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That pesky thumb....

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Fergie Fulton, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Thumb position on the neck is filled with mis-inforrnation and terms like "bad" "un-healthy" etc. follow the link for some practical information in deciding on how you use your thumb, and where it should be.

    Any questions this raises, post them and i will see if i can help answer them.

    That pesky thumb in playing Bass. - YouTube
  2. I'll back Fergie up on this one. It's an excellent video that clears up all kinds of misconceptions about thumb position. Check it out and I'm sure you'll agree with him! ;)
  3. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Great video. Should be stickied IMO.
  4. Excellent! Had I known about this when I was younger, I would not be dealing with a sore wrist.
  5. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Amazing video. I'd love to hear a doctor on this subject of ergonomics too, I think you're correct.
  6. paparoof

    paparoof Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    fEARful koolaid drinker
    I never really thought about it too much one way or the other, but I guess I've always done what he's suggesting. Sometimes my thumb is over the top, sometimes it's in the middle of the back of the neck when I need to reach a wider span on the fretboard. Been playing for almost 30 years and my wrists feel fine.
  7. makkE


    Jan 19, 2010
    Normandie, France
    Great Video. I hope it can help prevent people getting health problems a bit.

    When I started over with the bass and wanted to "learn it properly this time", I was unfortunate to listen to a guy who advocated playing "proper", having the thumb on the lower half of the neck. He even went as far as to postulate that the wrist had to "pay a certain guilt" in terms of bending.

    These days I know it works for him, because he has an extremely light touch and thin wires. Didn't work so well for me, because I was nowhere near a light touch on either hand. Went through some uclar nerve troubles because of that :(

    Comfort is the most important concern when it comes to technique.
  8. Peepaleep

    Peepaleep Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2010
    Las Cruces, NM
  9. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    I watched your video and it was nice, the only part that I'm not with you is when I play, my bass is pointing up like a classical guitar player, so with the bass pointing up, putting your thumb behind the neck your wrist will be straight in every position.

    of course if you play with your bass vertically, it is impossible so you have to put your thumb over the neck.
  10. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Glad you liked it, I"ll dig out a video of me playing with my bass vertical, and on the Internet the use of the word 'impossible' is usually followed with evidence to the contery, because it all depends on thumb lengthLOL :)
  11. Skitch it!

    Skitch it!

    Sep 6, 2010
    My thumb has always been centered or just below the center line, I couldn't play the stuff I play with the thumb over the neck, no chance. I think some of it it comes from intonating a fretless for 20+ years, you need all the finger span you can afford both in lower and higher positions there ime.

    Each to his own but it would seriously compromise the way I play, it's something I've never done.

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