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Rubber ring for thumb

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by apotterdd, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. Not sure if this is the right forum or not but here goes.

    I usually just rest the thumb of my plucking hand either on the edge of the fretboard or on the pickup but it causes problems. If I do that long enough my plucking hand will turn towards the body of the bass and my fingers will be at an angle which hurts my fingers and my wrist.

    Awhile back I was watching the Heaven and Hell show from Radio City and Geezer had this ring on his right hand thumb. I'm not sure if this is a real thing or something he just made up but I'm willing to try just about anything to keep my thumb anchored without putting pressure on it.

    I've also tried just leaving my thumb away but tend to miss more notes or miss plucking the strings.

    Thanks for the advice.

  2. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006

    IMO you should persevere with this. Resting the thumb on the pick up puts the wrist at a severe angle, which over time can result in problems like CTS.

    Granted, a new technique will take a bit of time to master, but in this case, it is worth the effort in order to avoid injury later on.

    There are two techniques you could try. The "Floating Thumb" (thumb does not rest on anything...but "floats"), and the "Moveable Anchor" (thumb rests two strings above the one being played). Here they are demonstrated :

  3. Thanks fearceol. I started working with the floating thumb last night kind of had my thumb "glued" to my index finger. But I found that during faster sections that I play my thumb naturally wanted to go back to being on the neck. I caught myself doing that a few times then moved it back within a note or two.

    I'll keep working with it and try the moveable anchor technique since there's probably no reason I shouldn't learn both and use both when needed.
  4. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Yeah, it will take a bit of practice and perseverance. The other advantage of using both these techniques (especially the FT) is that you can mute unwanted sounds from unplayed strings.

    For now, it might be a good idea to spend say ten to fifteen minutes just playing slower passages and really making sure that the thumb either floats or rests on the string above. This will reinforce the "message" from the brain to the hand.

    Stick with it, and best of luck. :)
  5. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
  6. I'm going to carve out some practice time later on this evening to work on it. It's a little awkward but anything's got to be better than the bad habit I've had for two years. As you said, perseverance and practice.

    I'm also trying to get myself to stop plucking hard which I did a lot of with how I was doing it before and it sounded terrible. I was blaming the strings instead of myself, now I know better :D
  7. That's what I saw Geezer wearing except his wasn't as wide.

    I haven't gotten to the point where I'm comfortable with learning slap yet but I'll definitely keep that in mind if I'm having issue.

    Thanks :)
  8. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
    Scott Bass Lessons has a good right hand tutorial on his site. The Jaco style works for me.
  9. Thanks I'll look those up when I get the chance.

    I've been practicing the floating thumb and it's been working out okay. I don't miss as much as I did when I first tried it. Having my thumb resting on the string or two above I'll need more work at as I end up hitting that along with what I'm supposed to be playing.
  10. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    While it is no harm to master both techniques, I'm sure that one or the other would suffice.
  11. this vid of Adam Nitti changed my bassplaying for the better ! floating thumb is a really liberating technic and worth every hour of practice. That is not easy to change habits but keep it up ! you will earn comfort and velocity in your playing.
  12. Johnny StingRay

    Johnny StingRay

    Nov 24, 2006