Maybe I Need a Thumb Rest?

Hi, this is my first post. I’m a few lessons into module 4 and things are going great!

That said, I find that my thumb naturally wants to rest in the area between the pickup and the neck. I can play through this feeling and leave it anchored on the pickup, but it’s not all that comfortable, if for no other reason, there’s not a whole lot of open area on my pickup to begin with.

So, I was considering buying or making a thumb rest that I can mount where I want.

My question is whether or not it’s better to just train myself to get used to resting on the pickup or if a thumb rest is an okay idea.

Thanks!

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Welcome to the forum.

I personally would not use a thumb rest, because I play with the Floating Thumb technique. Even for those who anchor their thumbs, it seems you’d be limiting yourself to one spot, rather than moving your anchor around, depending on what strings you’re playing on. Others might have a different opinion.

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Hi pancakes, good first post!
I’ve seen lots of pics of basses with a thumbrest in the area you mention, so why not just buy one and put it on?
Don’t know where you are, so don’t know what currency it is, but I’m in UK and have bought them twice. The one’s I’ve bought have come 2 in a pack and they’re not expensive.
I bought a pack of 2 rosewood ones and a pack of 2 black plastic ones.

Rosewood

Black Plastic

The black ones were 99p with free postage when I bought them (2017) but they’ve gone up a bit since then

The rosewood ones are a bit more expensive.

I don’t actually use them by the way - I just like the look of basses with them, so I put them on.
I’m a bit like that with the lawn at the front of my house as well - I cut it because I think it looks nicer, but I never lay a blanket out and sit on it.

I have Precision and Jazz basses, and I use the pickup as a rest for the E string, and then I move my thumb down the strings and use them as a rest as I play the different strings - ie I use the E string as a rest when I’m playing the A string etc.
I’m assuming this is what @PamPurrs means by the ‘floating thumb’ technique.

Cheers,

Mark.

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Welcome @pancakes… I have two bass’s and on one I use the same style thumb rest as @Mark_D shows in his photos. On my other bass, I anchor my thumb on the pickup.

You can always use the floating thumb technique as @PamPurrs describes. I guess it all depends on what’s most comfortable, effective, and natural for the style you play. Personally, I prefer to always anchor my thumb above the “E” string in order to have a single reference point for my plucking fingers no matter what song I’m playing.

Keep on Thumpin’
Lanny

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Queen bassist - John Deacon…

Uses the same rosewood thumb rest…

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Even when plucking the G string?

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Yes @PamPurrs. If I’m anchored ‘above’ the “E”, I have no problem plucking any 4 of the strings. May be different with. 5 string like you play though… I have no experience playing a 5 string bass so you’re the “go to” on that one…

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Lol the 5 string is the main reason I started using the floating thumb. I’m so comfortable with it now, I’d still use it even if I ever go back to 4 string.
The thing I love the most about the floating thumb is it gives me a built in string muting system. :smile:

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Understand @PamPurrs… we all have different techniques… I tend to use my fretting hand to do 99% of the muting on any strings I play though…

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The thing I love about it is that my right hand and playing fingers are in exactly the same position for each and every string as I play them.

How does one go about quoting btw? Can somebody tell me how to do that please?

Thanks,

Mark…

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@Mark_D - Simply select the text that you would like to respond to and then “Click” on the word “Quote” that shows up… That text will be shown as the beginning of the “reply” post…

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Oh brill thanks Lanny!
I’ll sleep soundly tonight now, knowing that :+1:

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@Mark_D - Now all I gotta do is figure out what the term “brill” means in the “Southeast USA Redneck Rebel” dictionary…

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that’s a guitarist thing I think !

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Short for brilliant.

Where are you then Lanny?

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Fort Valley, Georgia USA.

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@PamPurrs Do you have a good link to explain the floating thumb method?

There’s a few of them out there, but this is the best one. Todd Johnson is the Master of the floating thumb.

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Yep, that’s the one I was thinking about but I couldn’t remember his name. :+1:

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Here’s another one with Scott Devine talking about it. He even mentions Todd Johnson

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