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popping with your thumb?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Fishbrain, Mar 15, 2002.

  1. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    I went to see some blues band the othe rday and they were pretty sucky poop but when they introduced the band and they all had those lil solo things. the bass player did this thing with his thumb, from where i was sitting it looked like he was tryin to slap the G but missed and caught it with the end of his thumb repeatedly up and down. but it was intentional. it sounded like really fast popping and i want to know how to do it and what it is if anyone can help me please :)
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    It's called double-thumbing and is pretty popular since a few years, mostly because of the success of Victor Wooten (Flecktones, solo).

    Check out his homepage www.victorwooten.com for some lessons. His solo albums and the Flecktones records are also highly recommended.

    You can also do a search here in the forum, it's been covered numerous times.
  3. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    thanx but that doesn't really explain how to do it, unless i'm looking in the wrong place? i think if i learnt the technique i could implement it into my playing my self :)
  4. lowb


    Jul 27, 2000
    London, UK
    It's a cool technique to have under your belt, but trying to incorporate it into playing is difficult. I learnt it after hearing the track "power" on Marcus Miller's new album M2, and it's cool for little "runs" down the fretboard.

    As with learning any technique you have to start slowly, making sure you don't pull to hard, I did snap my G string :p but it happens!!

    There was also quite a lot of blood, as you have to twist your wrist round so the nail of your thumb pops the string not the flesh.

    I have to say that when learning a new technique, if it hurts, then don't do it..........but i kinda got it sounding cool, so i didn't let the blood put me off:D

    have a go, just try it yourself

  5. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Accuracy and cleanliness are more important than power with the double thumbing thing. You certainly don't have to bleed or break strings to make it work!

    Check out Wooten in person or on video sometime. His right hand isn't moving all that much.
  6. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    so the thumb nail is usually used instead of the flesh part as used w/ the other popping fingers? maybe that's where i've been going wrong haha
  7. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I'm STILL trying to get the hang of it. Here are a couple of hints I've learned (on here and elsewhere):

    - Make sure you "bounce" it off of the string below. This will give you the response and speed you're looking for. Plus, it will keep you from straying too far away from the string on the downward slap. As someone noted, Victor hardly moves his thumb, which is why he's able to get that kind of speed. Rob Derhak (my personal fave) of moe. is another guy you should study for this technique.

    - Before you can hope to master the double thumb, you need to make sure you can master the single slap. If your downward pop isn't truly sound, you can't hope for the kind of control you need to excel at this technique. If you've got some decent speed doing the single-thumb technique, and your sound is really clean, you should be able to pick up the double-thumb technique. In short, you have to walk before you can run, which leads me to my next point:

    - Take it SLOWLY at first! Get the movement down before you try to rip off a Stanley Clarke-like popfest. You're in no hurry to learn it, so take your time and get it right.

    Hope this helps.
  8. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    if your thumb is supposed to physically go underneath the string into the body of the bass I'd imagine this technique is quite difficult on basses with tight string spacing eh?
  9. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    I gotta admit I just cant get this technique down at all :confused: I can get an approximate version of the sound by damping my E and G stings and alternating my slap and pop

    s p s p s p (type thing)

    but it just dosent have that same 'punch' that the double thumb thing has. I notice that any time this technique comes up people get directed to check out the tutorials on www.victorwooten.com which is useless cos the techniques on vics site are more of an open hammer pluck than a 'double thumb'...hence lots of confusion.

    Ah well back to the woodshed