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Fender Thumb Rest

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by amroach, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. amroach


    Feb 11, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    I don't know if this is a question thats been covered before or just a stupid question but does any one know why one some fender basses have the thumb rest below the strings? i even got a book on fender basses with all the basses threw the years and changes and reasons and it doesn't say anything about why they put it below the strings or the function, any one have any idea?
  2. Back in the days there was a trend to pluck with your thumb instead of your fingers, so they put the thumbrest below the strings for your other fingers to rest on.
  3. amroach


    Feb 11, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    see i thought that might be it but i dont find it comfortable to rest my fingers on it if im picking with my thumb, so i didnt think it could be right
  4. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Opinions, opinions. I find it very comfortable when palm muting and thumb plcking.

    Many songs from the 60's and 70's were recorded just that way, holding on to the tug bar.
  5. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    They're for people with UDHD (upside down hand disease).
  6. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    It was commonly referred to as a "tugbar". You didn't actually rest your fingers on it. Your fingers went below it for leverage while you plucked with your thumb.
  7. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    This has been asked loads... I put one on my p along with the covers, but I never use it. It's just for that ol' vintage look.

  8. LOL! I'm glad I found this thread. I almost thought about asking this. Originally, I thought it was for leverage (for lack of a better term) while using a pick.:bag:

    Whenever I see a bass with the "thumb rest" below the strings, I always seem to get just a wee bit annoyed.:oops:

    ...but now I see the light. I still won't use it though.
  9. Saw Dr. No - the first ever James Bond movie on TV at the weekend. There was a scene in a bar in Jamiaca with a band playing and lo and behold the Bass Player had a Precision, plucking the strings with with his thumb and resting his fingers on the "tug bar". The movie was made in 1962.
  10. meta


    Mar 11, 2009
    Paul McCartney played with his thumb. just saw the u-tube video with my daughter "we are the world" and he's there with his hofner. odd to look back at older video sometimes, but my daughter wanted to know as her teacher was talking about it (the song, not Paul McCartney's bass)

    but to hijack this thread a bit... what is the purpose of the cover on the pickups? are they to prevent feedback? Or just aesthetic? bh2's picture does look kind of neat, and I've seen rickenbacker's with the cover over the pickups too...
  11. They're just aesthetic,although I recall someone insitisting to me in the early '70s that they provided RF screening, but they're not in the circuit - grounded to the strings - so they can't be.

    The Bridge cover did have a chunk of foam rubber glued to it so it muted the strings but it was easily removed!!.
  12. I put mine atop the pickguard on my two jazz basses--as they were in the 70s. I have two black brass thumbrests, and they feel real cool on a hot FL night. No need, just a quirly prediliction.
  13. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    Ashtrays & tugbar - a classic look. :cool:

  14. Willicious

    Willicious Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Bend, Oregon
    Aesthetics. I just read recently in one of the Fender bass books
    that Leo designed that big honkin' bridge cover for the Jazz to
    hide the bridge pickup as well as the first generation string mute
    system (which, while cool, is pretty damn fugly).

    Attached Files:

  15. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    Interesting - I have never seen a picture of those very early mutes on a jazz bass. Agreed - pretty fugly to look at. One could probably conjure up a better looking do-it-yourself solution.
  16. Jimmy Bones

    Jimmy Bones

    Feb 24, 2009
    Baxley, GA
    Bubble gum and duct tape. MacGuyver's dream weapons.
  17. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Random often?

    This is a simple question that was answered in the first 5 posts, including my full answer.

    This is becoming a P vs. J type thread.

  18. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    Ummm....huh? :eyebrow:
  19. Do a search for the words "tug bar" or "tugbar" and you'll find about 300 threads on TB alone. The history is well documented.
  20. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Yup. the tugbar and the chrome covers....people have only been asking these two questions since 1951.

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