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thumb question

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by juancho, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. juancho


    Mar 22, 2006
    hi everyone...Im a real starter in bass playing and Im kinda finding the more comfortable positions and techniques...that´s why a question came by to me: I´ve read in some books about the thumb position, that I should rest it on the E string when playing the A, D and G strings and when I play E, it should be on the picup.

    But I feel more comfortable resting it always on the picup, no matter what string I pluck, so....what should I do?? start moving it or leave it there???

    thank you all.
  2. juancho


    Mar 22, 2006
  3. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Many bassists play with thumb always anchored on the pickup, but this is becoming less acceptable as bass technique advances. More-and-more Bassists are using the 'floating thumb' technique - there's a special sticky-thread on this subject, you know:


    There are many die-hard thumb-anchorers out there, but even they don't claim that it's a superior technique to floating-thumb - it's mainly a "it works for me" or "famous so-and-so does it this way, and he's the best, so...".

    In my opinion, anchoring the thumb is not good - even though there are many-many bassists who are better than me, that anchor. I think that newer players should always be taught floating-thumb/thumb-trailing/thumb muting.

  4. spindizzy


    Apr 12, 2004
    Well I hope Todd Johnson reads these other forums as this is the second plug for his DVD I have made. I am a long time user of the "floating thumb", perhaps longer than Todd for all I know. His DVD "Technique Builders" has quite a bit about the floating thumb and, just based on his forum here and his comments back and forth with me and many other TBers, I think he is one tremendous instructor. I would recommend that you visit his forum and if inclined pick up a copy of the DVD. I don't think you can start from a better place than the total liberation of your thumb. As far as Todd...three more plugs and he'll owe me dinner. :hyper:
  5. seequeue


    Feb 13, 2004
    it's not always about what's most comfortable - sometimes proper technique feels very unnatural at first.
    It's not wrong to rest your thumb on the pickup all the time, but try doing that and playing "a" on the g string for a little while, and you'll hear sympathetic vibrations - that is, you'll hear your other strings ringing without ever touching them. That's what floating your thumb is supposed to stop, and it helps you get a much cleaner tone. In the long run, it's also better because you don't have to stretch your fingers more to hit different strings; ideally, you keep your fingers the same distance away from the string you're plucking and just move your thumb. Doesn't sound like much, but when you get to very fast, tough lines, it helps alot
  6. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Definately, if you want to play'em tight and clean!

  7. juancho


    Mar 22, 2006
    OK....so im going to start floating my thumb, but I feel like "starting from the begining" because I had found some speed with my fingering but with this technique I´ve certainly lost it.

    FUC_ man!! that´s very true!! didn´t realised before...
  8. Todd Johnson

    Todd Johnson

    Sep 27, 2005
    Anthem, AZ

    Yep.....I probably owe you dinner... and a movie!! ;) :D

    Thanks for the plug...... you're in the will now.

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