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The double thumb: opinions.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Brilliant Fool, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. Ok then, I've been playing bass for about 10 months now. I practice a LOT, usually for 5+ hours a day. If I had something better to do, I probobly would. Anyhow, I picked up the Wooten video 'super bass solo technique' ($40 for the damn thing) and in this video he shows you how he does it: Slap the string, rest on the string below it, upstroke with the corner of your thumb.

    It took be a good week or two to find the 'corner' of my thumb. :rolleyes:

    I've become pretty proficient with this technique, but I can't seem to find any practical application for it in my playing! It just doesn't seem to fit.

    So here's my question - Do you actively use the 'double thumb', and how long did it take you to get used to using it?

    I am not a troll, I want to stress this, I have a cheesy $10 little microphone right next to me and will be glad to show you what I can do. Just ask. :D

    Oh, and a for those of you that haven't seen this video: do not look directly into Mr. Wootens pants as your eyes will explode.
    -D :p
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I learned how to do this too.

    Rarely, it's useful for getting consecutive sixteenths or fast triplets on the low strings when slapping.

    Otherwise, I haven't found much use for it. But then I don't play "lead" bass. If you do want to play like Miller or Wooten, it's necessary.
  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    The only times I've ever used it

    A) covering a victor wooten song

    b) having a "thump-off" with my friend who also does it pretty well.

    C) the occasional quick triplet in a slap groove

    I don't slap much anymore, but I still keep the technique intact, because, well....why not?

    and yes, wooten's "parachute" pants are pretty damn tacky :p
  4. Will pants like that make me a better bassist?
  5. Only if you wear a skin tight shirt with them.

    Out of curiosity, when he does the upstroke which corner of his thumb does he use? The right or left? I imagine doing it like that would be next to impossible unless you have very low action.
  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Vic uses insanely low action with super light guage strings (.040-.090)
  7. Wheres the corner of your thumb? My thumbs round at the end with a boney bit at the knuckle. I use the bony bit to slap with, is that the corner?

    I think with a lot of new techniques that you learn, it takes a while to use it actively. I've no advice as to how to use double thumbing, cause I don't think I can do it myself.

    Find a riff you are confident playing, then stick a few double thumbs in place of a single slap or something like that. Build up your usage of it, like with learning how to do a technique, you start slow then speed up.

    Josh D
  8. I did notice that I can double thumb REALLY well on basses with lower action than mine.

    I play a warwick thumb BO 4-string, in case ya didn't know, and when I get a hold of a schector, or something similar, I tear it up.

    But I don't have sweet pants or a tight shirt like Vic... I can defy the laws of nature. :p
  9. Personally I think that the 'corner' of your thumb refers to whichever chunk of your thumb that you use to double thumb. It's quite hard explain how I do it, so I took a pic of an upstroke, on my fender. Awkward angle + crappy camera = bad pic; I hope it helps though.
  10. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    No, that's right on.

    Nothings better than that.
  11. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
  12. hehe I see why Vic needs really low action and light guage strings now. If I did it like that on my bass my thumb would fall off. With action low enough you could probably get away with almost a guitar pick like technique with your thumb couldn't you? Instead of totally going under the string I mean.
  13. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    That's how I do it... like a guitar pick.

    that's how vic says to do it too.

    But, as much as I have heeded vic's advice, my double thumb style is very different from his.
  14. Hang on, hang on. So its not really a double slap as such, more of a slap 'n' pluck with your thumb?

    Cause I've been doing it like a slap, swinging my thumb rather than doing a wrist twist action, if you get what I mean.

    Josh D
  15. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    That's a differnet technique in itself :p

    and just as valid as victor wooten's double thump.
  16. I don't know where you guys keep your thumb- corner, but here's mine (I'm right handed):
  17. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    strange technique this, i must asmit i've not spent any time really praticing this, so i cant really do it at any great speed. nice to use as an altenative accent in as a slap line tho - perhaps following a hammeron.

    one of the best techniques i learnt recently which is really useful in a slap line is that thing that Alexis Slarveski does at the end of the Slap Bass Program video - where he slaps the string with 3 or 4 fingers and a thumb to get a triplet, or four note accent. that's handy, as is the open-hammer-pluck as Wooten calls it.

    re: the song 'power' by marcus miller - does he really use the double thumb technique on that little pentatonic downwards run in the main riff? It's SO clean!!! :rolleyes:
  18. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I like to play really soft arpeggios with this technique, it sounds more like soft fingerpicking than slapping. You can turn up intensity really easily for a quick "snap" though.
  19. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Sometimes I find it useful to perform an upstroke with the thumb leading into a stronger sounding slap on the beat.

    It's just another technique that gives me a wider choice of how to articulate a particular phrase.

  20. Have any of you had trouble getting the second pluck? I can do triplets with the double thumb and one finger but my second finger just seems retarded. I just really don't get it I can play Myung's three finger technique but that second pluck sucks.