Five string basses with thumbrests

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by appler, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. appler

    appler Guest

    Does anyone play a five string bass with a thumbrest? I'm talking about the ones that Fenders used to have. I like the feel of resting my thumb on something more solid than the low B string and I'm curious if anyone else feels the same way. I've only seen these things on four string basses, though. Can anyone chime in on the subject? Pros, cons, etc? Thanks!

    Here's a picture of a Fender American Vintage '75 Jazz with the thumbrest on the E string side.
  2. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    Have you ever tried resting your thumb on the pickups? That is what I do usually.
  3. appler

    appler Guest

    Yes, but I prefer the sound when I pluck closer to the neck a la 70s Fender thumbrest position.
  4. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006

    I understand. I don't see why you can't install one yourself to any bass you want. If you aren't comfortable drilling the holes into the pick guard and bass, I'm sure you can find some one who will.
  5. appler

    appler Guest

    I don't have a problem installing it; I'm just curious as to why I've never seen it before on a five string bass. Perhaps there's a technique thing I'm overlooking? Thanks for the help, man.
  6. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006

    No, I'm pretty sure the only reason you don't seem them is because most bassists don't use them anymore, or just take them off as they have done all along, including the chrome pickup covers and ash trays of days past. You can still buy these parts and install them yourself if you like, but since most people don't want them these days, they don't include them stock anymore.
  7. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    Here is a pic of a KSD-705. It is a vintage reissue style, but no thumb rest. But it does look as though the screws for the pickguard were placed as if you could just put a thumb rest there.


    This TB member is selling that same bass for $500:
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    For many five players, the b string is a de facto thumb rest. That may be all you need.:bassist:
  10. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I thought that was what the B string was for.
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    This is what I do with my 5's.
    I think.
    I don't notice it much. I know that's what I tell guys who've not played a 5 string to do..."use the B string as your thumbrest, and just ignore it til you get used to it."
    I suppose I make the shift from thumbrest to playable string without thinking about it anymore.
    I see no reason not to screw on a Fender style thumbrest though...
  12. frigo

    frigo burn in hell!

    Dec 8, 2003
    i normally rest my thunb on the E string and mute the B with the thumb nail side (unless i don't nees these strings of course).
  13. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    Am I the only one that uses the pickups as a thumb rest???
  14. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    I think most people do. Wear marks on used basses support this, IME.
  15. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006

    That is what I thought... Its just that nobody else was chiming in about it. I can't stand having my thumb resting on a string.
  16. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Out of my mind, back in 5 minutes! Supporting Member

    I do use both the B-string and the pickup as thumb rests but am trying to improve my muting by floating my thumb across the strings as I play. It is working better as I get used to it but I still have a way to go.

    The nicest "thumbrest" I have used was the one carved on the Acacia I used to have. It came straight back from the end of the fretboard almost to the bridge and was the same height as the pickup, contouring into the body on the pickup side. Really slick!

    Dan K.
  17. john keates

    john keates

    May 20, 2004
    I glued a thumbrest in-beteween my pickups because there is a spot on the B string that I like to dig into and there was a song where I was playing that note a lot.

    I scraped the varnish off that area first then just used wood glue and then varnished over the top.

    Then I thought it was nice enough that I did it on my 4string jazz also.

    I don't know why this isn't a standard thing on a bass... I guess it is because the playing style hadn't been worked out at the time of the instruments conception.
  18. Nova


    Apr 19, 2002
    Williamstown, WV
    Nope. I either rest on mine on the pickups or the B-string.
  19. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA

    +1. It's a very inexpensive addition to any bass. You might as well install one on a favorite.
  20. :cool: I have a Squier Standard P-Bass-5 Special, or whatever the convoluted name is. Anyway, I use a plain old plastic Fender thumbrest. I can't stand resting my thumb on the strings, edge of the pickguard, or on the pickups; the pickups are the worst for me. Most pickup edges are sharp enough that by the end of a set, my thumb hurts.

    I've been using thumbrests, or finger-rests/tug-bars, on my basses since 1962. I like 'em. The're comfortable and don't look bad at all, at least not to me and that's what counts.

    If you want one, Musicians Friend has 'em quite cheap.