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thumbrest for jazz bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by wisemonkey, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. wisemonkey


    Apr 18, 2006
    I like to pluck my jazz bass somewhere between the pickups (I think there's a definite sweet spot where the tension is just right for finger funk)
    A thumbrest in this position is really useful, but I don't want to take a drill to my bass. My current system is to use a suitably shaped plastic block attached with bostick sticky pads (stronger than blu tack but not totally solid), I then reinforce with gaffer tape on top. It moves a bit but does the job pretty well.
    Does anyone know of a better way of attaching a thumbrest with permanantly marking the bass?
  2. UncleBalsamic


    Jul 8, 2007
    I've never done it but could you glue it onto the pickguard?
  3. funkifiedsoul

    funkifiedsoul Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Yes, it's amazing how something so subtle can largely effect one's playability. It would seem that it depends on if you feel you will likely sell the bass at some point, or whether it's a particularily "special" jazz, i.e. vintage,special edition etc. If so to either, then you should probably leave it alone.
    I don't know enough about glue, but there may be one that is strong enough to hold but won't ultimately damage the finish (assuming it's high gloss) allowing you to remove it and clean it up.
    OR, if it's not so special or unique, maybe consider adding a P-pick-up between the jazz pup's, or any other pick-up you desire. Double bonus, new thumb rest, WITH sound)
  4. hitnmhard


    May 19, 2008
    North East USA
    How about removing the pick guard, and screwing the thumb rest on from the back side of it. I'm sure you can get small enough counter sunk screws which would be strong enough and still not creat a conflict between the underside of the pick guard and the bass top. This way only the pick guard would be altered.
  5. zandar


    Jul 8, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    It took me a while to get used to doing this, but if you change your technique slightly so you're putting more inward pressure on your right thumb, you can use the tiny ledge where the top of the pickguard meets the body of the bass as a thumbrest...and if your thumb is long enough this will help you get that sweet spot between the pickups where you can dig in without getting clicky noises from the pickups.
  6. wisemonkey


    Apr 18, 2006
    I think gluing probably is the way forward. On this particular bass I don't have a pickguard.
    I must look inot what the best glue would be, preferably one which would not damage the finish if it was removed.
  7. lowtide

    lowtide Commercial User

    Oct 14, 2006
    Bradenton, Florida
    Owner: Buzzard's Bass Shop
    Get yourself a tube of that 2-part epoxy. Any cheap auto supply section. It'll cost about 5 buck. A thin coat and it's good forever.

    You could also remove the PG and drill through from the back side and countersink the holes to use two #4 flathead screws into the bottom of the thumbrest.
  8. Vic Winters

    Vic Winters Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    Western NY

    Just screw it down. What's two small holes? You could easily cover them up with a different pick guard and an ashtray or fill the holes with wood putty and touch it up with nail polish if you wanted to sell it.
  9. If you don't care so much about your pickguard, then I would just say super-glue.
    It should do the trick :smug: (thats if don't care about your pickguard if you ever took the thumbrest off)
  10. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Since you don't have a pickguard and are concerned about damage to the finish, most glues won't work if you want a strong bond. Carpenter's glue won't bond well to most finishes unless you sand the finish to rough it up. It also dries hard and although it's not permanently waterproof, it won't remove easily with water and won't scrape off without damage.

    I tried a craft glue called Weldbond which dries more flexible and supposedly removes with water if really soaked for a while. It doesn't but it holds nicely to a poly finish although you'll never get it off. On the bass I was working with I was trying to glue it to a pick guard made of some sort of vinyl plastic. It was a MusicMan bass.

    The problem I found was the thumb rest had such a small surface area that double sided tape wouldn't hold it well. The solution was to make a two piece thumb rest consisting of a sheet of thin arborite with the painted wooden thumb rest epoxied to it. I held the arborite part to the bass with double sided carpet tape. The arborite was cut to a pleasing shape and probably totaled 2 square inches. That held very well and served me for over two years until I sold the bass. I pried up the thumb rest and removed the gunky carpet tape residue with naptha (lighter fluid) and there wasn't a mark left.
  11. PauBass


    Apr 25, 2006
    Brighton, UK
    That's exactly the thumb rest I'm after. Can you tell us where you bought it from? Or, did you make it yourself?

    Please, let us know.
  12. atom1962

    atom1962 Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Indianapolis. indiana
  13. jk_bass


    Jun 28, 2006
  14. BigNoise


    Nov 19, 2007
    Knoxville, TN
    Attach the thumbrest to the pickguard from the underside with flat head screws?
  15. redielg


    Jun 9, 2008
    I'd also like to know about that thumbrest. I want one just like it.
  16. Yoo on that SX, What Kind of a thumbrest is that and where do u get it? is it Home Made? cause i see it on Timmy commerfords setup and his bass, that natural ash finish that has a bit of a cutaway from the PG for the low profile thumbrest. msg me or email asap brw1990@hotmail.com
  17. slap2much

    slap2much Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2004
    I've seen that some ramps (for example on a Fender Roscoe Beck) attach using the existing pickup mounting screws -- could you either fashion one (or a couple of) small metal brackets that attach there, or just extend the thumbrest itself to the upper two screws so it can be secured there? Then a piece of double-stick tape up top ought to be enough to hold it securely...here's someone else's pic of the ramp for reference:

  18. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Screw it. I did.
  19. can i use a piece of thin wood painted black or a plastic stick that will go between the 2 pickups? what u think guys?
  20. :D

    I've been thinking about doing this as well - I was gonna get the plastic kind and shave half of it down so half would rest on the pickguard and half on the wood and it'd be flush.

    I have to say - me and glue, tape or any kind of adhesive rarely mix, but a buddy of mine built a Lee Sklar tribute P bass and used some type of double sided tape to put a long thumbrest and it is holding pretty. I never would have thought that would work (he also told me it won't muck up the finish should he take it off . . .)

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