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The "Wood Block Between Pickups" technique

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by TheBassBetween, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. TheBassBetween


    Jun 25, 2005
    So I was using my teacher's bass, and was always curious as to why the space between his two pickups was filled by something. I played on it and it felt pretty good. He told me it was a technique that a guy used...I forgot his name, but he helps with low action so your fingers don't dig into the string too much.

    Anyway, I was wondering if there was a temporary way to do this technique, so I can see how much I like it. I'm willing to be creative on this one.

    Anybody have any ideas?
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
  3. Any material that is the right thickness will work as long as it's dense enough not to introduce it's own sound to the signal. Try going to a hobby store and getting a piece of hobby plywood made from birch. You can get it in 6" x 10" pieces and it's a fine plywood that can easily be worked to make the piece. Cost is about $4 and you could make a couple of them if you screw up.
  4. TheBassBetween


    Jun 25, 2005
    Well, what would happen if the wood was dense? Just wondering.
  5. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Billy Sheehan did his own thing and realized that what he did was just like Gary Willis and the others mentioned above...

    He calls it "Playing the Pickup"

    As a bassist, we need our fingers to work together and play notes that we fret at the desired tempo.

    When Billy Sheehan was working on 3 finger picking, he used to hit
    the pickup and then pedal his fingers to hit the strings. Basically, the pickup (and those ramps in between pickups) just act as a stopping point for bassists to use as a reference and get their triple finger technque to be consistant and stuff... Otherwise your fingers get stuck in between the strings with nothing behind it and you will loose your rythm...

    Raising the pickups and playing those like i mentioned above gives the same feel and works.. That is what i do.
  6. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Also, you'll want to radius the top of the ramp to match how you radius your strings (which is usually done to match the radius of the fretboard- ie: if you have a 12" radiused fingerboard, make a 12" radiused ramp). The reason behind this is if you just put a flat piece of wood between the pickups, the distance between each of the strings and the ramp will be different, which will throw off how you attack the strings, as the extra distance on some of the strings will allow you to dig in more than on the end strings.