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The Floating Thumb

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by fleanut, Jul 8, 2001.

  1. I recently read a post that mentioned a technique called the "floating thumb" and how good it was. I think Beliar57 was talking about it a while ago.

    What is it and how do you do it. Why is it good??
  2. I may not be 100% correct but here is my take on it:Floating thumb is the practice of moving your thumb as you play differant strings.i.e.you thumb will always be resting on the string above the one you are playing it.This muting technique is great and once you learn it you will never go back.

    When I play the E stirng I gently rest(barely touching,no pressure)my thumb on the pup,as I move down to play another string my thumb floats down to rest/mute the string above the one being played.At first it was really cumbersome and difficult but after a while it became second nature,now I can`t NOT do it.I think it has increased my speed and made me a better player.

    Hope this helps!
  3. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Well...Usul, by that definition, I have a floating finger! I do that with the finger(s) I am not using at the second. Actually, that "mute as you go" technique is incredibly handy, and I for one couldn't get along without it.
  4. berserk


    Aug 24, 2000
    Parma, Ohio
    Floating thumb means you don't brace it on anything as you play. Many bassists rest the thumb on the fingerboard, pickup, pickguard, thumbrest, or a string. I believe floating thumb refers to not bracing it on anything, so that you aren't restricted by playing in one spot.
  5. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Usul is on the money. The whole point is for muting. Also, if you're resting on the A or D strings (or E on a 5) it helps to use the side of your thumb to mute the lower strings. Couldn't live without it.
  6. Really? That's it? Oh, that's what I always did, I was hoping to learn some new trick. Floating sounds more like it doesn't touch anything, but that sounds hard. I like the muting way.

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