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thumb advise?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by lord toranaga, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. hello

    please advise.

    I seem to be pressing the neck of my bass guitar, with my left thumb, too hard.

    After a short while of practice my thumb feels rather sore.

    Is something that goes away as i develop more hand strength?

    Is some way of altering my playing position?

    I wear my bass high, kind of like bunny brunel.
    I am playing a fender jazz bass

    thank you.
  2. onlyclave


    Oct 28, 2005
    Yeah, take your left thumb off of the back of the neck. Seriously. That way you can feel how you should be using your left hand. If your thumb is getting sore it means you probably have a death grip on the neck which is going to fatigue your hand, limit your mobility and eventually cause injury.

    You should be able to stop the notes on the neck with your left hand by pulling the bass back against your belly, no thumb required. Now your fingers should also be right up against the fret. If you are playing in the middle of the fret or towards the back you have some bad geometry going on there and work a lot harder than you need to.

    IMG_1437. <- Bad
    IMG_1433. <- Bad Notice position of thumb and fretting finger

    IMG_1435. <- My suggestion for practice. See how it feels. Your thumb should just act as a guide.

    IMG_1436. <- Correct finger position for stopping a note.
  3. part of the problem is my belly is rather big, and my belly makes the neck slope back toward my body.

    Maybe I am trying to push the neck back into position with my thumb.

    Some time I practice limiting the use of my thumb, but it seems hard to fret this way.

    I tend to depress the stings close to the fret, rather than in the midlle of the fret area.
  4. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    thanks onlyclave, I have the same problem, I will try your technique
  5. onlyclave


    Oct 28, 2005
    I wouldn't play like that all of the time like the "floating right hand thumb technique" but I would practice some simple 1-2-3-4 patterns and maybe scales with the thumb off of the back of the neck just to feel how your arm and shoulder should be pulling the bass back against body without a thumb death grip.

    When playing double bass I stand up and lean forward slightly and let the weight of the bass provide the power I need to stop the notes. It's a lot easier on my hands and gives me more fluidity.
  6. shooter


    Mar 4, 2008
    Patient to Doctor: "It hurts when I do this"

    Doctor: " Well dont do that then......($45 please)"

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