Getting A Rickenbacker to be Comfortable

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hurezeanu, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. Hurezeanu


    May 13, 2005
    Hey all,
    I've owned my Rick for a good 3 years or so, and love the sound the thing gives me through my Mesa 400+!

    I think that one of the biggest issues with the 4003 basses though, is comfortability (is that a real word?), and where to rest your thumb when playing it. I, like alot of Rick owners prefer to take off the bridge-pickup cover and rest my thumb either ontop of the metal pickup cover or inside on the pickup. Although I don't really have any issues with my bass, I always find when switching over to my P-bass that it is MUCH more comfortable to rest my thumb on top of the P-pickups.

    Just curious how all you Rick owners get comfortable on your basses, and where you rest your thumbs!
  2. Hi,

    I have kept the pickup cover on and have the lower heel of my right hand resting on the top end of it most of the time.
  3. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    I always used the bridge pickup ring as my thumb rest (when I feel like resting my thumb) with the cover removed.

    If you ever get a chance try out a Ric 4004. They are, IMO, more comfortable to play and maintain most of the 4003 tone. There is nothing wrong with 4003's (I've owned plenty of 'em) but I have found the 4004's to be more to my liking and it may be an option that would suit you as well.
  4. amistybleu


    Jan 15, 2006
    Thornton, CO
    Interesting, I love the tone of Rics and always thought (bassed on my style) how uncomfortable they looked regarding fingering/picking.
  5. munnkyboy


    Jul 1, 2005
    Same as 12String Above

    Keep the pickup cover on and have the lower heel of my right hand resting on the top end of it most of the time, or pick behind it...

    I have flats on it and use a pick. Since I'm mainly a "jazz bass" guy, using my fingers on it just seems a little 'off' to me. I don't know why. Plus, I prefer the Ric with a pick..

    Hope this help
  6. RSchuster


    Jan 27, 2006
    Alexandria, VA
    I guess the reason the P-bass feels more comfortable is because your hand naturally gravitates to rest in the center of the bass, which just happns to be where the P-pickup is, and the pickup is tall enough that it's basically a finger-rest with pole-pieces. The Ric, on the other hand, has the neck pickup close to the neck, and then the bridge pickup about two inches or so back from the center of the bass. I learned on a P-bass, so I almost always want to rest my thumb in the middle of a bass, no matter what kind I'm playing, whether there's anything to rest it on or not.

    On my Ric (which I've had for a little over 3 years), when I have my hand playing over the center (right between the two pickups), I use the pickguard as a thumbrest, which works pretty well because it's not beveled; it's just a flat edge, and it's pretty thick. I also tend to rest my thumb on the E-string when I'm playing on the D and G. If you really want to, you could go to and buy a clear Rickenbacker finger-rest. On the older basses, they went where finger-rests typically go, right below the G-string. Later they were just phased out of production. If you don't mind modding the bass, you could mount the finger-rest onto the pickguard, right in between the two pickups, and voila, P-bass-esque thumbrest.

    It took a little getting used to, but now I don't really find it uncomfortable, so I haven't modified my bass.