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Pick players who play with a bridge cover on their Precision/Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jason the fox, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. jason the fox

    jason the fox Often rocks and rarely rolls.

    Jul 2, 2013
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I'm mainly a Fender guy. I've got a few Gibsons and Epiphones that I gig with from time to time, but as soon as I pick up one of my Precisions, I feel right back at home with it.

    Anywho, I don't have any AVRI's at the moment but I love the look and style of the bridge cover on those old Precisions and Jazzes (not so much the pickup cover, because it sits over where I do a lot of plucking - with a pick, or fingerstyle).

    I'm wondering how difficult (or not) the bridge cover makes it for pick players (or finger players, for that matter), when it comes to muting and other techniques that might require you to rest your hand on/over/around the bridge?

    And I mean without any foam mute under the cover also, so you can still play every open/natural, if need be.

    All comments and opinions welcome.
  2. CoarseBass


    Dec 28, 2002
    I've never owned a bass with covers, but I personally find it pretty tricky. I wander up and down the strings with my pick, when I use one, to get different dynamics, and I kept running into one cover or another. I did find the bridge ashtray to be a nice rest from time to time, but for my (sloppy, amature) style of play, I prefer to stay clear of covers.
  3. jason the fox

    jason the fox Often rocks and rarely rolls.

    Jul 2, 2013
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    I can relate to that, I think. I've got bit of a sloppy/strum/swing with my picking hand for a lot of the material we cover - so I'm sure that the cover over the pickup would definitely be in my way.

    Love the look of the bridge cover though, which is why I'm contemplating throwing one on one of my P-basses. As long as it isn't a major hindrance to my playing style lol. I might even by a nice place to rest too, who knows.
  4. Okay...I have a jazz cover on my mustang (shortscale), so for the sake of discussion, I{ll just interperet it as a Jazz though it may be a little different.

    Precision: Very easy to get used to, no real adjustment needed because of the small cover.
    Palm muting is a little tough and takes some finess, especially on the D and G strings.

    Jazz Cover: Tough to get used to, the cover is giant and totally changes where one would normally pick. Also, the space between the bridge cover and the pup cover isn{t that large so you have to get accustomed to playing in that smaller space.
    Palm muting is near impossible with this (for me atleast) the cover is so long that when you palm mute, the string barely has any sound because it is too far from the bridge to be muting. Also, the bridge cover sits high so you can{t really rest you hand with ease on it (that takes some getting used to) Even if you want to palm mute, I doubt you{d have enough space between the length of your hand for muting, the pick would be super close to the bridge cover.

    Regarding pickup covers:When playing with my fingers (which I rarely do) I need a pickup cover to have it work. I rest my three fingers on the cover and play with my index finger. (initially did it to try to imitate Jamerson, but it became comfortable and I feel as though I can go from note to note easier with one finger) I{m not really a finger player though, so working on my multiple finger technique isn{t really an issue for me.

    Thumb playing: Rarely do this as well, but it is very nice to have both covers on when playing with your thumb, you grab the tugbar with your other fingers, pluck with your thumb, and rest you arm on the both covers (prevents the arm from resting on the strings)
  5. GG7


    Mar 14, 2013
    I've got an American Vintage 64 Jazz that I have the back cover on. I took the pickup cover off cause it was in my way, but I have no problem with leaving the bridge cover on. I like the look of it on there.

    I use a pick exclusively and find that I never need to get any further back than the edge of that cover. I usually hit the strings much further forward than that most of the time.

    That cover also has a foam string mute stuck on the backside from the factory, but I took mine off cause I prefer to palm mute my strings for effect WHEN I need it, not all the time.
  6. GG7


    Mar 14, 2013
    Here is a photo of my 64 with a WD White Pearl Pickguard, a real rosewood finger rest instead of the cheap plastic one it came with and the stock chrome bridge cover.

  7. peledog


    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    What, if any, noticeable tone difference exists with the bridge/pickup covers?
  8. GG7


    Mar 14, 2013
    If you leave the foam mute in the bridge cover, A LOT! ;)

    Otherwise, not really any noticeable difference when plugged in. Sounds a little different acoustically cause the cover kind of acts like an echo chamber and makes the bass louder when unplugged, but this does not transfer to the pickups/amp.

    The front pickup cover is only there for looks, and for me personally, it was totally in my way, so I took it off. Did the same on my 4003 for the same reason. Form over function x 10! ;)
  9. There are no tonal differences. I have 2 P-basses that I've played with & without covers. No tonal difference.

    Personally, I have a cover on my P-up and none over my bridge. It gives me a thumb anchor when playing finger style without inhibiting my ability to palm mute my bridge if using a pick.
  10. Speaking from experience (split humbuckers, mustang and precision), I haven{t notice a single tone difference whatsoever.
    Maybe there is one with super high quality pickups, but not with Japanese/chinese ones in my basses.
    Only difference in tone is because I usually ram some foam under the strings.

    Someone told me once the initial point of a pickup cover on electric basses was to stop interference with flourescent lights on the pickups. Apparantly in the 50's, they would hum terribly under flourescent lights and the covers would somehow block it. Is this true or just a legend? If a "fender expert" can confirm/dispute this, that would be great.
  11. jason the fox

    jason the fox Often rocks and rarely rolls.

    Jul 2, 2013
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Thanks for the input everyone.

    The only issue for me would be not being able to palm mute.

    I don't think the cover would cover enough of the 'playing area' to really limit where I like to attack the strings for different tones, etc. It's the muting thing. Wondering if it's still possible to still brace your hand in the same fashion as you can right over/on the bridge, except.. in front of it, along the edge of the ashtray.
  12. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    It is - I don't find a bridge cover to be any hindrance at all, although I won't use a pup cover...

    - georgestrings
  13. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Give it a try on any of your basses. Plop your hand on the strings 1-2" away from the bridge and see how you like it. I can't do it. When I palm mute I like to rest my hand on the edge of the bridge, so with a cover on my hand is just too far away from where I like it.

    With that said, I have a bridge cover on one of my P's and I really like the way it looks. I don't find that it gets in the way at all, and I do vary my technique quite a bit depending on the sound I want to get. Fingerstyle, pickstyle, whatever.
  14. GG7


    Mar 14, 2013
    I palm mute all the time with mine. Right at the front edge of the cover. No problem at all. If it was, I would have taken it off a long time ago. ;)

    I only use a pick, so muting with my right hand is a huge part of my technique.
  15. jason the fox

    jason the fox Often rocks and rarely rolls.

    Jul 2, 2013
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Right on guys, thanks!

    My local Long and McQuade (the only real music store around these parts) doesn't have any in stock, so I bought one on the evilBay. Might try it on my Franken Pee first, won't feel as bad if I drill two holes in it and abandon the idea afterwards, lol.

    Anything sacrilegious about sticking one on a perfectly fine American Standard Precision? lol. I'd really like to put one on my '12, oly white/tort/rosewood.
  16. Lots of guys put them on their Am Stds. I suggest using double-sided tape first. That way you don't put holes in your bass that may not be necessary.
  17. I had the bridge cover on my AV62 RI P-Bass for about a year...looked cool but when I changed strings I never put it back on...I think I actually like it better without...I use flats and play finger style 90% of the time...pull out the pick occasionally for fun....I just like having quick access to the bridge.

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