How close is your hand to the neck or bridge?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Skel, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Just curious - where is your hand placed? If you were using a Precision bass, would your hand be right over the pickup, in front of it - towards the neck, or behind it towards the bridge.

    I play in front of the pickup towards the neck. I was looking at a jazz bass with a Marcus Miller style chrome cover over the neck pickup, and that would really get in my way. Obviously one can get different tones depending on where the hand is. When I move mine towards the bridge I get a little better control but the tone is a little thinner. Also, can anybody relate to having to "wait for the string"? Meaning you need to wait for the string to return after a pluck before your next pluck - it's a rhythmic feeling I guess.

    Please let me know - "I need to know"

  2. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    Closer to the neck = bigger sound. Closer to the bridge is brighter. I play a pbass and I play between the pickups and the neck. I have a pickup cover on there which I recently added, but it does not get in my way.
  3. Geo313


    Jul 17, 2004
    Hi, I don't have a P but my Yamaha has a a P-J pickup set. Deppending on the tone I want I bassically play on the space inbetween both pickups or between the P-style pickup and the neck. I don't personnally like the closer to the bridge sound. If I want a brighter tone I get it by balancing the pickups output and complementing with the tone control.
  4. dharma

    dharma Srubby wubbly

    Oct 14, 2005
    Monroe, Louisiana
    More than a sound difference, I find a speed difference related to tension at different points around the playing surfaces of the strings on my jazz.

    It's like night and day for tone, for sure, but I find myself climbing up towards the neck when I'm grooving slow and backing off down toward the bridge when I'm digging in.
  5. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Ok - I thought I was weird for playing in front of the P bass pickup because I've read so many threads where players put their thumb on the pickup (unless I misunderstood). I'm the same way though, I travel towards the bridge where the string tension is stiffer for speed playing, and probably like many, it comes naturally or subconsciously - I don't "decide" where my hand is.

  6. I play almost on the 24th fret, I don't rest my thumb on anything when I play on the B string and I use the floating thumb techneque otherwise. If I want a Brighter tone, I move to over the Closest pickup to the neck, or over the bridge pickup (I don't do that one much).

  7. I also play up near or sometimes even over the neck on my P. Depending on what I am playing I may float anywhere between the pickup and the fretboard. I only shift way down toward the bridge if I need that sound. If I am in a situation where I need that sound a lot, I am probably going to be playing my PJ instead of my P.

  8. Regular finger-style===Right over the bridge pickup.
    Slapping or very slow finger-style===right at the end of the neck.
  9. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I move it around depending on what I want. My hand goes from anywhere between the 15th fret all the way to 1 inch away from the bridge.
  10. I just noticed, while playing my pbass, that when playing a pbass it is always over the pickup. It never moves.

  11. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    I'm pretty sure the pbass was originally designed with playing in front of the pickup in mind. If you look at the old pbass with the finger rest for people who play with their thumb it's in front of the pickup. I just rest my thumb on the pickguard.
  12. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I use much gain and compression, so clean 'floating-thumb' muting is a factor for me. Because of this, there's an advantage to playing so that my muting-thumb is right over a pup - or right between the pups if I'm using both of them. This keeps out little harmonic sounds from ringing-on when I mute with only the thumb (usually I try to mute with both the right thumb and left hand fingers, as well as with the plucking fingers, though).

  13. I play inbetween my P-pickup and the neck and I use my tone control to get the brightness.
  14. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Yes, that explanation pretty much nails what Fender intended.

    I also rest my thumb on the pickguard - usually the edge even though there isn't much of one. The more I practice, the less I get screwed up when my thumb slips or has to move.

    This is off topic, but do any of you guys have kind of a "lead" finger, and do you remember when you were learning that you would get screwed up if that dominant or lead finger would become reversed with the other finger? To me it's like running the hurdles, where you need to lead with either leg equally well, but I guess it takes some getting used to when you find yourself leading with the non-dominant finger, and eventually over time, there *is no* dominant finger.

  15. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    On top of the P usually, or sometimes on the string.

    I'm almost never near the bridge, except my fingers sometimes get down there while still being anchored at the neck pup...