Have you noticed the "No pickguard" trend on new basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, Dec 11, 2001.

  1. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    ...why guard against them?
  2. JeremyC


    Oct 5, 2001
    Berkeley, CA
    I don't like the no pickguard look. I'll post pictures of my Mike Lull when it arrives.

    Meanwhile on my music man which has a beautiful sunburst, I replace the black pickguard with one made of clear plexiglass. Best of both worlds.

    I have worn a hole in the pickguard of my Fender Jazz from resting my thumb in the same place for 30 years.

    The bass I have with no pickguard has scratches all over the front from slapping (where my fingers hit the body just before I pop) and a whole worn through the finish where my thumb rests when I am playing with my fingers.

    Take a look at Victor Wooten's main Fodera bass to see an example of why maybe a pickguard would be a good idea.

    The "furniture look" in basses is beautiful to look but impractical IMHO. Actually the guitarist I usually work with and I get much more respect when we show up with our beat up workhorse instruments than when we show up with the designer of the month club creation.

    The people at Alembic once told me that their basses sound the same no matter what the top looks like....

    I'm paying for a sound when I buy a bass, not for looks.

    Jeremy Cohen
  3. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    I love pickguards! Seriously, people keep saying "what's the point?" But I have to ask, seeing as Leo Fender pretty much invented the mass-produced electric bass (which has a pickguard) and seeing how popular it is, shouldn't the question be "why not a pickguard?"

    That's one of the things that really makes me love Fender basses (besides the cool body styling of a jazz bass and it's slim neck, as well as the chrome control plate - not to mention the lifetime warranty). So I guess it pretty much comes down to what you want - not what anyone else thinks.

    Also, pickguards are not to cover up the "cheap routing" at all, look at the American series basses or some of the older ones (does Jaco's ring a bell?) and you won't see any of that messy stuff. It's only in the more recent, cheaper basses that they do that.
  4. Toony


    Jun 15, 2001
    maybe it's just my niave younging taste, but i personally don't like the look of pickguards. i can't say anymore than the fact that i think it makes basses look a bit ugly. it doesn't affect me buying a bass since most of the time i'm going by other qualities, but they're not a feature that i'd go out of my way to get. not to mention i hate basses were the pickguard is a different color than the bass. i like smooth natural finished basses, no guards, no flames, no stickers....just shine and a few scratches here and there. :rolleyes:
  5. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    thats a real good reason to exclude a bass/guitar :rolleyes:

    im not a huge fan of pickguards either, overall i think theyre ugly as sin on most guitars and basses, but ill buy a bass that has a chrome hubcap as a pickguard as long as the thing sounds good and plays well. Music is about sound not how cool your gear looks. If that were the case I wouldnt play Fenders because I think theyre kinda gaudy looking.
  6. I don't like the look of pickguards, becouse it makes them look more like an E-Guitar. And anyway most people here (according 2 the "How do you play your bass" poll) Play fingerstyle, so you don't realy need a pickguard if you don't use a pick!
  7. I have a Carvin bass kit I did in tung oil. Because of slapping, no, actually popping, there are now 2 large digs from my right hand fingers. Since it was a kit I consider it a knock around bass, but sheesh,after 3 years I'm going right through the wood. And alder ain't soft. So I've learned the value of a pickgaurd. However, I prefer to think of them as "bass abuse protectors":p
    But why is it most basses don't have the thumb spot covered. My Ric has some spots worn by the pups. 'course I got my money's worth out of it so I'm not complaining. As a motter of fact, I'm proud of all that finish wear!! That's a whole lotta notes there boy...
  8. I'm thinking of putting a pickguard on my Lakland - but I'm gonna wait a few weeks and see if drilling holes in my spiffy new bass still sounds like a good idea before I do it ;)

  9. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Ain't it a shame? Mine does too. And I hardly ever slap!!! PiCkGuArDz rOoL!!!
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings

    On an older Jazz, the pickguard doesn't cover any routing, it just goes around the pickup.

    When they designed the newer Jazzes, they used bigger routing, my guess is the reasons are twofold... it allowed for easier assembly and they were going to put a pickguard on it anyway, so who cares;). BTW my MIA JD5 has the funky routing on it.

    I could get some pics of a Ken Smith 6, a Spector 5 and a few other basses, apparently played by slappers, that would have benefited from a pickguard.

    That doesn't insinuate that they all look good, some do, and some don't IMO. Here's one that doesn't, a Fodera.

  11. JeremyC


    Oct 5, 2001
    Berkeley, CA
    Check out this picture of Victor Wooten's Fodera Bass.
  12. Spector, Tobias, Ken Smith, Alembic etc. has been excluding pickguards from thie basses much longer than the companies you mentioned.

    I feel that if a bass has a transparent finish with beautiful wood like figured maple, swamp ash, walnut or redwood, for example, the pickguard would be an eye sore. On less beautiful wood or basses with a solid color the pickguard wouldn't be such an irratant.

    I wouldn't own any Spectors if they had a pickguard on their basses!!!
  13. neptoon


    Jul 25, 2000
    Palm Bay, FL
    check this out...melted top pickguard

  14. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    I couldn't imagine a Stingray without a pickguard:eek: Don't even want to.
  15. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    The Atelier Z approach gives you the best of both worlds: clear pickguard and control plate.

    Pickguards that don't underlie the control knobs, like the pictured Fodera's, look weird to me.
  16. nice pickguard (don't think that's the Conklin "melted top", but anyway...), shame about the tabby cat grey transparent finish though...

    I like pickguards:p

    the paint on my pickguard-less Hohner B2A is wearing through badly over the pickups.
  17. let me rephrase.. I dont exclude them, but I put them lower on my list, unless they happen to be exceptional instruments.

    And If the guitar or bass is too ugly, i won't buy it. I know it's shallow, but it's the same with choosing an ugly girlfriend. it's the same thing to me. If it doesn't look decent, I will cringe when I play it.

    And don't give me the:rolleyes: :p
  18. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    No Fleabass89, I agree with you 100%. I wouldn't play a bass (unless I had to) if I didn't like the way it looked. That's the first thing that catches me if I'm looking in a music store or in Musician's Friend: What it looks like.
  19. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    Makes sense to me. Who uses a pick to play bass anyway? I think the pick guards were just a hold over from the origional basses that were made to look like guitars.
  20. shirojiro


    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco
    Why are some of you implying that the appearnace of one's bass shouldn't matter? It certainly does matter. Sure, it's not related to the function of the bass, but how you feel about your instrument affects how you feel when you play it.

    For those of you who love they way your instrument looks - isn't it nice to pick it up and play it? I'm sure we all check ourselves out in the mirror (a good exercise for stage prescence, actually), and isn't it nice to feel that your bass looks great?

    Just my 2 cents.

    BTW, I hated the pickguard on my Ibanez ATK so I took it off. No big deal.

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