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a dumb question about basses and pickup use

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Argali, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. Argali

    Argali Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2008
    I'll betray my roots as a guitar player here.

    I've been getting into playing my Warwick Corvette Proline a lot in the past two years, but I've been wondering something. The Corvette basically has a Jazz bass pickup configuration. Do most bassists play with both pickups wide open, or is it similar to how guitarists approach things?

    What I mean is, on guitar, the bridge pickup is usually what you stay on when you're playing lead and rhythm. The neck tends to be used for playing clean stuff, though some guitarists - like myself - prefer to play leads in the neck position for a smoother, more liquid kind of tone.

    Any time I play bass though, I play with both pickups on and open all the way. It's generally uncommon to do this on guitar - on my Les Paul Custom and double-humbucker equipped Strat, the tone on both pikcups combined is too muddy - but how do bassists approach this?

    If it helps I'm mostly a rock player and I alternate between fingerstyle and using a pick.
  2. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    I'm also a guitarist and use all possible pickup settings at different times. It's not at all uncommon to use both pickups on a dual-humbucker guitar and it's even more common to use the 'in-between' pickup settings on a standard strat-style configuration. So I wouldn't say it's 'generally uncommon' at all - maybe just not somewthing that works for you and your guitars and style of play.

    With bass I get different tones both by varying my right hand position and by changing pickups. I have a MM-J configuration and a blend pot. Depending on the song I'll play either of the pickups solo'd or a blend of the two. Strangely, I'll only ever have a 50-50 blend or solo pickup, not inbetween. But that's just me, no good reason for it.
  3. LouieV2


    Jan 9, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I've got a Warwick Corvette standard (the exact same bass as yours, only it was made in Germany) and I always leave my blend pot in the middle, so both pickups 50/50. Its not uncommon at all.. In fact I feel like most bassists I know play with both pickups wide open, unless its a p bass obv.
  4. WarwickOfficial


    May 15, 2012
    Warwick & Framus Social Media
    A lot of players use the blended position, and there's nothing wrong about it. However, by utilizing the different pickup positions, as well as hand position - a great array of tones become available. For some players they like to set one tone and leave it...but if you experiment, you can coax many different sounds of one bass. Basically, there is no "right or wrong"...do what works for you, and if you're looking for a different flavor try experimenting. This is especially helpful in a band situation...
  5. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Big +1 to this. Absolute truth. This is why basses have multiple p'ups!

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