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What do you do with your thumb behind the neck?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Tombo, Apr 2, 2004.

  1. Happened to be as well, before this, I have been using my fingertips as well, but clearning my fingers off all the other strings beside the one that I am pressing on, makes my left hand wrist angle to be excessive as well.

    Thumb pointing towards the Nut will be a very interesting technique to try, I will try from time to time to see which one is more comfortable! :)
  2. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    I just got a 24 fret neck through bass (Pedulla MVP) and stumbled upon the 'thumb pointing toward nut' hand position while exploring the 2nd octave of the new bass. I didn't know Carol Kaye teaches this, and would be very interested in learning the finer points. My initial thoughts are that LH thumb position relative to the hand should change according to position. In first position, the 'thumb toward nut' puts a lot of strain on the hand, but in 12th position or higher is very comfortable and helps keep the LH pinky curved and over the strings. Conversely, the thumb behind middle finger approach is great in low positions, but a real hand wrecker in high positions.

    I'm really excited about using the 'thumb toward nut' approach in the higher positions because when I use the thumb as a pivot, I have huge reach. I'm just getting going with this, but I think it is going to help liberate me from getting stuck 'in the box'. I have small hands and the ability to play octaves or 7ths (for example) on adjacent strings is very cool.
  3. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    There Ya Go! My thumb is all over the place! Sometimes, it just floats. Depends upon what my old muscles let me do.
  4. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    San Jose, CA
    acctually... i thought about this...
    i was tought that my thumb should not be against back of the neck but rather just touching it with the tip... does it matter? because while my thumb doesnt touch the front it is laying on the back... simular to some1 telling me that my hand should not touch the bass... but it does alittle bit? is that wrong?
    do i need to change my habit before its too late?

    Btw while those kiddies need to get their bass up from the floor i need to get it down:p damn it its resting on my manboobies... i have to lift my arm to play it... feels like RATM
    its abit annoying:p
    Thank you
  5. dace


    Dec 25, 2000
    sydney, australia
    i would say that in general wrapping the thumb around the neck tends to limit fretting hand dexterity and reach.
    however i would concede that sometimes it is handy to use it for muting the E string and fretting particular chords.

    also the thumb wrapping would make playing a fretless with correct intonation more difficult because it makes it harder to position your fingers parallel to the fret lines.
  6. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    suck on it.

  7. Skavenger


    May 26, 2002
    Well, in retrospect, I should have written: "Metal is boring. Progressive metal is another type of music that is fun and challenging to play, and should not be confused with eighties-style mindless E throbbing." but I thought you would get my point. Silly me.
  8. tell em to get a six string or somthin.. we'll see'll how they wrap
  9. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    The Fonz teaching Suzi Quattro proper thumb position...


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