#1
I'm trying to learn to play with my fingers, as opposed to the pick I've been using on my guitar for years. I was told that, when playing, I should have my thumb resting on the string above (for example, have my thumb on the A string if I'm playing on the D, or thumb on the D if I'm on the G, and thumb on the pickups when I'm on the E). However, I've found that when I put my thumb onto a string or remove it, no matter how lightly I try to do it, it makes a sound. Also, after a while, this can end up hurting my thumb. I've only been playing this way for a month or two now, is this normal? Is there a better way to do it?
#2
well then rest your thumb on your pickup if it's high enough. that what I do when I play my bro's bass. But anyway, pick rocks
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#3
well, personally, I like to play with my thumb rested on the pickup always, unless I just get caught in the moment and rest it on the E string when I'm playing on the G. I'd put it down to personal preference really good luck with the fingers.
#4
I rest on the pickup, as i cant change string fast enough when resting on the string and it seems unstable, but whatever works for you, try out resting onthe pickup.
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#5
If I rest soley on the pickup though, what is a good way to mute strings when skipping between them?
#6
Left hand muting. That's what I do, anyway. Even with your thumb resting on the strings I find there's no efficient way to mute with the right hand, so I kinda remove my fretting hand from the strings in a sliding motion to mute them. It's very subtle, but I find it works... also, if you play the guitar with a pick, why not the bass, if that works for you? I think it sounds less good, but you might disagree. Enjoy the Low End!
#7
Quote by Sabscope
Left hand muting. That's what I do, anyway. Even with your thumb resting on the strings I find there's no efficient way to mute with the right hand, so I kinda remove my fretting hand from the strings in a sliding motion to mute them. It's very subtle, but I find it works... also, if you play the guitar with a pick, why not the bass, if that works for you? I think it sounds less good, but you might disagree. Enjoy the Low End!


I'll have to try that out. And I like how the pick sounds for certain styles, but for certain songs I prefer the sound that fingers give me. Plus, I think it'd be handy to have both techniques up my sleeve.
#8
Everyone in here can tell you what they do, and hell - they're good recommendations too.


Play. Develop your own technique. No one else is you playing your bass. I actually rest my thumb on the body of the bass. I have large hands, it lets me do that. You might be different.


Picking is fine. So is plucking. The most common mistake is not using both. Learn both techniques, and learn when to use them. Tone is something that varies from song to song. Where one song is good picked, the next song may be better plucked.
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#9
I would question the way that you rest your thumb on the string above the one ou're playing, i.e. on the D when you play G, since your fingers should mute that string by playing through their string to rest on the string behind.
Your thumb then rests on the string two above (physically) the one you're playing, such that if you're playing the G, the thumb rests on the A. Hence the D is muted by your fingers, and the A and E by your thumb.
This should have the advantages of encouraging use of the thick part of your fingers for more traditional tone whilst also making it easier on your thumb.
Hope that helped.
#10
You've gotta get like a "feel" for it. I don't put my thumb on the pickup, when I'm hitting the thin strings I can't play nearly as quickly or accurately. Also resting your thumb on the strings is good because it makes muting the string that aren't playing easier as more of your hand is there if you follow me. It's way harder to type out to explain as opposed to showing someone in person but I hope you got the idea. There's many great bassists who play resting their thumb on the pickup like these other users though, notably Pastorius. There's even some who don't rest their thumb anywhere, having their entire hand flailing around as they play like Steve Harris. Do try out all the methods and find the one you like best. I mainly like the thumb on string style for the control I get that way.

This feedback you're getting from your thumb touching the string could easily be from your bass-guitar or amp. If the bass isn't wired right, it can give excessive feedback when you're touching the strings, bridge, knobs, or other metal parts. If the amp's cheap or old, or if it has old tubes being a tube amp, you could be getting some feedback.