where do you stick your thumb when you are playing and ERB?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by fr0me0, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    Like one of those huge ones with a real slab of a neck? Whenever I see pics of someone playing one they are playing around the middle and thier hand looks pretty stretched out. How do you play the lower (tone wise) strings?

    edit should be "an" not "and"
  2. I'll take a stab at it: The highest i've ever owned was a seven, so not sure how many strings you are talking about, probably more, but in terms of technique for the lower notes, that's the easy part. You do have more strain and bend in your wrists and you'd want to IMO readjust your posture to make it more comfortable for these factors. You have your thumb planted against the treble side of the bass just as if you were playing a five or six, you'll notice when playing a 5 or 6 that you still have plenty of room to stretch still though... just imagine more strings now. The treble are muted with left hand technique as always and after practice it's all done without thinking. Off hand i just saw this video the other day


    Jauqo does this at the end of the video in this thread. You can see him adjust as he first goes for the lower notes.
  3. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    I'm more talking about a really really extended range bass. Like 10 strings or more. Just doesn't seem possible to keep your thumb behind the neck and still be able to hit the low strings


    check out this guy, I don't see how he couldextend his fingers further to fret those strings, like do you play over hand? or bring your thumb to the front or somthing?
  4. My experience is as my previous post. Never owned a 8 string but played it but a mear once in a store and hitting the lower notes was possible (not terribly difficult). If you ever get your hands on one or get to go to NAMM you'd be surprised. The more difficult part to me is the middle/higher registers. Maybe I'll know more when my 9 string arrives...*shrug*

    Also: is that pic u posted a bass on top and then guitar on bottom?? The tuner design (not only numbers but size) in that pic would make me think so but i dunno.

    EDIT: I typed "highest played" but it really should have been "highest owned" now that I think about the 8, i'll edit it now... anyways, maybe someone else can chime in for ya, but ime it wasn't bad.
  5. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I've owned a 7 string, and I had no problems playing it anywhere on the board. My thumb didn't move much either. Then again, I was able to palm a basketball at an early age too.
  6. You don't really need to anchor your thumb behind the neck to play cleanly. It helps and it is recommended but it isn't difficult to not even use it at all. In fact, I often practice with my thumb off the back of the neck. It lets me play with less pressure from my thumb which allows me to move up and down the neck faster since I don't have to drag or remove my thumb. It also helps alleve the awkwardness of playing the lower strings on my 7 and 9 string basses.

    - Dave
  7. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman

    Feb 26, 2003
    That 12-string has a neck less than 3/4" thick. You can place your thumb on the side of the fretboard for traditional playing.Keep in mind this was a custom order bass for a player with a different way of playing.This bass, and the Tobias 7 in the photo below(same guy 17 years ago) were never intended to become production line models.

    The entire range of a 5,6 or 7 string are played just by the right hand,touching the notes between the 11th and 17th fret. The RH thumb is also used to fret notes.It's nothing to play across the fingerboard,all 12-strings-it was made to be easy to play,and it is.The LH thumb is the same and rarely is used to "anchor". Plus what Dave Grossman posted applies.