Static anchor vs movable anchor

Hi, again I faced a problem. The Bass Buzz beginner’s page does not recommend the static anchor technique, but for me this technique is much more playable and comfortable than the movable anchor technique. I’m sure you don’t recommend this technique for good reason, but after 10+ years of playing guitar, I’m used to the fact that if my thumb is on a string, it usually needs to be plucked. My other argument against the movable anchor is that, as a beginner, it takes extra time to move your thumb to a string that you don’t even use.
I’m practicing Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train and the verse part is very complicated with the movable anchor technique, but I play it easily with the static anchor technique.
Should I switch to the movable anchor technique or stay with the static anchor?


You should use whatever technique works to play it correctly.
The movable anchor is reco’ed for beginners as it helps with muting.
If you are used to muting, and, not a beginner (your guitar experience comes in here), then use what you want.

B2B is a beginner course, assuming you know nothing at all, even how to tune a bass, etc.
The guidance of Josh (or other great uber beginner teachers) is always to defaul to what will be easiest for a beginner to advance with good sound.
Individual techniques blossom as you play, some of course are bad habits and even they can be assets.

Use what works and keep the above in perspective.
Thump on!


Here’s a good explanation about muting by some guy off the internet.

I struggled with this same thing but now after a few years move able anchor feels natural.

If I don’t and I play through a bigger amp I can hear it.


Yeah, @Barney , but that guy says all sorts of crazy shit, like anybody can learn to play bass or that 15 minutes of deliberate practice is better than two hours of noodling. C’mon.


+1 to @John_E and the “play whatever works” camp!

I think every technique you learn will have its advantages and disadvantages.
Anchor the thumb if the riff has lots of string crossing in both directions, move the thumb when it feels good and comfortable to do so.

The problem I face with students is the stretch and reach to play the D and G strings with the anchored thumb if they have no experience with moving their anchor.
As long as you can move it when you need to and play the lines correctly and get a good sound, I think you’re doing great.


It’s all relative to the player. There are no hard rules.

But convenience of play and economy of motion are sound rules of thumb. :+1:


It’s up to you but movable anchor (or floating thumb) makes muting significantly easier and when you get good at it, moving between strings (and the pup) is effortless.

Also, I think Crazy Train was played with a pick.


I agree with the ealier responses to do whats working and what “feels” comfortable at your current stage. For me anchored approach was the only thing that worked. I tried the movable anchor over a period of time, and never made sense… until one time several months later. I was playing something, working on a specific riff and realized my thumb had moved down on the A string unconsciously as I plucked D, then moved back up to its normal position on my pickup. It was as if a light went off- suddenly felt natural and ive never looked back. I think it also really helps to know where my plucking hand position is without looking as i move up and down strings. So i guess if it aint working, dont push it! Maybe you will settle into something organically.