Fender Bass aficionados

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by zapdady, Jun 7, 2020.

  1. When looking at pictures of early Fender Bass Guitars, they all have what looks like a thumb rest on the pickguard but located above the G string. Was this purely cosmetic or did it have Fender Bass.jpg a functional purpose? Just curious.
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    It's called a tug bar. You anchor your fingers there and pluck with your thumb.
  3. Thanks Gorn,
    That makes sense.
    BrentSimons likes this.
  4. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    Flip the bass over, you may find the hootenanny strap button. It was just as useful.
    teh-slb likes this.
  5. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    I sometimes use my thumb , they're handy . That gets your thumb right over the end of the fingerboard , you can get a quasi upright sound around there . Handy for swing or jump blues .
  6. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    There was also a chrome cover over the pickup, so Leo's idea was lay your palm on the cover and anchor your fingers on the tugbar, and pluck the string with your thumb. The bridge cover also had a mute under it.
    Remember, he was trying to make an electric instrument sound like an upright
  7. Rutger Gunnarson, bassist for ABBA found it very useful
    {they actually work well with the narrow Fender style strap}
    teh-slb likes this.
  8. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I thought it would be fun to try to learn to use mine. But it wasn't fun, it was funny. But I left it on for the sake of keeping the bass intact. I can play with my thumb but not using the tug bar.
  9. teh-slb


    Sep 21, 2018
    Great post, but - is there something wrong with my eyes? I can almost swear that he's not using it at the 0:57 mark, but later in the video - it looks like he is. If so, I wonder why the change for different takes.
  10. No change...what you were seeing was the shadow of the strap - from the stage lights - on his shoulder
    teh-slb likes this.
  11. teh-slb


    Sep 21, 2018
    Thanks! The shadow totally fooled me.
    PJ Muzikmansky likes this.
  12. dalkowski

    dalkowski It's "rout," not "route." Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    FWIW, all that schmutz on the pickup has a FUNKtional purpose. :cool: