Options Regarding Resting the Thumb

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by HiFi, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. HiFi


    Apr 20, 2002
    Anaheim, CA
    Been awhile, but I have been reading even while not posting.

    I just bought a new Jazz bass, converting back from a Precision, and I'm finding that I feel comfortable with my hand and tone while resting my thumb on the bridge pickup.

    The trouble I am having is that I feel pain quickly as my thumb puts a lot of pressure on the edge of the pickup.

    I'm wondering if anyone else has added a thumbrest in that area near the bridge pickup, or if there is anything (padding, perhaps?) to affix in the area to ease the pain in the thumb.

    Maybe I'm just a wimp, but I really do dig in quite hard with my plucking hand in that position.
  2. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Anchored to the bridge pup, the strings will feel much stiffer to pluck with your fingers than if you are playing at the neck pup. It's just the physics of the strings. If you feel like you need to play at that location, turn up your amp and let it do the work instead of feeling like you must get all the volume with your fingers. In regards to adding a thumb-rest, Timmy C (Rage, Audioslave) has a long rest that spans the gap between the neck and bridge pups.
  3. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    I really like playing near the bridge. I have a thumb rest on both my p basses right near it and when I play my jazz I play on the bridge pickup most of the time. I play with a really light touch and let my amp do the work. maybe try a ligher touch and turn your amp up.
  4. SteveD


    Feb 20, 2006
    Denver, Colorado
    You can have a thumb rest installed wherever you want it, but a better idea is to work on using less pressure on your thumb. It should just barely touch the pickup for a reference, not push into it hard. I rest most often on the neck pickup on my Jazzes, but I also move my hand around alot to influence the tone, sometimes I don't rest on anything, sometimes on the side of the fingerboard for plumper tone.

    The weight of my arm is supported by the bass body, not the pickup. Practice at not resting, and barely touching, it will come. Good luck.

  5. GSRLessard14

    GSRLessard14 All-Things-Claypool Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2005
    Newington, CT
    I can't stand playing on the bridge pickup or anywhere down there. The strings are too hard to pluck and the sound is nothing but treble.

    I usually play over the neck pickup, or occasionally over the end of the fretboard, or between the neck and bridge pickups.
  6. Low_blow


    May 14, 2005
    My advice: don't try to play fast at first. Let your fingers get used to bridge position. Play on open strings and do string crossing excercises. Don't forget to make breaks when your hand gets tired.