Floating Thumb; Video

Hazz's picture

Abstract:
How to use the "Floating Thumb" by Todd Johnson. Thank you Todd.

Body:
First off, this is not my lesson but that of my instructor, Todd Johnson. All credit for this lesson should be given to him. With that said here is . . .
"Floating Thumb"

HAZ

Comments

Great lesson

I've been playing for roughly 2 years and have recently moved away from the anchored thumb to the floating thumb to help tidy up my playing. I'm entirely self taught, and because of this, I picked up a few bad habits which I have only recently been cutting out of my play. As such, I really appreciate this video! Especially the tips on not dropping the wrist onto the body of the bass which is something I have definitely been guilty of when using the floating thumb.

BoH's picture

The More I Try It...

...the less I like it. I don't know... I've heard so much about it, yet, I tend to favor the anchored thumb about half the time and the other half of the time I anchor my wrist.

When I try floating the thumb, I tend to play sloppier and lose track of where I'm at. I'll finger the A, but pluck the D or something like that.

I suppose I'm too set in my ways, crusty as I am.

BoH

Bo


You don't love me, you just love my FINGERSTYLE!
Peavey T40; SX/Squier P-bass; Spector Legend 5
Roland Bass 30 Cube

Not sure if I'm doing this right...

... I had a go without dropping my wrist but I found it very hard to keep the bass steady.

I wasn't using a strap and was balacing the bass on my knee but found that I was having to hold tight with my left hand to keep the bass from bouncing back and forward off my chest.

I found it easier to move around the strings with my right hand and it helped me maintain a nicer, more level tone/volume when making large leaps.

However, because I had to hold tight on the kneck with my left hand to steady the bass, I found that it severly restricted the speed I could move around the frets. It also caused my thumb to ache very quickly.

Has anyone got any advice on this? I became very frustrated, very quickly at not being able to play nearly as quickly as I would like; and I knew I wasn't doing it right when I realised quite how tight I was holding the kneck. I tried all possible ways of balancing the bass on my leg as I sat but couldn't seem to crack it. I didn't have my laptop with me at home so was unable to check the video, and I assumed that the instructor was using a tight strap to keep the bass steady, but on reviewing the video today, I realised he isn't.

BoH's picture

I suppose it's all in

I suppose it's all about finding a comfortable position before starting to work on a technique. After I made my previous post, I stapped my bass on and worked on it a bit.

With minor adjustments and a little work, I was able to play a little more accurately while making some good string crossing manuevers.

I'm going to continue working on the technique because I can see where it is a good way to play. Only time will tell how it comes together, I guess. The technique, which I've only recently heard of, seems to be catching on with more people, so it must have some merit.

BoH

Bo


You don't love me, you just love my FINGERSTYLE!
Peavey T40; SX/Squier P-bass; Spector Legend 5
Roland Bass 30 Cube

wheat's picture

I have a hard time getting

I have a hard time getting over how weird it looks and feels. :) But for speed, it seems good. And it is easier on your right wrist than anchoring on the pickup (which is what I tend to do).

Wheat

bassplaying.com

Hazz's picture

Tell me about it. I have

Tell me about it. I have used the technique in the past but never correctly but Todd is very adament about using it. It took me 3 stright hours of practicing to do it correctly without hittin' wrong string or getting the thumb up and over the top string after hittin' a note on it. Now that I have it down it does feel much better and I can move across the strings faster then I could before.

As far as how the bass should be positioned to get you in the right spot, I'll go post a thread for it. I would post a vid for it but Todd is trying sell his instructional vids so I . . . just had an idea. look for a thread in the next day or so. I will try and get a vid up. Gotta get on the hollywood diet so as not to look to huge in the vid. :^)

HAZ

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I can see why this is a

I can see why this is a great way to play fingerstyle, and I tried learning it some time ago. I never felt comfortable with the floating thumb, so I gave up on it. Maybe I'll give it another go some day, but for now I'm very comfortable with a securly anchored thumb. Thanks for sharing this great lessen, HAZ.

Thor

wheat's picture

I finally got around to

I finally got around to watching this, and it's great. I'd seen some still pictures of the technique but I didn't get the concept until I saw this. What a great teacher you have? I'm going to give it a try. I'm pretty happy with my anchored thumb approach, but I'll give it a shot.

Wheat

bassplaying.com

Hazz's picture

Give it a shot Wheat but I

Give it a shot Wheat but I think I may know why a lot of players have a prob. I did a very short vid late last night explaining WHERE i think a lot of players have troubles. I should be able to get it up sometime today/night.

I suppose to have another session with him in Jan. I am prety stoked he is local and a really cool cat that knows what he is talking about.

HAZ

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Musicians Collabaration Studio / a place for musicians to get to gether and create music on-line

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Carburetors man!! That's what life is all about."
Musicians Collaboration Studio

BoH's picture

Update

Since you posted this Haz, I've been doing a little work. It's coming around. I've actually not perfected it, but I've kind of got my own thing going on and it has been working because my dexterity and accuracy have increased.

BoH

Bo


You don't love me, you just love my FINGERSTYLE!
Peavey T40; SX/Squier P-bass; Spector Legend 5
Roland Bass 30 Cube