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Tip: Floating Thumb "Snap"

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by LakeEffect, Apr 2, 2013.


  1. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect

    Feb 21, 2013
    Denver
    Hey all, this tip is mostly for beginners, or those new to the floating thumb technique. It may also be more pertinent for the 5stringers out there, but make what you will of it.

    I was trying to teach a friend how to play without acting like his thumb was glued to his pickup (he wants more dynamics, to that I said you need to be more dynamic in how you play your bass). Anyway, he was having trouble striking his lowest (B) string with the same volume/tone as his other strings while using the floating thumb technique (especially when quicly trying to transition from resting the thumb on the B to striking the B). His problem came from liking to dig in pretty hard, and then not being able to duplicate that on his B string when he switched from a higher string back down to his lowest string that the thumb was resting on.

    Through talking to him I realized that a great way to explain and practice this transition is to "snap" the B string when you go to pluck it - instead of just lifting your thumb completely off and quickly trying to strike it with your index/middle, then returning to the thumb rest position (he always had this slight delay, and he could never achieve the same attack/tone doing that).

    Its not that you actually "snap" with your resting/anchoring thumb and striking finger, but its a slight variation/imitation of that motion that lets you strike and come right back to the anchor fluently. Aside from just achieving the same tone, helped him greatly with accuracy/timing when he came directly from his higher strings (A-G range) to his B. He was able to just "snap" naturally and the end result was a very clean and fluent product. AFter some practice of skipping strings back and forth for awhile, he improved drastically and his floating thumb/mute techniques really blossomed.

    Im sure there are many other effective ways to do so, but I thought I would share this one. For at least one, it has gotten rid of the awkwardness and minimized the time lag time in between notes on different strings using the floating thumb technique.
     
  2. phillybass101

    phillybass101

    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    This may sound silly but as a training aid he could velcro one of those fender style pick guards over his pickups and practice/play that way. necessity will cause him to invent.
     
  3. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    AFter some practice of skipping strings back and forth for awhile, he improved drastically and his floating thumb/mute techniques really blossomed.

    You said it right here ... the only way to improve and make a technic work is to ... practice ... OMG !!!
     

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