Am I Crazy? --Poll--

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Cliff Bordwell, Jan 20, 2005.

Crazy or not?

Poll closed Jan 27, 2005.
  1. CrazyYes

    86 vote(s)
  2. CrazyNo

    97 vote(s)
  1. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    Am I crazy to think of the pickup length in terms of comfort.
    Does anyone else consider the length, or how far the pickup
    places your right hand away from the lowest string.

    Just as a thumb rest does, I find it awkward to have my
    thumb anchored to close to lowest string. A longer pickup
    makes playing stuff on the bottom string more comfy for me! :bassist:
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Reviewer: Bass Player Magazine
    You're not crazy. I consider it, but the opposite way of you. I prefer the pickup to be closer to the strings-the distance of an additional string apart from the lowest string or closer is what I prefer. Any longer and you have to uncomfortably bend your wrist to access higher strings when your thumb is anchored on it.
  3. RunngDog


    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Not crazy at all. I think the placement of the pickup and your ability to rest your thumb against it and access other strings is one of the key components of the "feel" of a bass with respect to the right hand. It's equivalent to neck width and profile with respect to the left hand.
  4. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I consider it although i havent really played a bass that felt awkward, they usually just look it.
  5. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    Ideally it should be about the same as the string spacing. That would be the most natural feeling.
  6. Lewis7789


    Sep 17, 2004
    Akron, Ohio USA
    Sales; ClearSonic Mfg.
    I also agree that the distance and shape of the pickup does have a factor of the comfort on a bass. But for the past year or so I've gotten pretty comfortable with not resting my thumb on the pickup at all, and on the E-string instead. And using my thumb to pluck the E-string while using my fingers for the other strings.

    But a nice set of smooth humbuckers would be easier on my thumb than these jagged Fender single coils. I actually get a dent in my thumb after a long night of playing.
  7. seansbrew


    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    It is actually part of picking out a bass for me. I have limitations that force me to buy a bass that will be easy on the digits and the wrist. I have sold a few basses because of problems asociated with pick up placement as far as how close to the bridge it is and how wide it is and where it sits when the bass is strapped on. All of the basses I own have a humbucker in the bridge position, and that is where I drop the anchor.
  8. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    It made much more of a difference back when I was just playing 4 strings. The pickups on my Steinberger L-2 were a bit to shallow and narrow, and finding a place to rest my thumb on the Rick kinda drove me nuts--I always got it stuck between the pickup and the mounting ring! But once I started playing 5's and 6's, especially ones with fairly wide necks, I tended to rest on the B string but also got much better about "floating" my right hand to do muting and get proper alignment with the strings I was playing, and that seems to have carried over to 4 strings as well. Spending a lot of time with my ABG (which has no pickup to rest my thumb on!) probably helped, too.

    So no, you're not crazy, but the number of strings definately makes a difference.

  9. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Idon't rest my thumb on pickups- i find it awkward altogather.. either it floats or I use the lowest string.
  10. snake


    Jul 21, 2004
    Aurora. CO
    I find that I must find a different place for each bass I play. It's kind of a scar of use to wear into the finish of my basses where I pay them
  11. lyle

    lyle Guest

    Jan 10, 2004
    Vernon, B.C. Canada
  12. Showdown


    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Even though I like the sound and looks of a Rick, I've never been able to play one because that big pickup is just a bad place to rest my thumb. Its also in the wrong place to play with a pick (for me anyway).
  13. GlennStoneOcean


    Nov 25, 2004
    Well there are two thoughts on this one for me. I started out play with my finger resting on the pickup. But about 4 years into play My older brother pointed out to that my hand should be totally independent of the bass for quicker style change and so.
    Now I play both ways considering how much my style changes during a song. Also find during a song that I’m not confidant playing my finger goes to the pickup.

    Anyway that’s my thinking on it.

  14. you could be onto something there...

    I voted "yes" couse all I saw was a poll that said "crazy: yes, no?" sorry
  15. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    You're not crazy. Anything related to tone and playing comfort is worth the thinking.

    Though, the pickups of my Jazz Bass are long enough for me...

  16. So am I- but tht's not important right now. I do like the neck pickup to be in a certain place, a certain width, height, etc. It can definitely affect playing comfort. I can't say exactly what I would want; it may vary from bass to bass. Steal this idea from me: some sort of designed-in adjustability- maybe a wooden extension or interchangeable PU covers of different sizes. Have you seen Mike Pope's Fodera w/the removeable last 4 fret pieceon the neck? Then there's that between-the-pickups ramp thing some fretless players like- kinda related, maybe.
  17. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    I thnk you might be crazy for any number of reasons, but in terms of thumb positional comfort,,, I don't think that's crazy at all!
  18. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    Like some of the others here, I don't rest my thumb on a pickup at all, so AFAIAC it's a complete nonissue.

    But I'm just me. As a bass luthier, you are dealing with many players who do rest their fingers on their pickups, so it's not at all crazy for you to consider an issue that might be important for them.
  19. pistoleroace


    Sep 13, 2002
    Not crazy at all. I'm totally with you on this. I grew up playing P/J basses and have gotten so use to the thumb placements on the P pickups. It was hard for me to go to soapbar or J pickups. I pretty much have gotten comfortable with them but I still miss not having a P pickup for various rest positions. One bass in general that I can't get use to is my F Bass BN 5. The neck soapbar pickup goes farther above the B-string that for me it's just a little to far for me to rest my thumb on top of it. This is the only thing that's not comfortable with me on this bass, otherwise it's the most comfortable bass to play.

    On another note of comfort that I've never seen discussed here. Why do the pickup companies have to make the corners/edges of the pickup covers so sharp? Man is that uncomfortable, they should slightly round over the edges. It shure would be a lot more comfortable!
  20. Showdown


    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    Try Bartolini, they are rounded and comfortable - and they sound great.

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