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Precision bass players plucking fingerstyle between pickup and fretboard?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by sucka, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. sucka


    Nov 14, 2008
    I would like to see the technique, hand position etc of P-Bass users who pluck the strings (with fingers) in this space marked blue on the photo below. It's just my "sweet spot" for playing bass, I love the tone I'm getting from there but it's hard to keep a good right hand position when I pluck the strings right there. I'm thinking about installing a thumb rest. I know there are bassplayers who play P-bass that way but I can't think of any at the moment. I only remember that Chuck Dukowski from Black Flag played P-bass that way.
    So If you know who else plays this way - post here.
    Names, youtube vids, photos - whatever, just something to look and learn how to make playing that way easier. and more proper.



    Oh, and a pic of Chuck doing this kind of fingerstyle.
  2. Hi,
    I'm not sure if he did this on p basses
    But the area you have marked seems to be john entwistles sweet spot, so you should perhaps check out his technique, and apply it to the precision :)
  3. SidMau


    Sep 3, 2012
    Geezer Butler does, or at least he used to. I think he plays more by the bridge now.
  4. sucka


    Nov 14, 2008
    I always thought Geezer was playing over the fretboard, resting his thumb like in the photo above.
    Oh and my bad. It doesn't have to be the P-bass. The spot is more important, like JonnyBassman101 said, I can always "apply" the technique on my P :)
  5. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    That area is my favorite spot as well. Here's where Fender installed thumb rests on P-Basses in the 70s, and it's where I have installed one on mine:

    Attached Files:

  6. sucka


    Nov 14, 2008
    I just can't find any youtube bassplayer who's playing that way, with a thumbrest installed like here.
  7. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    Most images of James Jamerson show him plucking in that area, but his P-Bass was older and had a tug-bar on the opposite side.
  8. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Like this?

  9. A thumbrest would work. You can also put on a chrome pickup cover and anchor your ring finger and pinky on it and play on thee neck side of it. That's what Jamerson did. He called the cover "the bell."
  10. sucka


    Nov 14, 2008
    QUOTE=Phalex;14984872]Like this?

    90e8313e. [/QUOTE]

  11. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Nice shirt! :D

    I used to play like that, but I get a better sound and feel picking right at the pickup nowadays. I use it sometimes now, for effect. In terms of who used it, Jamerson used it all the time, resting his non-plucking fingers (all of them save the "Hook") on the chrome pickup cover. See it here in a rare live show with him.
  12. Great clip!
  13. sucka


    Nov 14, 2008

    I found a guy who does what I do, resting his thumb on the top of pickguard. That's what I'm looking for. More players like him? Anyone?

  14. I play in that spot fairly often and above the fingerboard as well, using a version of the floating thumb technique.

  15. alexkk


    Jul 25, 2012
    I rest my thumb on the e string when playing something on the higher strings, but my instructor drilled it into me that that 'sweet spot' is where I should play slap :p
  16. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    I'm usually closer to the bridge, right over the pickup. I sometimes use the pickup as a thumb rest.
  17. Whenever I play bass I constantly play in that area. I usually rest my thumb on the E string when I do so, and lift it whenever I need to play on that string.
  18. MotorCityWest


    Aug 25, 2013
    I rest my thumb on the tiny edge of the top corner of the fretboard, where the neck and body meet, puts my 2 plucking fingers in that sweet spot
  19. John Paul Jones. I know this is a J but he plays them all the same :p

  20. My rest position is right above the pickup, but I range from about the 15th fret, plucking right over the fingerboard for a deep, plummy sound, to back near the bridge for grittier tones.

    I do this from phrase to phrase, or even occasionally within in a phrase, gradually getting more driving and urgent as I progressively move back from the fingerboard toward the bridge.

    I suspect it comes from starting out playing in cover bands with just a P-bass. I had to cover everything from upright lines to aggressive Rickenbacker pick tones, with only my hands to adjust my sound.

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