Anyone else play over the end of fretboard?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Infern0, May 29, 2007.

  1. Infern0


    May 13, 2007
    I was messing around with different natural tones I could get out of my Dean and I realized that playing over the last few frets of the bass produces a rather warm tone, nice for mellow playing. Anyone else do this? If you could name some examples of work that incorperates this, that would be helpful too.
  2. uethanian


    Mar 11, 2007
    check out "in the morning of the magicians" by the flaming lips.
  3. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Playing over the end of the fingerboard is one of the keys to get the typical "mwah" from a fretless bass. The first example that comes to mind is Weather Report's "A Remark You Made".
  4. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller do almost all of their lead/solo stuff while plucking at the end of the fingerboard. Not an example of mellow playing, but they come to mind.

    Mark Egan plays fretless in this manner as well. You'll see Will Lee do it on Letterman from time to time, too.
  5. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've done it for years when I want a real big fat sound for Walking or ballads. Takes a little getting used to since the strings move around quite a bit up there, not like play by the bridge.
  6. ShirazBop


    Sep 29, 2006
    Greensboro, NC
    Great reminder for me...

    I get kinda "locked in" playing toward the bridge for bark and forgot what a "softening" can be attained by plucking up there...

    Thank You for POSTING!
  7. datsgora

    datsgora Guest

    May 23, 2007
    N. Ca. Martinez
    Geezer Butler.............any Black Sabbath album will do. But 1- 4 will illistrate this style the best. John
  8. I find that i can get chorus effects by plucking at harmonic places, sounds like 2 notes per string. I love plucking at different places. I also noticed that slaping at different places also gets cool effects. This can hurt a tad but its great.

    Dean users rock! :bassist:
  9. K-T


    May 25, 2007
    tasmania, australia
    sometime i play 1/4 up the fretboard fror jazz and blues to give it a double bass sound,try sting in a chair and stand your bass up and play it with your finger parallel to the fret board and pluck sideways;) :bassist:
  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Go look at films of almost any rock player in the late 60s...JPJ for example...and they'll probably be plucking up by the fingerboard. Of course if you leave the ashtrays on a Fender you don't have much choice ;)

    I'm trying to recall when playing close to the bridge became the norm.
  11. Infern0


    May 13, 2007
    Kalyptic ~ We are few and far in between, but Dean basses are awesome!

    Cool! Its apparently a more popular technique than I thought. I was suprised to hear about the Geezer thing. One thing to always keep in mind is that there are many sounds you can get out of a bass without effects.

    - Obviously playing near the saddles will produce a higher tone with less sustain.

    - Pickups are pickups, standard playing.

    -Newly acquired knowledge of fret play, liking the sound.

    - Slap and pop, goes without saying.

    - Harmonics, Jaco style!

    Anyone got any more?
  12. I pluck over the end of the fretboard for both blues and reggae...
  13. machine gewehr

    machine gewehr

    Sep 17, 2005
    Cut off the mids,even the bass and treb,pluck near or on the neck,you got yourself a funky tone and funky "feel".Marcus Miller style! :bassist:
  14. Lalabadie

    Lalabadie Guest

    Jan 11, 2007
    I was going to say the opposite. I play over the fretboard when I play chords or smooth progressions. To my fingers and ears the opposite of what funky tone I would like to have.

    But hey, if it works for you :)
  15. I did this when we played swing tunes in jazz band because I don't have an upright bass (although my jazz band director is buying one for next year!). It worked pretty well, particularly when I muted the strings with a scrunchie type thing.
  16. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I've been playing reggae for so many years that I play over the end of the fingerboard about 80% of the time, regardless of the music I'm playing. I only play fretless, which may have something to do with it, though. I love the fat sound I get playing over the fingerboard, and I sometimes will pluck way up by the 12th fret. Ultra-fat!!
  17. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I learned bass playing upright bass in orchestra, where one almost always braces the thumb against the side of the fingerboard.

    I play electric bass the same way (thumb anchored on the side of the neck) 90% of the time. It gives less initial attack, but there is good sustain, and to me it's a great sound. I play primarily surf and classic rock, so the smoother sound of plucking over the neck really fits the music well.
  18. I do believe that was the purpose of the tugbar... to give something for the fingers to pull against while plucking downwards with the thumb... and that would have meant plucking just by the end of the neck...
  19. machine gewehr

    machine gewehr

    Sep 17, 2005
    It doesn't actually work for me,it works for MM thats for sure.:p

    Ohh magic fingers he has...:bassist:
  20. Infern0


    May 13, 2007
    Alot of reggae and jazz for that technique. Not suprised. I like Geezer's little solo in war pigs, I think I can hear this.

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