How does Victor Wooten do that super-fast tremolo plucking? It looks like his fingers are always curled and right on top of the strings. Is he slapping with 3 or 4 fingers rapidly or is he plucking with fingertips?

  • 1
    Probably both. And thumb up and down. And fretting hand tremolo. Incredible. Proves what happens when you practise...
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 8:13

2 Answers 2


Victor Wooten thumb slaps and plucks lower strings on down and up strokes, as you would expect, but he uses a range of techniques with his fingers:

  • plucking
  • rasgueado
  • slapping

A lot of his technique is aimed at rapid and precise percussive impacts.

It's worth watching the 4 YouTube videos he did on technique, but he has a wide range of training materials if you are really interested.

  • I reckon he uses thumb on each and every string on occasion.
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 11:09
  • 1
    +1 for the video link, which nicely answers the question! Don't think there's any technique or idea that he DOESN'T use!
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 11:53

Alright, after watching the videos carefully, I think the specific trick I was after is basically the same as a classical guitar tremolo, like in Recuerdos de la Alahambra, ie. p-a-m-i, but all on one string (the high G). And, of course, it's a lot fleshier than on the guitar. All apoyando, no nail.

So basically, you pinch the string with all three fingers and the thumb, and snap each one off, quickly in sequence. Or you could slap the thumb.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.