Do You Always Switch To The Pickup You Are Playing Over?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by danqi, Oct 21, 2002.

  1. danqi


    May 21, 2001
    I have noticed that I always either play over the neck pickup with the neck pickup on or over the bridge pickup with the bridge pickup on. Sometimes I play between them and have both pickups on. But I never play over the bridge pickup with the neck pickup on or vice versa. I don´t really know why.

    What about you?
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    No, but I mostly play over the bridge pickup, regardless of the pickup setting. I play over the neck pickup only 5% of the time or so.
  3. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I leave both pickups on all the time and vary where I play to get the sound I want. I have a single tone control and I usually set this to get the widest possible range of sounds from my fingers.

    Maybe its cos I also have a Stingray
  4. Both my pickups are on full volume, but I nearly always play over the bridge pickup.
  5. I always play between the neck pickup and fretboard, regardless of pickup selection. It gives me the best attack with my plectrum.
  6. I quite often find myself playing over the neck pickup with the bridge pickup soloed on my Rick... weird.

  7. I used to almost always play between the pickups on a Jazz bass, but, now I move up and down the string's length to get the tone of the day. It's good to play something you know well in the spot you know well, and then move somewhere else. Gives the piece a different feel, know what I mean?

    Mike J.
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I don't know how helpful this could be, BUT;

    I move around all the time even on the same song. It has so much to do with;

    - the song
    - pickups you have
    - how the tone and pickup/blend controls are set (and dip switches if you have them).

    I know this may sound simplistic, but what the hell;

    - when I need more "thickness" and "boom" I move towards neck because that is where I always have a bass-heavy pup, like a single coil Jazz pup.

    - when I need more "dryness" and mids, I scoot back toward the bridge (which is typically an MM-style pup for many of us)

    - then there's a nice "in-between" point for slap where the strings grab some of the best characteristics or each pup. It seems this is what you are doing.

    If you have a Precis, (which is actually 2 pickups if you think about it) it's no different, IMO. When I was in a touring punk band in the late 70's with my Precis, it seemed like almost all the other bassists were attacking by the bridge saddles. Instead, I hit the strings close to the neck for a fuller, bassier sound and it sure worked for us because people liked the "boom". When I wanted more mids to stand out with the Precis, I went right over the pickup(s)

    In short.....I'm always moving. I encourage you to experiement with all the tonal capabilities your bass has to give. What sounds "right" to you is what is "right."
  9. fingerstyle, I find the most midrange punch comes from playing directly over the pickup that is soloed, or favoured in a blended setting.

    for me, most of the time it's neck p/up on 100% bridge p/up on 75%, so I play over the neck p/up, moving towards the bridge for more clarity when playing chords.

    when both p/ups are on full, I find the midrange doesn't vary much between playing positions, more the amount of lows.
  10. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    The 2 are not related for me.
    The place you play the strings has a dramatic influence over the sound.
    The nearer from the bridge the dryier and punchier.

    I usually play walking bass on the fretboard, around the 17th fret.
    Pure rock over the Ppickup.
    Fusion, funk and metal over the bridge.
    With all positions in the between.
  11. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I play over the neck pickup, but both pickups have to be are on, tone @ about 1 or 2. I need all the help I can get