How Do You Use Your 2-pickup Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pilotjones, Aug 27, 2002.

  1. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    How do you use your 2-pickup bass?

    Getting the right tone to use in any particular situation can be a difficult task for anyone. It can be especially hard for a novice player, who both lacks experience, and may be stuggling at the same time just to play the notes as well as he might like to.

    A trip to any music store will reveal that the most common tool we use to fulfill the role of electric bass player is the two-pickup bass. And I think it would might be very interesting and useful to all of us, if we would share our experience and insights into that most basic of tone settings- which pickup(s) do you use, in what situations?

    I am thinking that we might generate some useful comments, such as , for example,
    "I generally use the neck pup when recording, but mix the two on stage,"
    "I tend to use the neck for rock tunes and the bridge for jazz gigs."

    There is no doubt that single-pickup basses are great instruments also. But what I am looking for here is advice on using what I believe is the more common tool. So if you are a confirmed P or MM person, let's not try to sway the world to your opinion here- maybe a simple comment would be appropriate, such as, "This is a moot point for me since I only play a P," or even, "I mostly play a MM, but I find that I pluck towards the bridge on more sparse songs, and towards the neck when the band gets heavier."

    So it's time to share! Let's hear some wisdom, people!
  2. ahpook


    Jul 13, 2001
    depends on the bass....

    on my jazz i use the neck pickup the whole time...the back one may as well not be there.

    on my sabre i use the back pickup for fingerstyle, but use the back/combined sound for pick playing.
  3. With my Jazz, for picking I use both pickups on full. For finger, I back the neck pickup to about 2/3.
  4. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses, Taurus Amplification
    I have a witkowski`s jazz bass with mec active pickups, but, mostly, it`s set flat. No eq corrections either.
    I try to chagne the tone only by changing my right hand position. Sometime`s I have to use the eq, but I try not to.
    I know. I`m wierd. :)
  5. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001

    Not weird at all. It's been said many times, "the tone is in your fingers."
  6. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    depends on the bass, and the song. usually blended 50-50.
  7. On my Spectors I have both pups up full or I have the blend control in the middle!

    I tend to have the bass and treble at the centre de-tent on the pot - I just love that sound
  8. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I use mostly the neck pickup with a little bridge for my standard lines. On times where I try to cut thourgh, I go more towards the neck and boost the mids. That nasal tone will get you to stand out.
  9. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I tend to run basses and amps flat and change the position of my hands. If I have trouble hearing myself (drummers!!!) I boost the mids on the amp. For some songs I might roll off some treble/tone.
  10. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    This is all great information. Keep it coming, people!
  11. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Both pickups on full most of the time.
    I blend towards the bridge pickup or solo it for cutting though or a different texture.

    I rarely ever use the neck pickup solo - I don't dig that sound.
  12. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    I have a duel humbucker G&L, and the selection method for pups is a 3 way switch. I prefer both pups for my own tone, in series mode (more bass) with bass cut or in parallel flat.

    This is a trulyversatile bass. That is my preference, but if I wanna cop a tone, I usually can come very close. Closer than anything but the real thing and it mimics soo many classics.
  13. tonru


    Mar 15, 2002
    i'm very new to bass.
    i have a Ric 4003,and am planning to Ric-O-Sound the set up with a SS amp on one side and a tube head on the other.
    i was wondering if keeping both pup's on,and using both the volume knobs is a viable technique;basically keeping the tone knobs static,sellector in the middle position(?).
  14. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    This works every time if the Pu's are even close to the original Jazz Bass positions.

    Fingerstyle: Bridge pickup full, add just a bit of neck pu to get more low-end without sacrificing clarity and growl.

    Slapping: both full (instant Marcus Miller sound)
  15. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    Is it me, or do the FMT Jazz basses have an AWESOME neck pickup sound? Darn things could even pass as a P bass IMO.

    Zon Customs: Use both pickups, or back one favored about 20%. Rarely use front or back pickup alone.

    Same with Zon Sonus'...although sometimes I use the front PUP solo'd (also good P-bass split coild sound).
  16. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    On my MIA Fender Hot Rodded P Bass, I run the P on full and the J on 1/4.
  17. The vast majority of the time when I am playing it's fingerstyle, usually 90% or more volume coming from the P pup in the neck position.

    When playing with a pick, i will use about 60% neck and 40% the J in the bridge.

    Only time I've been able to get a tone out of the jazz pickup in the bridge that I really liked was for recording songs with a lighter pop/rock sound.
  18. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    On my 5 string (2 humbuckers) I play w/both pickups on full.

    I'm playing with myself, then it's 75 bridge pickup, 25 neck.
    OR if I'm playing a country tune, then it's all neck.

    On my fretless, it's whatever I feel the hankerin' for.
  19. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    Well, i got my Fender Jazz a couple of weeks ago, I haven´t expiremented that much, but I seem to have the neck pickup on full and bridge on 75%.

    When I playing with pick I turn the tone control to about 50%. But with fingers I have the tone control on about 80%.
  20. Velkov


    Jan 17, 2001
    Lansdowne, Ontario
    I play a fretless jazz bass. When I want a funk-fusion kind of sound I turn the bridge pickup on full and back off the neck pickup a little bit. For a more rock kind of sound with agressive attack I do the opposite - neck on full, bridge about 60%. If I am playing walking bass lines I use the neck pickup alone and I roll of the highs with the tone knob.