Plucking hand thumb position - 1 or 2 above played string?

i am aware of all the various thumb techniques (floating, etc…) but as of now, when i play my thumb is resting 1 spot above whatever string im plucking: on the pickup when i pluck the E, on the D when I pluck the G, etc.

i know there is no ‘correct’ answer but is this something that is going to be a problem as my speed & skill increase? i find it impossible to pluck cleanly when i am 2 spots above. for example, thumb resting on the E when plucking the D; in this example i get that my thumb mutes the E, and my 2 fingers mute the A as I pluck the D, but i just keep making tons of noise on the A and it feels super awkward and uncomfortable. also finding it nearly impossible to play consistently and with any speed that way.

basically: is it worth really working on changing my technique from 1 spot above to 2 spots above? right now it feels awful to do that.

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nah you’ll be fine. Just practice slowly on new techniques when your thumb is getting in the way. You’ll get to a point where your thumb momentarily hovers above the string just long enough for you to play any notes on it, then will go back to rest on the string it was on.

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+1 to this.

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I do it this way. pickup to B, to E, to A, etc.

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If I am even using my fingers (I play with a pick most of the times), I try to use thumb on the string right above, with the exception of the G string, where I stay on the A.
Reasoning is, because that is how I learned it from Mark Smith, and his reasoning seemed logical to me:
The thumb can easily mute E and A, while D is taken care of by rest strokes coming in from the G.
Though I also used the approach to always be one string above, and it wasn’t much of a difference, muting wise. So I don’t think it is too much of a difference.

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I do this… some of the time. Others I shift the thumb up probably due to habit. I definitely leave the thumb on the A if I’m ending an arpeggio on the G string.

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I’ve been naturally using a floating thumb a lot lately.

I’m not intentionally trying to; it just happens. I really don’t mind as I just want to mute unplayed strings, so I’m good with whatever gets the job done.

It could actually be a holdover from using a pick on a guitar for so many years. Dunno. But it’s OK by me.

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my thumb has two spots: on the pickup for the E and on the E for everything else. i have noticed that many famous guys do this and it seems to work for them. and god knows i need to keep things as simple as possible :expressionless:

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I find muh dumb 'ol thumb kinda goes where it wants? It’s pretty much glued to the top of the neck pickup, so much that it’s already worn a shiny spot in a bass I’ve only had since last September. And that really works good on the E and A strings, and mostly on the D, but get down to the g, and it’s actually my thumb resting against the the other strings, rather than on top of? This allows for dampening of sympathetic string vibes and gives a place to plant the thumb

And every now and again, i find myself transitioning to thumb on top of neck above 24th fret? Wtf is that about?

As I’m going through B2B, I’m a bit puzzled about my thumb position as well. In my previous learning experience I was taught to have the thumb one chord above the one I’m plugging, while Josh is pretty straight telling you to rest the thumb at most on E. I told myself “Well, if he says so, it should be the best way to do that”, but apparently that makes my plucking of D odd and uncomfortable. Most of the times I have the feeling I also get sound when my finger reaches A after the pluck, which makes me really upset, and in general I feel slower and unsure with this technique; as a matter of fact, the U2 Chugging Fast Workout was the first one I really struggled with, while I had no problems in any other previous Fast Workout.

Does this make any sense to you, or is it all in my head?

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I have the same problem on the “G” string if I am not resting on the “D” string. I cannot pluck anywhere near as fast and cleanly. I think it might have to do with economy of motion. Sometimes, I use floating thumb to dampen strings and can still move fairly quickly.

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Where to rest your thumb is kind of a personal decision. Yes, some pro players keep their thumbs on the E string all the time, but other pros shift their thumbs to the A string when playing the D and G strings.

Then, many 5-string players use a floating thumb, which mutes more than one string at a time.

I find that I use a combination of all these techniques depending on the line I’m playing.

Personally, I don’t think it matters which technique you use as long as you play the line cleanly.

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100%. There are only suggestions for this, not rules. Do what works for you :+1:

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