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is a thumb rest a good idea?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DredFetus, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. DredFetus


    Nov 19, 2010
    so ive been resting my thumb on the top pick up but there is a screw on the side (look at the picture) and theres not to much room so i made a thumb rest to sit between the two pick ups
    i was just wondering if the screw being between the pick ups would it mess them up being metal? and if i drilled it in between them would i hit any wires?
    also do u think i should install this or just get used to the way it is now, i dont like putting a tiny hole but the bass isn't mint as is.

  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Hey, whatever works...

    I've found that a thumbrest on 5 string creates an uncomfortable reach, especially when dealing with the G string. I usually rest my thumb lightly on the B string for orientation, not support. Also working on my floating thumb technique.

  3. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    The wires come off the bottom toward the controls, so it's not the wires to be concerned about.

    As far as cosmetics, I'd prefer something more the color of the bass rather than black like the pickups. Also, since this particular part does not take much stress, the smaller the screws, the better, again, for the cosmetics. Two really small diameter screws about 1" long at either end would be better than one larger screw in the middle, both for cosmetics, and so that the finger rest does not wobble.

    Look at pictures of old (and I mean old, as in '50's and early '60's) Fender and Rickenbacker basses and study how they attached the finger rests. They were on the G string side because Leo thought folks would play more with the thumb rather than with the fingers.
  4. jpTron


    Apr 19, 2010
  5. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Same here, using a floating technique just came about naturally for me, possibly because I play Ricks.
    I find a fixed anchor point makes me too dependant on it, and I miss it when I don't have one.
  6. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
  7. Winnb


    Nov 4, 2010
    Do whatever works best for you.
  8. JBuckley


    Dec 18, 2008
    Alameda, CA
    My first bass came with a thumb rest which I used for many years. It was handy to have as a beginner, but I eventually found my reliance on it was limiting my playing to just that one spot. Once I took it off, I found myself learning how to get different sounds depending on where I would hit the strings.
  9. DredFetus


    Nov 19, 2010
    i think im going to go ahead and mount it once its dried, im thinking only one screw will be enough because it is going to be wedged between the two pick ups and can not really shift to any side. them being close together i would worry two screws would chip the finish. not worried about how i will mount it,

    I was thinking it would be kinda ugly in black but dont wanna waste money on buying paint to match it. do u guys think car model paint would be durable enough? maybe if i did a clear coat over it.
  10. i, too, prefer the floating thumb
  11. I use a lot of floating thumb, but I also like to temporarily anchor my thumb when playing a lot on the lowest string to get that snap.
  12. phmike


    Oct 25, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Double stick tape instead of a screw.
  13. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I'd need a thumb rest from the bridge to way out over the neck. ;)

    Even at that, it wouldn't do me much good when my thumb is being used to pluck along with my fingers.

    But, I guess if your thumb is tired it would be a good idea to have some place to rest it.
  14. I agree, I play the same way. Resting the tumb on the B string works fine. I have a 4 string that does not have a thumb rest. I rest my thumb on a pickup or the E string depending on the song I am playing.
  15. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    I really need a thumb rest for digging in and that's the biggest drawback to my Rick basses, IMO (if that's the worst thing I can say, then things aren't too bad). The drag about thumbrests on some basses is that they require drilling holes that render your axe "modified."

    I avoided this on my 97 CIJ Jazz FL - my luthier (Jim Mouradian - the best) installed a small crescent of lucite using one of the existing pickguard holes. It's just off the end of the fingerboard, that nice meaty place to pizz for me. He's done a bunch of great work for me and this 50-cent piece always makes me smile.
  16. You are prolly young enough to not have played with your thumb - but when I started, that's what we used - that, or 'The Hook' - which I am sure someone else will tell you about.


    I tried to learn the finger tip technique and for me having a thumb rest was a great training aid, and I think I'll just leave it here until or if I repaint this bass black and add a tort PG.
  17. i am having this issue on my Rick. my thumbnail has made a groove between the the bridge pick-up and pick guard, because i anchor my thunb on the E right above that spot to play a little behind the bridge pick-up. i also will rest on the bridge pick-up and that has loosened it a little from its base.

    been thinking a thumb rest would help if its just attached to the pick guard screwed from underneath. then no body damage.
  18. I don't always use one, but I like having it there.
  19. always wanted to put one on - like the op between the pups on my j V and p/j 4 but never found the right material. or was it laziness? i forget ...
  20. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Yup to all the above. And a repeat of do not just use one screw. Use 2. Otherwise your gonna have a thumb rest that doesnt stay put. It will rotate from the single screw thru use. Trying to really tighten down single screw hard can create problems. Use two narrow screws. Aint expensive enough to quible over for 2 instead of one. Also for paint I reccomend whatever shade of car touch up paint. From the touch up paint pens section at walmart, car parts places, etc. Weatherproof, works well over poly. Also ok over wood. Ot just stain and finish wood thumb rest with something like minwax all-n-1 wipe on.

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