Does Anyone Use A Precision Tug Bar/Thumb Rest?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lyonaudio, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. lyonaudio


    Apr 16, 2019
    Just curious to see if anyone regularly uses the Fender Precision tug bar (aka "thumb rest") to play bass with their thumb?
  2. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    MVC-015S.JPG Actually, "Thumb Rest" and "Tug Bar" are two different uses for the same little piece of plastic. And they were located in different places on the bass. So, NO, I'd say that nobody uses a thumb rest to play with their thumb - I don't think it's possible, to tell the truth.
    If you were to play my '78 P-Bass right handed? You're looking at what would be a tug bar, in that case. Hook your fingers under it, and then yes, you could play with your thumb. But, since it's a lefty? When I play it, it's a thumb rest. I anchor my thumb there and play with my fingers. Except that I always play this bass with a pick - which means I usually rest the heel of my hand on the pickup cover when I play, and don't use the thumb rest at all...
    Confusing, isn't it? ;)
  3. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    As a thumb rest I find it way too far away. As a tug bar.......what were they thinking?
    Rabidhamster and _jaxon5 like this.
  4. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug

    I put thumb rests on my basses. I have no use for a tug bar.
    Bassngtr and _jaxon5 like this.
  5. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011



  6. P Cheen

    P Cheen Alembics and parametric mid knobs scare me.

    Apr 4, 2015
    Southern Oregon
    Tug bars are as useful as square wheels or wet origami, but here is my Zero-Mod PB2.

  7. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    While I would use a thumb rest if there was one on a bass, I would remove a tug bar without hesitation. it gets in the way as I play a lot of funk.
    Rabidhamster and Funky Phantom like this.
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Supporting Member

    May 26, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    I use it sometimes when I play with my thumb, especially on the D and G string. Wrist/palm on the pickup cover.

    But most of the time, when I play bass with my thumb, it's using something close to classical guitar technique. I introduce the thumb when I have a part that has simple "thumps" on the low strings, and also has notes on the high strings that need to be plucked at the same time. Or I sometimes use thumb and middle finger to pluck simple "power chords."

    I mainly use the tug bar to "tug" the bass back up when it has slipped down a bit on my lap.

    I definitely use it as a thumb rest when it's mounted on top ('70s style).

    This bass was my #1 gigging axe for about 10 years. MIJ body. MIA vintage neck. Thumb rest on top. Same with my #2 bass, a '76 Musicmaster Bass. Thumb rest on top.

    View attachment 3858112
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
  9. KimDealWithIt


    Sep 8, 2019
    I use mine! P + flats + thumb + tone knob on full makes for a cool sound on sparse songs.
  10. Thegrandwazoo

    Thegrandwazoo Supporting Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    West Virginia
    I put one in between the pickups on an old J/MM cheapo bass I had years ago, so as to make kinda a continuous thumb rest situation, but I can't imagine finding one very useful in either of the factory Fender locations.
  11. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
  12. Elusive1


    Jun 21, 2018
    I've got tug bars on both my 4- and 5-string Japanese Jazzes. I use the one on my 4-string from time to time for a nice thumpy tone, especially when I'm playing very basic quarter-note rhythms or something on tunes that require very simple bass. I rarely use the one on my 5-string, it's just there to look vintage.

    in terms of aesthetics, I'm one of those oddballs who prefer the look of the tug bar position over the thumb rest position - personally I feel the thumb rest being placed right at the edge of the pickguard makes it look like an afterthought, whereas the tug bar's position in the middle of the pickguard makes it look like a proper design (and no, it doesn't get in the way when I pop the high strings while slapping). Just my opinion, I can understand others preferring the thumb rest, it just doesn't work for me as much as the tug bar does
    matthewwithanm and son_of_mogh like this.
  13. lyonaudio


    Apr 16, 2019
    I know that. I used the dual terminology to avoid confusion about the thing I was referring to.
    It appears that I have failed.
    rollie 55 and HG1180 like this.
  14. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    The “above the E string” thumb rest is kind of no man’s land for me, I can play off the end of the neck heel for that type of thing. The “below the G string” tug bar is a mystery to me, I have no problem planting my index and/or middle finger anywhere down there and using my thumb to pluck. I’ve always removed either of these from any basses I’ve owned.
  15. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Tug bar, no.
    Thumb rest, yes.

    Although my current bass has a pickup exactly where I want my thumb, so no need for either.:)
    rollie 55 likes this.
  16. gelinas666

    gelinas666 Guest

    Sep 8, 2009
    Mostly Thumb.. I have a TugBar on my '51 reissue,I use it for certain thumb progression's..:thumbsup:
  17. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I love thumb rests. In fact, now that I think of it, I was never a serious player until I bought a Precision with a thumb rest and suddenly could never put my bass down after that.
  18. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Got 3 with tug bars, never used, there only for nostalgia.
  19. dab12ax7ef


    Sep 25, 2011
    Have a 57 AVRI with a tugbar, and no, it is not useful. It can get in the way if anything. But it looks cool and has a vibe so I won’t remove it.
  20. JDA04OSU

    JDA04OSU Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2016
    Columbus, OH
    A tug bar would have no practical use for my style/technique, and I would surely remove it if present. A thumb rest, while not necessary for me, does give me an anchor point if I want to dig in for hard/fast eighth or sixteenth note lines on the E string... it's just not usually in the location I'd like it to be. I've actually been toying with the idea of applying an adhesive thumb rest closer to the bridge on my P (Lakland 44-64).