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Old Fender Thumbrests?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by belair57, Jan 25, 2001.

  1. Why are the thumbrests on the really old Fenders on the wrong side of the bass. They're on the G string side instead of the E string side
  2. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    They weren't thumbrests, and they were on the right side of the bass! That's where you put your fingers because you played with your thumb.
  3. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    Check out Brian Wilson's (Beach Boy's)bass playing.
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Bob G.'s right. I keep mine on, just to be a pompous snot.
  5. Oh, that's very interesting. Thanx Guys
  6. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
  7. Later, Fender moved them to the E string side. They were just as useless there, but they're back on the reissues just for authenticity's sake.

    Some company (I forgot who) more recently cut a step into the body on the E string side for the same purpose. The step runs the full pluckable length of the string, as I recall.
  8. BobG is right. In the 50's the bass guitar was an infant having a hard time being accepted. In fact possibly the first ever hit record with an electric bass (back then they called them Fender basses regardless of the brand) was Jailhouse Rock, and Bill Black was an unhappy convert to the Fender bass, it was forced on him. Because the instrument was so new, there was no right or wrong way to play (still is'nt), so many players hooked their fingers on the rest, and plucked with their thumb. It was only when players got the "funk" and started plucking with two fingers over the top, that Fender moved the rest. Monk Montgomery was the first jazz bassist to play a Fender bass, and he played with his thumb. James Jamerson sat the edge of his palm on the chrome cover over the pickup and played with ONE finger! Most players today cant play his lines properly with two!
  9. I've played with my palm on the "ash tray" as the chrome covers ar lovingly called now. but the finger rest was the first thing to go. Have you seen the thumb rest used by Mark Egan it is similar to a B string in its size and spacing and runs from the neck to the bridge. I like having an actual B string though.
  10. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    I've got the thumbrest on the E side of my '75 P and I actually use it.
    Guiseppe likes this.
  11. I used to use the side of the pickup and the side of the very bottom of the neck, but somewhere along the way I started barely touching the E string when not playing it and just lightly touching my thumb down on the pickguard when playing the E string (and sometimes not touching down at all). This has really freed me up, although I didn't notice when it happened.
  12. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...over the years, what I've noticed-
    Every non-player friend of mine who picks up my bass, will play it with their thumb ala Fender's original notion(fingers cupped under the "thumb" rest & played with the thumb).
  13. I noticed that, too. People also do that with guitars. I think it's because it gives them a way to hold the instrument up without using a strap. I'll have to try that some time by making the non-player wear the strap before laying hands on the bass and see if they do the same thing.
  14. I remember I wasn't able to pluck with my fingers until I first got a strap for some reason.. had to use my thumb. Can't exactly figure out why.. now I can sit down and fingerpluck without a strap, though I usually stand.

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