1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

I don't get the whole idea of thumb rest???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fourstringin, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. fourstringin


    Jun 6, 2005
    Ok i do not understand the idea of the thumbrest on fenders... I always see them under the "G" string. I am sorry for using someone elses photos i hope they dont move them but look at the blue bass in this photo.


    Why is it called a thumb rest? it is in no way (to me) in any place for functionality. Especially for your thumb.

    If someone could help that would be great.
  2. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    I think it's for when you are on break. instead of standing there with your hands in your pockets, you can rest your thumb right under the G string, look pretty cool, and hopefully get chicks.

    Kidding! I know what you mean - makes absolutely no sense and sorry, but I don't have a clue why it's done, I just know I don't see it anymore, so maybe Leo Fender smoked pot - who knows.

  3. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Originally the Fender Basses were meant to be played with your thumb. The rest was a place to put your other fingers while you thumbed the bass.
  4. Dub56

    Dub56 Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    Bingo. It's a finger rest so you can thumb the strings.
  5. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Then, when put on the other side, it is actually a thumb rest.
  6. fourstringin


    Jun 6, 2005
    Wow thats a different approach i have never seen it played like that before. At least i got a good answer. It was bugging me, not even the guitar center people could tell me.

  7. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Hmm. Sounds logical. Incidentally, has anybody ever seen someone just tear it up with their thumb? I have seen some amazing stuff done with just one thumb!

  8. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Wow - not even the Guitar Center people? Ha ha ha!

    No offense - just thought that was funny!

  9. fourstringin


    Jun 6, 2005
    yeah not like i was expecting too much from them but come on if your going to sell something at least know about it.
  10. Aj*


    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Yep, watch the James Brown band, one of their bassists (why they have two I have no idea...) is a thumb only player.
  11. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    A "thumb rest" on the G-string side is commonly referred to as a "tug bar". I believe this is because the fingertips tug on the bar from below while the thumb plucks the strings.
  12. notice my nik
    I'm a thumb player,, been playing like that since I started playing bass,, never knew any better...
    only recently, because of music styles I'm now playing, am I teaching myself finger technique.
    As of right now, I can play MUCH faster using only my thumb,,
    the fingers are coming (played a gig last nite using fingers only, first time too).. You get completely different tones by the two methods,, and I hope to get to the point of playing finger style aka guitar method (using thumb and fingers when needed)...

    one upside to playing with the thumb,,, you don't get all those wrist problems that so many seem to complain about... ;)
  13. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Yup, sounds like GC.
  14. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Thumbplucker - do you actually double pick, or strike the string going both down, and back up? Just wondering - I would think you would about have to in order to keep up.

  15. True story... I was in a regularly gigging band playing bass, when I broke my right hand. I had a cast that came down to the end of my fingers and my thumb was hanging out fully functional. You guessed it... I continued to gig every Friday and Saturday for a month or two mainly using my thumb to play simple lines. I couldn't do any real tricky stuff, but the show did go on.

  16. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I call them Dumbrests LOL

  17. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    Sting plays with his thumb at times...on his P-bass, no less!
  18. BWil


    May 16, 2005
    SoCal USA
    I play fingerstyle. My '75 Pbass came with an E side rest & IMO that's how it should be. A place to rest your thumb as you play. G sides are just something to grab if your strap breaks ;^)
  19. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Alot of blues players use their thumbs! It's considered more "old school" but I find it effective when walking shuffles all night long. I think it originally was due to guitarists playing bass, the motion is similar to the picking motion a rythym guitarist would use. I guess it's something that naturally progressed to get a nice fat "bass" tone and was more or less "passed down". I have been doing alot of "traditional" blues lately and don't really have an ideal bass to lay it down with. The thumb really takes the high/mid attack out of the sound but still gives me lots of "boom", a few of the guitarist have mentioned to me that my bass, "actually sounds like a bass". My bass and I sort of take that as a back-handed compliment :eyebrow: but I can live with it and so can they because the phone keeps ringing ;)
  20. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    The thumb is not only an interesting option for tone, but for feel as well. I used to play with my thumb for Blues tunes to give it more of a pizzacato walking feel, but now I do it by playing with my index finger only. Something about using one finger instead of two that really gets that feel down.

Share This Page