. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I'm floating almost all the time, with the lowest string being a notable exception. There I anchor against a pickup or a ramp. But all others, float.

    I've moved away from the fixed anchor because the reach is pretty far, especially on a six. Moving anchor somehow made me feel being locked in place just as much.
     
  9. WillyWonka

    WillyWonka

    Dec 10, 2019
    It helps hold the pick.
     
  10. I'd agree with Bob Ross, all of the above.
     
    JRA, jdh3000, Bob_Ross and 3 others like this.
  11. teh-slb

    teh-slb

    Sep 21, 2018
    Berlin
    I don't actually know what I do with my right thumb. If I'm not using it to pluck the E and A strings, I guess it just kind of makes light contact with various spots on the bass without getting in the way. It's not something I'm aware of when I play.
     
    wesonbass, JRA, Oddly and 3 others like this.
  12. bolophonic

    bolophonic Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Same.
     
    Sands and TN WOODMAN like this.
  13. I hear variable thumb placement is good for wrist position, and muting, but I started out with fixed anchor, and still use it. It has the added benefit of providing a reference for which string you’re on without looking, once you get accustomed to the gap between thumb and fingers.
     
    teh-slb and TN WOODMAN like this.
  14. fearceol

    fearceol

    Nov 14, 2006
    Ireland
    You are correct. There is no "proper" way to use the thumb. There is however safe ways such as the floating anchor and and floating thumb. I use the latter.
     
    Lobster11 likes this.
  15. Surely I don’t pick with it (which is a pity) ... I’m moving if where it’s more convenient to place it .. I guess this means floating?
     
  16. thabassmon

    thabassmon

    Sep 26, 2013
    New Zealand
    My thumb may anchor on the pickup, lowest string, side of neck or be a moveable string anchor when I play in standard finger style but I do also use it to pluck like classical guitar combined with fingers. Thumb pick strokes up and down, strum, pluck or node when playing false harmonics. I don't really use "proper" technique much anymore.
    I say use what works for you but try some other approaches too.
     
    jdh3000 likes this.
  17. dalkowski

    dalkowski Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    This. Whatever works.
     
    teh-slb likes this.
  18. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    My thumb rests on the lowest string (or, if I'm playing that string, on the side of a thumb rest - it's a semi-floating thumb thing). It also sometimes plays that string - especially useful when playing multiple strings at once. I also use it for really soft passages (my fingers have really hard callouses, so they're not as good at that). I don't practice that technique a lot, though - if I did, I'd have hard callouses on my thumb, thus defeating the purpose of using it.
     
    thabassmon likes this.
  19. I thought moving the thumb to the string below the one you are plucking was floating thumb - how are they different?

    Anyway that’s what I do.
     
  20. 9Thumbs

    9Thumbs

    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    My thumb is all over the place, sometimes on the E string, sometimes on the pickup, sometimes on the edge of the neck. Most of the time it is free to wander. When I was a lot younger, I used it to get to and from work(as a professional driver)
     
    mikewalker and OogieWaWa like this.

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