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Jazz Bass to EBMM Sterling Transition

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by drewfretless, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. I have recently switched from my trusty Fender Jazz bass to a Musicman Sterling bass. I love the Sterling sound and the neck on mine is awesome. I am having some difficulty in finding a comfort zone with my right hand (I'm a righty). On my jazz I always anchored my thumb on the neck pickup. I seem to be all over the place on the Sterling, I have tried anchoring on the pickup but it just doesn't feel right. When I let my thumb rest against the pickguard things get sloppy. I have started anchoring on the end of the neck. Just wondering if anyone else has had trouble making this transition or if anyone has any new ideas??:help:

  2. I think your best solution is to install a thumbrest where the neck pickup would usually be. This would mean that you would have to drill a couple of holes in the pickguard and body though.
  3. chaunceytoben


    May 29, 2007
    Detroit, MI
    i was kinda in the same boat, and i was so worried about it i just bought an HS model. If you dont want to install the thumb rest, maybe try playing on humbucker for a bit and see if you can get used it.
  4. RandomEvent


    Nov 10, 2007
    I was the same way for a bit. But you get used to the pickup placing on an EBMM H in my opinion. Now when I play other basses, my right hand always tries to go right to the humbucker spot.
  5. I thought about the thumbrest, I may try it as a last resort. I also though about the HH, but I really love this particular bass.
    Thanks for the input.
  6. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I play on the Humbucker. Thumb fits nicely between the two screw bumps on the older model pickups. you get a bit more of a growly midrangey tone...instead of a rounder fat tone from playing closer to the neck.
  7. DumDrummer


    Mar 14, 2007
    South OC, CA
    I have the same problem and often debate about installing a thumb rest. I think I may buy another pickguard and glue it on there. I just can't bring myself to drill any holes into a $1300 bass. I like the feel of playing on the humbucker, I just don't care for the sound too much. I like the rounder low end I get playing a tad closer to the neck.
  8. That actually sounds like a good idea, I wasn't real big on the drilling holes thing either.
  9. origami


    Jun 26, 2005
    Big D TEXAS
    this week i just sold both my jazz basses (geddy and jag) so i could get another musicman (stingray). I still have a fender p/j (duff mckagen sig) so i still have a bass with a bridge j pick-up if i ever have to 100% have that particular burpy sound of a J PU solo'd (jaco).

    i was going to 100% go sterling, but i bought the stingray because the one i got felt special in comparison to the rest of the many basses (both sterlings or stingrays) i played while shopping. i also didn't like the HH versions. i don't really slap, but the neck pick-up seemed too close to the end of the fretboard and was distracting.

    i started out on p basses, i did find it weird at first when i first got the jazz bass to ancor my thumb on the neck pick up of the jazz (a slight little closer to the neck than on a P). i eventually kind of got used to it, but could never be comfortale to ancor my thumb on the jazz bride PU.

    i had a stingray about 4-5 years ago (sold it) and the biggest change was the big exposed pole pieces more than the postitoning. i have EMGs in my basses and having my fingertips roughed up by the pole pieces took some change in right hand technique. i like the new stingray i just got much more than my old one. it just feels different.

    i bought a 5 string stingray about 2 1/2 years ago and for some reason the pick-up placement helped me with plucking dynamics. i play different on that bass, and i play it at church and cover gigs only. oddly the 5 string sounds and importantly 'feels' weird in a rocking indie band that i am in too. it's like i play differently on 4 vs. the 5. the closer to bridge hand placement lends itself to more staccato playing and the 4 string fender(s) feel more at home with pumping 8th notes.

    so.. having the 5 string ray helped me get used to thump rest placement closer to the bridge. i do find myself sort of using a 'floating thumb' method too. don't drill in to your bass! just give it time. i added a thumb rest on a beater bass i had, and regreted it, it just seemed to get in the way of the E-string.
  10. DumDrummer


    Mar 14, 2007
    South OC, CA
    If you or ANYBODY is interested, my company shares building space with a company that does plexi glass. I have found the Fender thumbrests to be to big so I am gonna have him make me one that is 3/4" shorter with about the same depth as the exposed part of the pickup. If ANYONE is interested in one, shoot me a PM and I will keep you posted.

    Or if anyone knows where one may buy smaller thumb rests, please let me know.
  11. jamfree


    Nov 10, 2005
  12. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    +1. I am going to get a cheap pickguard and glue on a thumbrest.

    I can't play with my thumb on the pickup on my single H SR or Sterling. The srting tension is too tight and as above, I like the tone from playing closer to the neck.

    An HH is really the best answer IMO, but I slap a lot and the neck H gets in the way.
  13. WarMan


    Feb 18, 2008
    Plano, Texas
    It's easy! It only took me a few minutes. It much better than resting your thumb on a pickup. With a 4 string bass you never have to stretch more than 3 strings.
  14. 68Goldfish

    68Goldfish Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    Port Orchard WA
    Personaly I wouldn't want to use a thumbrest becuase part of the reason why I like to put my thumb on top of the pickup is that the pickup also stops my fingers from getting lost inbetween the strings. I started out with a jazz bass and moved to a sterling too but it was no big deal becuase I've allways played off of the top of the bridge pickup. To me playing off of the top of the pickup so close to the bridge is what makes my sterling sound so gnarly. That thing growls, barks and bites like no other bass I've ever played. Seems like it would defeat the purpose to play it anywere else.
  15. mynan


    Nov 7, 2007
    Grand Haven, MI
    I also put my thumb on the bridge pickup on my SR5...probably why I don't have a problem with EBMM string spacing or the 34" scale feeling floppy.
  16. Agree with the "floating thumb" suggestion.

    I'm trying it myself right now, although I dont have an Ernie Ball. But in any case that technique will allow you play any bass regardless of brand or construction. Even accoustic basses wich usually have no thumb rest.
  17. I had the exact problem and could not get a comfortable anchor spot at all. Maybe my technique is sloppy, but I am used to resting my forearm on the top of the body and then resting my thumb on a pickup. The body of the Sterling is about 2" inches smaller than my Jazz and it seemed my forearm was always in an awkward position, giving me trouble getting a comfortable hand position. I loved the sound of the Sterling but no matter what I did, aside from playing with a pick, I could not make it work for me with my fingers. I ended up getting a StingRay and all is well :D
  18. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Or maybe you could drill countersunk holes from the back side of your pickguard and into the thumbrest and install the thumbrest that way. Less likely to come off that way, I would think...
  19. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
    go down to your local hardware store & pick up a card full of those clear plastic stick-on bumpers either round or square, however large or small you prefer & stick-on a couple at different locations

  20. Polk Salad

    Polk Salad

    Sep 18, 2007

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