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I don't like playing over the bridge pickup

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by RyanKW, Jan 6, 2017.


  1. RyanKW

    RyanKW

    Jul 1, 2015
    The title says it all. I play finger style almost exclusively. Floating thumb. I see many other bass players playing almost exclusively over the bridge pickup. Many times I like their tone. When I try it, I don't like the sound or feel. Feels "cold".

    I like it most just behind the neck pickup. Sometimes, when doing country, I'll even play right up at the neck for a more upright sound...but never bridge. Been playing 22 years.

    Anyone here feel the same?
     
  2. I trend to be close to where the neck joins the Body. I think it has more to do with comfort than the sound, however I do like the up right sound and do use flats and foam.
     
    2saddleslab, snarebear and Bodeanly like this.
  3. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    I don't trust people who play close to the bridge as their default tone.
     
  4. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Works for me.

    I rarely play anywhere near the bridge other than as a special effect for a note or two. I'm more the 'sweet spot to over the fingerboard' type myself.
     
  5. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    ^^^
     
  6. RyanKW

    RyanKW

    Jul 1, 2015
    Lol! Friggin bridgers.
     
    Dean N, MattZilla, GKon and 11 others like this.
  7. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i play all over, mostly, with a preference near (or even over) the neck (float), but i never play at the bridge: probably for the same reason as you: can't get the feel i want when those strings seem less 'obedient'.

    funny! :roflmao:
     
    RyanKW likes this.
  8. RedMoses

    RedMoses Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2012
    NYC
    J at the Bridge Sounds great when playing by yourself but in the mix i find its too thin for me, i use a PJ and i solo the P and rest my thumb on the Pickup full time.
     
    lz4005 likes this.
  9. HandsFree

    HandsFree

    Dec 23, 2015
    I rarely move away from the bridge. It gives me much more definition than playing closer to the neck.
    When I hear live bands the bass is usually just a heap of low zoom. Playing closer to the bridge at least makes the notes I'm playing actually audible.
     
  10. rufus.K

    rufus.K

    Oct 18, 2015
    SoCal
    I can't say I have an all time preference. It depends if I'm too deep and need articulation, or too bright/punchy and need to mellow it out.
    I had to check if this was in the DB or BG section. I guess I default midway and as arm length dictates and move from there foreword or backward in response to my tone... it's like a fine adjustment to timbre'.
     
    SLO Surfer and JusttheBassics like this.
  11. joebar

    joebar

    Jan 10, 2010
    I have always played over the neck PU- I like the feel and bounce of the string in that area; I can't get a good read on the string at the bridge.
     
    trackskinz and RyanKW like this.
  12. rufus.K

    rufus.K

    Oct 18, 2015
    SoCal
    When I dig in hard, I usually go toward the bridge. For me, the strings are more predictable there as they're swinging less far.
     
  13. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    I usually play a P, so I don't have a bridge pickup, but I also tend to play between just behind the pup and the neck -- both fingerstyle and pickstyle -- and rarely near the bridge. However, I'm intrigued by players who effectively play with a pick near the bridge. Julie Slick, for example, often plays with a pick near the bridge on her P-style Lakland, and gets an awesome gnarly tone out of it, but I haven't figured out how to do that myself.
     
    matante and RyanKW like this.
  14. rufus.K

    rufus.K

    Oct 18, 2015
    SoCal
    If I were playing a strat in a band (as a guitar player), I may use the neck pickup for clean rhythm, and the bridge pickups for distorted lead, there is a difference in attack and toNE for sure. I do that in a song when I want to fall back or step foreword in a live mix, play here or there, harder or softer, depending on what's going on.
     
    bluejack likes this.
  15. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Depends on the tone you want. I pluck anywhere from right by where the neck meats the body to over the bridge pickup. On a J bass, the sweet spot is between the pups. I also find the strings get a little floppy if you move too far up.
     
    Ewo, trackskinz and gebass6 like this.
  16. RyanKW

    RyanKW

    Jul 1, 2015
    I use a PJ and solo the P as well, but i float.
     
  17. I hate too.
    Neck rulez
     
    RyanKW likes this.
  18. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    Yes. Pretty much could have written this myself.

    Sometimes I get a little closer to the bridge, like over the back pickup when I want that sound, but it's not all that often.
     
    RyanKW likes this.
  19. Mechayoshi

    Mechayoshi

    Dec 7, 2015
    Tennessee
    I can see this pick style, though it's still not something I would do. But finger style? Uh no......
     
  20. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    "I don't like playing over the bridge pickup."

    Then don't do that ;)

    In all seriousness though, where I'm picking depends entirely on what sound I was out of the bass: I'll attack the strings anywhere from directly over the bridge pickup for really punchy, burpy tones to an octave above where I'm fretting for thick, synth-like tones.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017

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