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Thumb position

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by Nickthebassist, Sep 17, 2004.


  1. I have a problem with my thumb positioning. It seems to rest either straight down the back of the neck, over the top, or just in behind my 1st and second finger. If i put it directly behind my 2nd finger it starts to hurt. Also, it hurts in any position when I'm playing very fast. Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    There are a couple of the things that you want to look at:

    1. The position of your thumb is an extension of the way you hold your bass. Check to make sure you don't have too great a break in the wrist, that will add tension, restrict blood flow and put the muscles, tendons, etd in a strained position

    2. Check the action on the bass. If your action is high you need to put more downward pressure on the string, That downward pressure can only coming from the opposing pressure you're putting on your thumb

    3. Try tilting the neck of the bass up, that will lesson the arch in the wrist, create a more fundamentally sound and healthier wrist psotion and therefore the thumb position as well

    3. Behind the 1st and 2nd is OK. Try to keep the pad of the thumb in the middle of the neck (vertically speaking)

    does this help a bit?

    Mike
     
  3. That helps a lot, thanks. I have tried lwoering the action, but I think I have a LOT of high frets, or a totally broken neck, and after about the 12th fret the notes down sound. I'm thinking of keeping the action high, but with light gauges, will this help? It also has dodgey pre amp that buzzes.grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
     
  4. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    I think you should first take the time to thourouly get the bass checked out. It might only need some minor work like a fret dressing and truss rod adjustment. The bass is your instrument, it is the tool of your trade - you should try to keep it as playable as possible

    Mike