Thumb up or thumb down bass slapping to be or not to be that is the question

and i wanna say this in advance. josh is my teacher im am not trying to start any issues. however speaking for myself i cannot do the thumb up thing i cant relax my hand enough in that position to get the bounce so i have to slap thumb down has anyone else had this issue?

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I’m still fighting with this and I’m kinda confused on where to go with it.

If I want to play thumb up, I have to raise my bass high enough where regular finger picking isn’t comfortable.

With my bass at a level for finger picking, thumb up slapping doesn’t work very well.

Then I start thinking, thumb down feels like a temporary solution to a long term problem that doesn’t pay off in the end. I find it easier to slap thumb down but what am I giving up in terms of mobility, accuracy, and being able to move between plucking styles by doing it that way?

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Excactly what I was thinking. I joined B2B among other things because of Joshs slap youtube video and since then I started just practicing the slap movement. Like in slap the table.

At first I thought it is impossible and contradictory - how can I raise my thumb and at the same time relax it? Well, since I want to be able to double thumb in the distant future it has to be thumb up and I just kept going at it.

It’s really frustrating, but It’s gotten better and is definitely possible. I think it’s one of those things like using your pinkie - if you haven’t played an instrument before it’ll take some time to get the muscles to do what you want to do. Usually we either completely relax or completely tense up. Raising it while relaxing is a combination of muscles we usually not use that way together so it takes time until it’s possible.

As I already said: In my mind I compare it with the pinky thing. If I would not have listened to Josh I might have tried the easy way out with just using another finger, but especially in Module 12 where I’m at with all the octaves I’m happy I listened to Joshs tip.

Just using thumb down because it’s the one you can already manage isn’t the way to go in my opinion. Given that you want to play thumb up some time in the future.

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Thumb down is fine. Whatever works for you. Thumb down works way better for me.

Josh recommends thumb up for some solid reasons and you should definitely try it. Then again, Flea, Kiyoshi, and lots of others go thumb-down. Josh covers a lot of that here:

Double-thumbing is a pretty good reason to go thumb up though, to be honest. Love Juna’s double-thumb groove here:

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I am kind of neutral.

No really, my thumb Is kind of half up, half down.its probably considered up, because compared to each, it’s closer to up, but it’s not all the way up, so I call it neutral

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I have the same issue. Not sure whether “issue” is the right word, but when I focus on slapping, I either look at my right hand to make sure the thumb is up but that makes it a little tense and I only get percussive noise. And if I look at my left hand, or don’t look at either hand, it sounds better, but I can see my thumb has gone level again.

I don’t know which one to focus on!

But as it’s a new technique for me, I’m just going to follow the video instruction, as it’s obviously too early for me to tell yet as I don’t have the required skill and/or accuracy. So I guess I’ll have to nail that first and maybe it’ll be one of those things that you practice for ages and then suddenly realise you’re getting there.

Maybe :slight_smile:

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Bugger now I’m going to have to give thumbs down a go and see :see_no_evil:

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ty
eric

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ty so much

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You are welcome, but I want to stress that I am inexperienced and can’t even play slap bass myself (yet) so my judgement might be off.

I’m always torn between “I don’t have any clue myself - I’m a beginner” and “my experiences and opinions might be more relatable to other beginners than instructions of good experienced players.”.
If I’m wrong about something it usually will be corrected by someone so even though I’m torn between the two options I think the second one is better for everyone including me.

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oh ba gezus ok got some serious inspiration from that ty

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so you have found that half string sweet spot im a taking from this?
ty

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ok good to know ty for feed back

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mac if your playing thumb up dont change man its a ruff road back man you will have twice the chops if you get use to thumb up that is where i wanna be man look at the vid juna"s double thumb grove that is where your gonig man stay the course

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Yeah, I am kind of up, but don’t have the full 11 o clock position. I am probably more like 9:30 - 10, but I say up because I am above the equator.

This is from my perspective. If I had someone take a picture, it may tell a different story.

Josh has seen my Slap, and said it looked good. I have work to do, but it’s on the right path. I slap some riffs, a song, and timing is what needs most work. I have homework to go thru some lessons on 16th notes, that’s where I can get ahead or behind.

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I was doing ok until we started string jumping then it’s hit and miss lol
I’ll stick as I am or as Josh teaches. Thanks for the input guys. Really finding the support and advice here very positive

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Yes, BassBuzz is great like that :+1:t2:

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