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Plucking the bass on the neck

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ijuost, Nov 27, 2020.

  1. ijuost


    Nov 27, 2020
    I always play on the neck. Always. no matter what style im playing. It is where i find the most comfort and the tone i want. However except from Al cisneros and geezer butler i don't know any other bassist who plays like this. Do any of you guys play like this? Do you know other bass players who use this position? Is it "okay" to play like this?
    Nick von Nick and lucas303 like this.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    If it gets you the sound you want, it's ok. Laura Lee of Khruangbin also does this a lot.
  3. WillyWonka

    WillyWonka "zero" fret Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2019
    I play within an inch of the fingerboard, and on it.

    when I’m famous peeple can copy my style.
  4. ijuost


    Nov 27, 2020
    That's exactly it hahahah
    Danny E and staurosjohn like this.
  5. Lagado

    Lagado Inactive Suspended

    Jan 6, 2020
    It's up to you, but you are missing out on a range of different tones and dynamics along the string. If you want the ramp effect, play over the pickup instead of the neck. Set the pickup height for it.
  6. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    Many reggae bass players like to play up
    There when they’re ‘rubbin’ it. Gets a huge soft bassy tone.
  7. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    welcome to talkbass! ;)

    all the time (but not exclusively). i really don't know anyone who doesn't/wouldn't do that.

    you'd probably be helping yourself out by discovering/practicing all kinds of playing positions = versatility! good luck with your playing! :thumbsup:
  8. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    You play on the area of the neck required to get the tone you want. When I play bass, I play anywhere from right over the bridge pickup to over the neck, although I favor near the bridge. When I played traditional country, I played near or over the neck a lot.
  9. LetItGrowTone


    Apr 2, 2019
    @ijuost, this is a closely related topic: I recently discovered that I like a pickup closer to the neck than P or J. It catches more fundamental and you might like it too.
    klyph likes this.
  10. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Sure! Sometimes the best art comes from deliberately limiting your options. For example Picasso went through a 3-year period where he used only the color blue.
    Claymore and ObsessiveArcher like this.
  11. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Sure I do that. When I want/need that super pillowy soft tone. Works every time.
    TrevorR likes this.
  12. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Yup, the "dub" tone, essentially. Great for all sorts of styles, not just reggae and such.
    Element Zero likes this.
  13. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Check out Laura Lee, middle section of Khruangbin's "August 10":

    gmarcus, JoshS, Speterc and 1 other person like this.
  14. mellowgerman

    mellowgerman Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    Most of the time I probably pluck in the middle between the bridge and neck, but my hand glides up over the neck pickup and even over the neck heel when the song calls for a warmer tone. I honestly don't think about it anymore though, it's more of a subconscious decision, which is why I said "probably" in my initial statement. When using a pick, I normally stay in the middle or even a bit closer to the bridge as I palm mute a lot then.
    I never play right by the bridge fingerstyle... just don't like the tone there on any bass.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
    bholder likes this.
  15. Jared Houseman

    Jared Houseman

    Jul 5, 2018
    I do it quite a bit. I'll play on the pickup for fast, driving songs and on the neck for softer, slow songs.
  16. I don't like the treble clack you get from playing there
  17. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    This guy played on the neck most of the time. He seemed to do alright by it.

  18. On a P bass I pluck directly over the pickup. On a J, I'm directly over the neck pickup.
  19. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I have thumbrests on all my basses, They go from the fretboard to the neck pickup. They stop at the neck pickup because I never play any closer to the bridge than that. A good deal of the time, my thumb rests on the side of the neck, with my fingers playing over the last few frets. It works for me, if it works for you too, nothing wrong with that.
    johnnynitro and Kipp Harrington like this.
  20. TheReceder


    Jul 12, 2010
    With me, anywhere between the 7th fret and the bridge is useable territory. Why limit yourself to the norm?
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jan 25, 2021

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