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Bass players thumb?


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Hey everyone

 

Just wondering if any of you knew this thing i've dubbed bass players thumb. I first saw it while i was watching my Jaco DVD and i noticed that he was able to almost bend his thumb right back as he rested it on his pickup. I was reading bass player a few months ago and i saw that the bassist from Slipknot had the same thing going on.

 

What is this? Is it something you develop over time (cos i sure as hell know i can't do it at the moment) or are some just born with it?

 

Its not a question to shake the bass community to the core but its been bugging me.

 

Much love

Phoney :thu:

 

p.s i actually did a search on this subject to see if its been up before(im learning)

"I am just an instrument cos the lord is playing this funk"-T.M Stevens
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I'm not sure what you are talking about....

 

Perhaps a picture would help! :D

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Having thumbs like that is helpful, but I've got straight thumbs and haven't noticed any deficiencies.

 

I learned about this in biology in high school. It's called "hitchhiker's thumb" and is a recessive trait. Some people have them, and some don't.

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Lots of people have that attribute, not just musicians; carpenters, for instance, often have thumbs like that.

While it probably has genetic beginnings, it's something that can be devloped at a young age by pressure on the thumb, like if you used your thumb to push things a lot.

 

Bootsy has this thumb thang, too.

A lotta players who slap hold their hands like that but it has little to do with playing ability in itself.

I knew a guy who did fine popping & slapping with a technique where he hit the strings with his thumb pointed downward & I, personally, use a semi-classical guiatr technique (called by some "the Claw") whereby I pluck the string & let it slap the fretboard.

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I could bend my thumbs back like that! Just like Jaco!! Heck, I could point my feet backwards as well! Never saw Jaco do that! He could play bass a lot better'n me, however. If you wanna be like Jaco & me, I suggest you break your thumbs :rolleyes:

 

Actually, my fingers are seriously double jointed and I find it more a hinderence than a help. They tend to compress into really odd shapes when fretting.

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Though it's a common term, there is of course no such thing as "double jointed". It's a condition of retaining greater than usual flexibility.

It's not inborn but can be achieved by those who exert certain pressure on their joints beginning at a young age.

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Victor Wooten thumbs are able to do that and his brother Reggie who plays guitar thumbs are real wicked and don't forget he taught Victor those techniques that he uses. Good example of both of them is on the Live at Bass Day 1998 when they have a slap off and Reggie wins.
Beat by Beat Note by Note
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My thumbs are straight as a board and I don't really see how having that wacky trait could help you play bass in any way.

 

In my experience it's all up to hard work and lots of practice.

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Ok Ok I can see how the thumb thing might be of some help...but to me honestly I don't think it makes one bit of difference. You can have two tips of your fretting fingers missing and replaced with plastic caps and still be an amazing stringed musician.

I read this post a lot and all I ever hear about is Jaco this and Jaco that. Yes, there is no doubt in my mind this man is an amazing bassplayer. But there are other amazing bassplayers, you know. Without the thumb thing, too.

FYI my thumb goes about halfway back...but thats just from resting on the pickup...

"The world will still be turning when you've gone." - Black Sabbath

 

Band site: www.finespunmusic.com

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Originally posted by Ze Goldfish:

http://www.jacop.net/images/thumbs_plain2.jpg

 

I think it's just something you're born with. Jaco was just plain born to play the bass with his long lanky fingers and double jointed thumbs.

This is not what Phoney was talking about, is it?? I looked at this and assumed it is an "enhanced" photo. :D I think I'm right. ;)

 

I think Phoney is talking about the ability to bend your thumb back towards the elbow. And is it only the thumb, or is it something to do with the wrist too? I am going to have to get that Jaco DVD!

 

When I was a kid, there were always a couple of kids who could press their thumb back and touch it to their forearm. The rest of us were always impressed.

 

... connie z

"Change comes from within." - Jeremy Cohen

 

The definition of LUCK: When Preparation meets Opportunity!

 

http://www.cybergumbo.com

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