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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


    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


    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
  6. 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
    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


    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


    Oct 18, 2015
    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


    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


    Oct 18, 2015
    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


    Oct 18, 2015
    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
    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


    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


    Dec 7, 2015
    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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