Your Plucking Hand Position?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by eViL cAkE, Sep 6, 2001.

  1. Over finger board

    6 vote(s)
  2. Near neck

    27 vote(s)
  3. Over neck pickup

    84 vote(s)
  4. Middle of body

    55 vote(s)
  5. Over bridge pickup

    53 vote(s)
  6. Near bridge

    15 vote(s)
  1. eViL cAkE

    eViL cAkE Guest

    Sep 6, 2001
    Just East of Dallas
    Hey guys,

    Just thought I'd do a little survey here. Normally, I like to hit the strings hard, over the bridge pick up, with the tips of my fingers rather than the pads. Although I do move my playing postion around a bit, and play with different parts of the finger, the apove postion is definately my "home base." I feel that I cut through better that way. Also, playing hard with a high action seems to make my bass respond more like an acoustic instrument, in that my volume is affected more by my fingers than by my bass's electronics. It sounds to me, more like the soft and loud dynamics are coming from the "same place".

    What do ya'll think. Indulge me, I'm a nosie bastard.

  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    ok, the short version:

    Floating thumb, all over the place but primarily over the bridge pickup.

    ...and it's low action and a light touch for me, it sounds better, gives you more even tone, makes slapping easier and you don't waste energy. I let the amp work for me in terms of volume (not sound!).
  3. istaticl


    Nov 29, 2000
    Prescott, AZ
    By floating thumb do you mean you dont rest it on the string or pickup? If so that sounds uncomfortable. I usually play with my thumb rested on the neck pickup and fingers playing in between the neck and bridge. I think it gives a good medium of tone.
  4. Same as JMX and I am sure some others here.
    Floating and plucking were needed.
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    It's more comfy than you expect.
    You use the thumb to mute the lower strings you don't play.
    Plus, since you don't pivot your hand, the angle to the strings stays the same, so your fingers don't have to adjust as much and you get a more even tone.
  6. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    My right hand hangs around near the neck, but I go to the bridge for a "tighter" sound. I have been resting my thumb on the neck or neck pickup, but I have been trying to learn how to do the "floating thumb" technique.
  7. i have my thump on the neck pick up but i play the strings with my fingers between the neck and bridge pickups
  8. between the neck & bridge pickup
  9. APouncer


    Nov 3, 2000
    Lancashire, UK
    I play a 4-string fretless with flatwounds in a very low position. I rest my thumb on the end of the neck and play where the neck joins the body rarely if never moving my thumb (tried to float but find it awkward). This gives me a very "round, dull" acoustic type sound that compliments the Django-esque guitarist and the alto-sax player.


    Apr 13, 2001
    Kent, England.
    My thumb rests on the neck pickup when I play the E/A strings, and on the E string when I play the D/G strings.

    I pick between the pickups, low action and light touch.
  11. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    I never touch anything but the strings with my right hand.

  12. Usually right over the bridge pup, but sometimes it wanders down to the bridge if I'm playing something a little more heavy.

    Rock on
  13. ColdYinTiger


    Jul 15, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I play where the song calls for, if I need more of a clank sound or if I roll of the highs and need a smooth dark sound I play near the fingerboard more, but usually I play by the bridge for an even punchy sound, sometimes snaping my fingers down more for slight clank. That and I very where My fingers are playing sometimes my fingers are more over the strings when I play and sometimes I pluck the sides of them.. Its weird. I'll stop rambling
  14. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Floating thumb... position varies according to the tune, but usually within an inch or two of the neck pickup, (or the pickup on the P)

  15. RandSoundgarden


    Sep 10, 2000
    I usually rest my thumb on the E string and play between the end of the neck and pickup because I like the more rounded and warm sound it gets from it. That position I use for most jazz and rock tunes, but for some like Megadeth tunes and Green day, I play with a pick and rest my hand on the bridge, which gives it a more typical metal sound.
  16. melvin


    Apr 28, 2001
    I used to use the bridge pickup as my thumb rest so my playing was right around there, but then I started playing floating thumb (cant help not playing that way anymore.) I usually pluck the strings right behind the bridge pickup. But since Ive starting using floating thumb Ill play in different places.

    That sounds like an infomercial for "Floating Thumb" :D
  17. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    ok...I float the thumb, and move my hand from over the neck all the way back to the bridge finding the appropriate tone across the "speaking" length of the string. I often change hand postions many times during a single tune; using my hands and positions to achieve diffrent timbral responses (i.e. it's not the's the hands), sometimes even playing false harmonic clusters by "fingering" harmonic spots over the bass' body.
    Low action (although I have recently raised it a bit) and a very light touch using thumb (not just for slapping) and three fingers.
    But, when I use Funk's back by the bridge.
  18. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Both of my pups are close to the bridge so I would say between the bridge pup and the middle of body. hell I don't know look at the picture
  19. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Floating thumb, usually near the bridge pickup, but I can be anywhere from over the 17th fret to 2mm from the bridge, depending on the tone I need.
  20. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    80% of the time: thumb anchored on bridge PU.

    15% of the time: thumb anchored on side of neck somewhere between 20th and 24th fret -- to get a smooth, round URB approximation (or at least attempt).

    5% of the time (during sustained periods of playing way high solos on 7-string): I lay my thumb across the lower 3 or 4 strings to mute them. So the anchor point becomes my right forearm on the upper edge of the bass body.

    Have we heard from any pick players here? I'm 99% fingerstyle.