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I never bothered developing a proper technique so i'm all over the place, sometimes i use the pickup, other times i use a floating thumb and sometimes i use the little groove in the body that's on one of my basses.
 

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Mine is usually resting on the corner of the neck pickup.
 

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Floating thumb technique for the most part, especially since I've been playing basses without soapbar pickups in the last couple years. Used to always anchor on the pickup.
 

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Generally I float the right thumb between the pickups, the end of the neck, and the fifth or fourth string (in order to mute them). It's not a conscious thing, it just happens depending on the sort of tone appropriate for the moment. I did install a thumb rest on the OLP/Ernie Ball though it (the rest) doesn't get used much. It's my feeling that thumb placement should be a light touch to prevent muscle tension and allow for movement. Pressing down hard with the thumb is counterproductive.

Peace, Mooh.
 

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For the most part I use the floating thumb technique. I find it easier on the hand when playing for extended periods, like I did this weekend. It encourages a more relaxed hand IMO.
 

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Generally I float the right thumb between the pickups, the end of the neck, and the fifth or fourth string (in order to mute them). It's not a conscious thing, it just happens depending on the sort of tone appropriate for the moment. ..............

Peace, Mooh.
Depending on the music, I might rest it on either p/u, the neck, or the B&E strings but my thumb does float and I do use it for hammering and plucking, little finger is about the only one that doesn't do much except for the occasional muting.
 

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I usually rest my thumb on the pickguard. It's not so much an anchor as a reference point.

If there is no pickguard, like on a G&L, I anchor on the pickup or just use a floating thumb.
 

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It all depends on what bass I'm playing
The Pbas has a nice rest right on the pickup but I find that I get a deeper bass sound if I move my fingers back further so I have an opened ended thumb
The jazz has a really big pick guard over the pickup so i just rest my thumb on it
The Gibson EB-3 has a nice full sized pickup so I rest my thumb on it, but the Beatle is is difference I have actually made an imprint into the wood of the bass with my thumb nail because there is no place for the thumb to rest. No wonder Paul either played with his thumb or he played with a pick
Look at the videos

highway
 

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I rest my thumb on the side of the neck, at the 24th fret.
 

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my bass teacher told me that its smart if your just doing a basic steady grove to just leave your thumb on the tob of the pickup but i usually do all pop and slap riffs.... still though
 

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The Gibson EB-3 has a nice full sized pickup so I rest my thumb on it

highway
When I'm playing my EB-3 copy I usually rest my thumb on the big neck pickup.
I almost have to--it's right there. But I have to be careful I don't keep rubbing my fingers on the screw holding the pickup on. That means a killer blister.

I'm surprised I haven't seen more mention of using a pick. Most bass players I know use a pick--they seem to think it odd I use my fingers.
 

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.........
I'm surprised I haven't seen more mention of using a pick. Most bass players I know use a pick--they seem to think it odd I use my fingers.
I rarely use a pick, got nails, though a pick is good if you want a snappy/muted sound. It can also help you cut thru the mix.
 

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I play a Pbass so my thumb's on top of the pickup when I'm playing with fingers. I play with a pick quite a bit though... i like the snappier sound. Then I play somewhere between the pickup and the bridge.
 
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I almost always rest my thumb on the B string when I'm playing either the E or A strings, though I often rest my thumb on the pick up. When I play on the D and G strings I rest my thumb on the A string and let it lay flat (or somewhat flat) on the E and B strings (to keep down the sympathetic noise).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I almost always rest my thumb on the B string when I'm playing either the E or A strings, though I often rest my thumb on the pick up. When I play on the D and G strings I rest my thumb on the A string and let it lay flat (or somewhat flat) on the E and B strings (to keep down the sympathetic noise).
That's exactly they way I'm forcing myself to play. Although I stray sometimes. :smile:
 

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thumb rest

I like to use the pickup as a thumb rest
I gouged my thumb nail imprint into my hofner beatle bass by not using a pick but I never use a pick
I like to play my pbass behind the pickup so now I dont use a pickup as a thumbrest
so I float for the most part
Highway
 

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Re: wheres your thumb

umm.. on the back of the neck.

I usually plant mine directly on the pickup unless i'm playing with a pick. Although sometimes i'll use my thumb to strum/pluck the strings (ala Wes Montgomery)
 
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