Victor Wooten Technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Groove*Rocket, Jun 4, 2001.

  1. I posted this in the bassist column after seeing Victor give a great little clinic. Unfortunately, I got no response to my specific question, so I am reposting here:

    As a classic finger style and thumb-finger pluck funk player, I was intrigued by Vics explanantion and demonstration of his thumb-fingerstyle, which involves both down and upstroke motions with his thumb followed by first and/or second finger plucks plus hammer-ons. He gets this goind in nice smooth runs of 3-6 beofre seamlessly repeating the motion. Further his tone maintains very discrete attacks on each note. I tried this last night and can get no where near his thump-pop sound with this efficient motion. If I don't wack down on the string with my thumb as a slap, then I get a mellow, slow attack tone, which is totally un-Vic-like. I didn't expect it would be easy and I doubt it is attributable to differences between his Fodera and my Stingray, but I would like to be able to pull this off even at 20% of what Vic does.

    Any insights??
  2. There are a couple of things that will help you out. I used to be really into Vic and studied him alot when I first started playing. And can be achieved with a little practice

    A couple things that helped me;
    Vic uses VERY light strings
    (On the double thumb upstroke) Try having the string run parallel over the thumb nail.
    When slapping try not bouncing off but try going thru the string.
    Try thumb down thumb UP, pop (first) pop (middle finger) for a 4 feel
    or Thumb down/up pluck or Thumb pop pop or vice versa for a triplet feel
    Start slow using single string then slowly do your scales and modes. But remember START SLOW!
    He uses a Fodera bass.
    30+ years of experience.

    go to
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    And make sure you don't dig in too deep with the thump.
    The neck on my bass is set so low into the body that the glue line between neck and fretboard is on par with the body surface. The strings are very near to the body. i think it's the same on Vic's Foderas.

    This prevents the thumb from getting stuck between strings.

    A ramp like on the Willis signature Ibanez basses could help.