Bass plucking hand technique

Discussion in 'Music, Theory, Tab and Such' started by DoctorBB, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. DoctorBB

    DoctorBB Squier-Meister

    Mar 2, 2016
    Beaumont, TX
    So working at getting back into the bass after 45 years or so, and using my fingers, as a teen I used a pick. So here’s my question. I’m playing a 4 string P-bass (for reference) and I like to rest my thumb on the E string. So as I work down the strings I’m finding it more comfortable to also drop the thumb down too ( i. e. so it’s resting on the A string when playing on the D and on the D when playing on the G, rather than leaving it planted on the E string). Is this good technique or does it really matter. I’m not looking to become a full time bass player, just want to be proficient enough for jam sessions and laying down tracks in the home studio. Thanks.
    so1om likes this.
  2. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    I don't know. A friend of mine screws a stop to the pickguard above the E string for a thumb rest.
  3. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Squier-Axpert

    Dec 12, 2009
    Swanton Ohio
    Not a bass player here, but when I do play bass I usually use a pick..But I've worked with a lot of very good players through the years..Never noticed how they rested their thumb but I don't recall ever seeing one with an attached thumb rest..Worked with one that used a pick..Worked with another that used her thumb and not her fingers..
    So I'd guess that it doesn't really matter all that much..What ever works for you is the way to go..
  4. AllroyPA

    AllroyPA Squier-Axpert

    Dec 14, 2009
    I would try and watch some Youtube of players in your style and watch what they are doing
  5. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Feb 10, 2010
    Nothing matters except not using a pick. I’ve been gigging on bass sine the 80s. I’ve actually had more professional musicians wonder how I’m getting all these notes and sounds (in a good way).

    Just play as it comes and hitting the note hell or high water.
  6. SoundDesign

    SoundDesign Squier-holic

    I generally anchor my thumb on the edge of the pickup (Precision) and use my index and middle fingers, using my thumb as a pivot as I move across strings. For reference, been playing 35 years.
  7. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Feb 10, 2010
    (I should add I play with all 5 digits, lots of chords, weird fingerings and all that, palm muting, non stop action.

    Whatever is comfortable and produces the notes you need.
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