Tosin Abasi on Playing with All Fingers and Double Thumb Picking | Reverb Interview

The guitar is such a capable instrument when it comes to sounding like full-blown

music and electric guitars I think are emulating a lot of their favorite rock

musicians often times where the guitar has one role it's not

the singer, so we're providing this sort of rhythmic

melodic bed with these blocks of chords but when you start playing classical and

jazz you realize whoa I can sit alone and produce what sounds like full-blown

multiple part music on this neck and a lot of that comes from abandoning

the pick momentarily and learning how to use each finger because then you really

can do independent lines you can create harmony and melody at the same


or you can have a line and the moving cords underneath it. For me There's two major influences one is javier reyes who plays

in Animals as Leaders with me is an amazing classical slash spanish

classical guitarist, so I've downloaded a bunch of tabs off the

internet and bought an entry-level nylon string would just like sit in

seclusion so no one can hear me. you know you kind of end up

navigating the fretboard different and you do slightly different things when

you are using your open right hand because it's almost like you have four

picks in a way so especially on an extended-range guitar too because

then you can target certain notes and then do clusters of

higher pitched notes but if you're picking you're either having to

skip strings or strum all the way through it just makes the neck with

eight strings on it a little less utilizable it seems like because

you're you're always aware of traversing all these strings as opposed to

having them available to you like this so I do a lot of open right

hand stuff we have songs where you know I only used to pick for the solo or

when it came to like the bass sort of Victor Wooten style

stuff I was in a band with this guy Ivan Brewer who is a phenomenal bassist and

he studied with the Wooten's and so he knew how to do all that double thumping

stuff a lot of cool tapping approaches and so hearing him do it all the time I

was like dude you got to show me so that's what I picked up this

double thumb thing and then you can start to merge them

because it's all your right handso why limit yourself to one stroke

per thumb when you can do sort of the double thing it's like I'm doing

a combination of nail and flesh which I think most classical guitars do anyway

I think a lot of guitarists

depending on your style you actually can do sort of the index and middle finger

vibe if you've played any any finger style stuff you've kind of started using

open right hand but what's counterintuitive is the upstroke with

the thumb I feel like that is the crux of the technique I would go in that

order you know you can even mute that

really illuminates how hard and consistently you're striking and you

don't have to worry about fretting because

you already know how to play with your left hand sometimes it's it's

easier to develop the technique if you pick a string and mute it

because it's so percussive that you actually are primarily concerned with

elements like how hard you're hitting how consistent it sounds and

then from there you can you can add

I'm not actually doing any double thumping but it's a riff that

is really dependent on muting and fretted notes when I was

like a kick drum type of thud so you hear the difference once you start

sustaining notes versus really staccato. I feel like the left

hand knows more than the right especially if you're used to

picking all the time so I was like kind of focused on getting the right hand

down and then once that was there I could plug in all this sort of stuff I

knew on my left hand.