Right hand technique, resting thumb on top of 24th fret, fretboards ends corner area

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Mustafa Umut Sa, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. Mustafa Umut Sa

    Mustafa Umut Sa

    Oct 20, 2007
    I started playing bass few weeks ago and I tried jaco right hand technic which placing thumb on jazz magnetic but my fingers are short and it creates unbearable stress.
    Last night , I placed my thumb on end of neck fingerboard corner area and my other 3 finger started to work like a machine. It is the closest resting area for my thumb and placing my hand for playing , closest to strings

    Is it a good technique ? Is there a name for it ? Who used that ?


    Mustafa Umut Sarac
  2. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Just because Jaco or some other famous bassist uses a certain technique does not necessarily mean that it is for everyone. As a general rule, resting the thumb on anything while playing can lead to potential injury problems at a later time. The reason is that playing this way makes the wrist bend too severely.

    While it is natural to want to emulate your heroes, IMO when you are just starting out, it is important to find a technique that is comfortable, safe, and suitable for YOU.

    There are other techniques where the wrist is straighter when playing.

    1. The Floating Thumb Technique. (see link below)

    2. The Moveable Anchor. ( see link below). With this technique the thumb rests on the string above (or two above) the one being played. Though the thumb is resting on something, the wrist is straight.

    By all means emulate your heroes if their style suits you. However, don't cause yourself unnecessary injury problems in the process.

    Best of luck...and welcome to the low end.

    Lobster11 likes this.
  3. MrBassman17


    Dec 30, 2011
    Brewster, NY
    Jack Casady (my role model...) in his video talks about 'speaking length', referring to the distance from the fret being played and the bridge in relation to where you strike the string. Had you noticed any difference in tone when you rest your thumb on the base of the neck as compared to the pick up? I do! Generally, I hear a deeper tone when I place my thumb there. Whatever works to make your instrument sound the way you want it to!
    stigbeve likes this.
  4. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I tend to anchor my thumb on one of the pickups or on the top of the neck as you describe. You get a lot of variation in tone depending on where you pluck the string. I'll move it up and down depending on what I want for a song, sometimes even within a song. Closer to the bridge will be a little brighter and more staccato, closer to the neck and you'll find that the tone is fuller with less attack.

    You can do this with any "anchor" style. If I was starting over, I'd probably focus on the floating thumb technique that fearceol suggests. It provides an easy method of muting with the thumb. But you should experiment with all three off the basic finger pluck anchor styles - hard anchor (pick up/neck), floating anchor (thumb on string above the one you're plucking)and just floating, and decide which one is best for you.
  5. Placing your thumb on the pickup or the neck is not another technique, is just placing your hand in other place to get another sound.