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Thumb On Pickup?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by FireArm, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. FireArm


    May 17, 2007
    Hi there, every bass player ive met who doesnt use a pick favours resting a thumb on the pickups of the bass.. I use fingers to play exclusively however have never rested my thumb on the pickup of the bass (and people often comment about it) I was just wondering is resting the thumb some kind of "offical" method of playing - not that it matters as long as you can still groove :bassist: but im interested
  2. trasser


    Dec 13, 2005
    No, no, its not an "official method", and if it ever was, it sure is less and less these days. A lot of people do it, yes, but more and more are using the "floating thumb technique" - its a sticky in either this forum or the general instruction section, you should check it out.
    How do you play when using the fingers?
  3. I usually place my thumb parallel on the edge of the fretboard. My index and middle fingers pluck the strings between the fretboard and first pickup. If I want a thinner tone the thumb moves to the neck pickup and I pluck closer to the bridge
  4. TheBassBetween


    Jun 25, 2005
    I used to do that in my 4 string P-Bass, but now that I have a 5 string, I use my B as an anchor.

    I don't think it's an "official" way of playing...but who decides what's official? If it works for you, then use it! Some people might argue that you get a better tone from playing between your two pickups, as opposed to over just one.

    But, it's all in how YOU want, and feel comfortable playing.
  5. spindizzy


    Apr 12, 2004
    IMHO you do not place your thumb anywhere. See the floating thumb sticky or visit Todd Johson's forum for more info why. Not saying it's a rule either just proof that others are of the opnion that resting your thumb anywhere is not the most efficient way.

  6. ba55i5t


    May 24, 2006
    I personally use floating thumb between my two pickups (2 j-pickups and my other bass has 2 bartolini soapbar style pickups). I prefer floating thumb especially on my 6 string to mute that B, because it has a tendency to come out sometimes, also I'm able to do string skipping a lot easier ( there would be no way for me to rest on B and play my C string ), but to each his own.
  7. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    Yup, same here. Although I still rest my thumb on the pickup when playing the lowest string (either E or B, depending on which bass I use). Otherwise it's floating thumb.

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