Re: Thumbs up or down?

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Posted by Pat Harrington on September 19, 2000 at 18:23:03:

In Reply to: Thumbs up or down? posted by Derek van't Wout on September 19, 2000 at 16:09:03:

: Howdy, all.

: Well, I've read a couple of debates here on whether or not to use a pick or
: your fingers, but no one's really posted anything about using your thumb
: to play. I personally play with my thumb quite often when I play - mind you,
: I've only been playing for a year and I really don't play all that terribly
: well, but I find that I get this really super warm thumpy tone, and it
: just looks cool to play with your thumb. But I really don't know all that much,
: so I'm posing the question: What are the advantage/disadvantages of playing this
: way, and am I crippling myself by doing so? I've heard that it's really bad
: technique to play with your thumb.

: Thanks a bunch,
: -Derek van't Wout, a crazy canadian bass player

>>> Hey Derek, IMHO, it's best to start the learning process
using your index and middle fingers, It's best to start
off with the proper technique, because the longer you
continue using only the thumb, the harder it becomes
to learn the "right" way, and break the thumb habit..
Once you've got the two finger plucking down, you should
also start learning how to use the pick. (check out
Carol Kaye's website, there's an excellent pick lesson
there at You can always use your
thumb for slapping or more subdued playing, later on..
A good method for learning 2 finger plucking is to tap
out drum rudiments with your 2 fingers-ask a GOOD drummer
to show you a few..You can even sit in front of the TV,
of tap them out on the steering wheel, etc, etc, wherever
you are...get them into your head, and start working them
out on your bass, even if it's with one note, or on one
string...You'll make quick progress and be off to a good

Pat H

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