Pickup covers - why

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RyansDad, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. RyansDad


    Jan 31, 2006
    Tolland, CT
    Got a question here, maybe a dumb one (god knows, I'm good at that). Anyway, I've seen a lot of Fenders with bridge and/or pickup covers. They look really cool. Is there any reason for them other than that?
  2. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    You mean the big metal ashtray looking covers? They were designed to be used by someone who plays with a pick to rest their hand. Unless you play with a pick, or another style that they dont get in the way of, they are just for looks, and a lot of people remove them because they do get in the way of certain styles or techniques.
  3. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    The early fenders ie 50's and 60's, had foam pads under the bridge covers. It cut the sustain some and gave it a more upright sound. If you watch the standing in the shadows of motown dvd you'll see bob babbit has some foam stuck under his strings. As far as the pick up covers I've heard they were to block interference from other electronics though i'm not sure how that would work. Some players who didn't use picks also rested there hand there (Jamerson).
  4. RyansDad


    Jan 31, 2006
    Tolland, CT
    Those are exactly what I mean! That was also exactly what I was thinking about them, too. :)

    My confusion about functionality was that it looks like I would have trouble using them. I typically play with my thumb on the neck pup and my fingers just behind it. I've tried using a pick many times, but I find it frustrating.
  5. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005
    marcus miller uses his front one to guide his hand when he is slapping...aparantly
  6. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Some guys they get in the way, some they dont. Marcus Miller for example leaves them on, and he slaps and plays fingerstyle and all kinds of other things, and they dont get in HIS way. Id have a problem with them myself, as I use a floating thumb, and the covers dont leave much room, and also dont really allow you to play over the neck pickup if you want that sound, you have to play in front of it instead. But anyway, to some they are functional, to some they arent, to some they get in the way, to some they dont hehe.
  7. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    You look at pickup covers and ask why. I ask why not.
  8. MrWalker

    MrWalker Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Marcus Miller and Gary Willis use the front ashtray for resting their palm when slapping. I've had one on a Jazz for a while, and while it is actually quite comfortable when slapping, it gets in the way when playing fingerstyle. And when using a pick, it's also in the way.

    So not much use to me. :)

    I'm not sure if they were intended to shield the mics from electro-magnetic interference, but I have heard this mentioned.
  9. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA

    +1, I have found it messes with my slap technique. My hands are a bit large and I can't get the right angle when the cover is on.
  10. RyansDad


    Jan 31, 2006
    Tolland, CT
    Although I often subscribe to that same philosophy, it seems that there are a lot of why nots on this one. :D
  11. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001

    Bridge cover: Hides the mute

    Pickup Cover: was a form of shieldng the pickup against electromagnetic interference (i.e. stage lights)

    Despite what was said here I don't think they were designed with pick players in mind.

    Keep in mind also, when first introduced, they fit right in with the "chromed" asthetic of the times. (the design and colors of early fenders was very linked to automobile styling)

    I have them because I like the look, they don't interfere with the way I play, and I don't use a pick.
  12. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I have them on several basses, and I don't have them on others. Doesn't affect me in any way.
  13. RyansDad


    Jan 31, 2006
    Tolland, CT

    Probably like anything else on a bass; different tools for different styles.
  14. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    I like 'em--they look cool, they give you a place to rest your thumb.

    I have both on my 60s j and a pickup cover, a la marcus miller, on my five string

  15. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I recently finished a '68 Goya J knock-off rehab and the bass just screamed for the vintage looking covers. I was lucky to find an original set that didn't have too much rusting.

    This is what the bass looked like when I first got it without the covers (it was originally fretted):


    And this is what the bass looks like after the rehab (and neck conversion):


    Playing with the covers is actually pretty easy for my playing style, and the bass looks great with them on ...... :cool:
  16. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    I took off the bridge pickup on my SX '75 because it gets in the way when playing near the bridge, but I left the neck cover on. I find it quite comfortable for both slap and fingerstyle. I sit my hand on it for slapping, and use it as a thumb rest for fingerstyle.

    I like having it there so much that I'm probably going to add one onto my Glaub. I might not, because I don't want to develop a dependence on it. :rolleyes:
  17. howard9


    Jan 30, 2006
    What the hell, it just looks cool, supercool:bassist: My bass didn't have one, but it looks so cool, and after some practice it's no trouble. I am looking for one for my 9-string too:hyper:
  18. I like them for looks also. I play fingerstyle and have no problems with them being on the bass. Here is my Geddy Lee with them on (i replaced the badass with a traditional bridge):

  19. StringsOf4


    Dec 16, 2005
    I want to put a bridge cover on my p-bass but you'd have to take it off to change strings, right? So, my ? is, does the pup cover fit over the bridge so it's open for the strings?


    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Their pretty cool , i heard they were used to help block hum from the single coils.