How Tina Weymouth Plays Psycho Killer

First, I hope that I’m posting this in the correct category of the forum. Next, I hope that this hasn’t already been discussed at length elsewhere . However, I didn’t find it when I used the search.

I was watching a short documentary on YouTube about one of my favorite bass players, Tina Weymouth, when I noticed her technique while playing Psycho Killer. She smoothly combines alternate finger plucking with thumb plucking. Is this out of the ordinary or unusual?

I could be called a relative noob to bass, so I should keep watching and listening to more bass players. Still, I have yet to see others play just like this or play Psycho Killer this way. Is this a technique a beginner should work on or should I wait a while?

I’ll post a link to the video below. It is titled “Tina Weymouth Tribute Film.” The section of the video where they show a close up of her playing Psycho Killer goes from around 3:30ish until close to the 4 minute mark.


I’ve never heard of nor ever seen it before. It looks kinda awkward to me, but it’s whatever. If it can work for someone, nobody listening to our music really cares how we play something as long as it sounds good. Nobody except us music nerds.

That said, I do kinda want to learn classical-guitar type finger plucking some day.


Well correct me if I 'm wrong but I think Leo Fender originally believed that basses should be played using the thumb rather than the fingers - hence the weird finger grip on the pickguard beneath the strings. I’m not sure if it ever caught on outside of Tina Weymouth…


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you are correct. I’ve read the same when looking into why the HELL people keep calling that a thumb rest when it’s in THAT position XD bass players were envisioned to kinda grip that with their fingers or something, but eventually they started moving it to be an actual thumb rest.


I recently saw where this guy demonstrates it (near the 7:00 mark)…


This is so killer!
Thanks for the share, and that cool look into how she plays.

This is a very personal and individual technique. Don’t worry about it.
If you like it, try it.
If it’s weird, leave it. All things become doable and comfortable with time.


Theres a song we play in the band where its super useful for me to use my thumb in certain places as well as fingers. I found i was doing it automatically because it just feels right. I think its only that one song though, maybe two.

Deviating from the norm!

But whatever works really


There was a time when Sting decided to relearn bass, playing only with his thumb. I think that lasted for one album.