Quieting strings and thumb on neck position

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mark61, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. mark61


    Feb 7, 2013
    was not sure where to post this, but have been playing a couple of years and still am not good at damping strings or quieting them.
    Also just doesn't seem natural to me to keep my thumb perpendicular to the neck.
    It always slides off center back towards the nut.
    Help appreciated even if it's old you tube videos. Feel it may be holding me back a bit. I have even went to flat wound as they seem more forgiving for over tones for lack of quiting or damping.
    Just can't seem to get it right. Have heard of breaking that wrist position but fall right back to sliding that thumb.
  2. You might try the floating thumb technique with your right hand for quieting string noise. I started doing it about 6 months ago and it has helped me a lot.. avoiding doing what Ariana Capp calls the “ pistol grip” with your left hand is hard for me as well.. keep practicing.. maybe check no treble for one of her videos about that
  3. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Try posting this over in Technique........ and do some reading over there as well.

    Plucking hand floating thumb technique will take care of a lot of damping, but you kind of need to learn to damp with your fretting hand as well; this helps with fingerstyle, but it's also very useful when you play with a pick.

    Damping usually gets overlooked by beginners, but it's a skill that's really just as important as fretting and plucking. Don't ignore it.
    The Mush likes this.
  4. mark61


    Feb 7, 2013
  5. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    When it comes to damping the strings I find it easiest to remember that it is the left hand that mutes the strings below (closer to the floor) and the right hand that mutes the strings above (close to your chin) any strings that are being played. When you rest your hands on the bass your hands should be lightly muting all strings at all times. Notes that are played are exceptions to the mute, not the other way around.
  6. mark61


    Feb 7, 2013
    That's good to know. I never thought in that manner , always using the left hand, but not resting them on the strings.
    Thank you
  7. mark61


    Feb 7, 2013
    Guess I will have to be more correcting on keeping that thumb perpendicular.
    Are there guys who don't play last me that.? I mean am I making it to difficult. Seems like all the pictures I see the thumb is perpendicular. You think after a couple years it would be there.
    Maybe I need to slow down and return to bass basics and scale through it.
  8. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Carefully watch some YouTube videos of pro bass players. I think you will discover, there is a lot of variation in how skilled players position their thumbs. "Always perpendicular to the neck" is not a rule I've ever heard of. ;)
  9. mark61


    Feb 7, 2013
    The guy I first started with was adamant about it. He is tall 6' 3 and thin, long fingers.
    I'm shorter 5' 9 and stocky, short fingers smaller hands. Not sure that matters.
    But thank you guys so much for your help.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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