what is a thumbrest for??

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by lo-end, Aug 12, 2001.

  1. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    What is a thumbrest for? I couldnt see how you could put your thumb on it when its in this position:

    (no its not my bass, but thanks for asking :D )
  2. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    That's a fingerrest, not a thumbrest. As I've heard the story, Leo Fender designed the bass to be played using the thumb - the rest was to anchor your fingers.
  3. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    you mean like, thumb plucking?

    thats pretty cool, now I know what those things are for. by the way, Fender calls them thumbrests.
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    They are thumbrests when they're put above the E string. It depends on where you put it.
  5. If you played like Jimmy Haslip, the one on the pic above could be considered a thumbrest.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    True, Xavier. Maybe that's the reason that Leo designed it that way. The bass was actually designed to be played left handed.;)
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Yeah, ol' Leo envisioned early Fender bass players plucking with their thumb...think about it; do you remember the FIRST time you picked up an electric bass? I know EVERYONE(non-musicians) who has picked mine up will invariably hold it like Leo thought they would. ;)

    BTW, I recall an interview from an old '70s Guitar Player mag with Chuck Rainey where he was complaining about the placement of the "thumb" rest on those early Fenders...he was a little miffed that the factory(by that time, CBS)had no clue that NOBODY was playing their basses in that fashion & was wondering when someone would wake up & relocate it.
    Rainey also griped about the pickup plate...don't they(CBS)realize that's the 'best place to strike the strings'?
    That struck me as strange, 'cause Rainey goes on to say the pickup plate is where he mounts his plucking hand. Notice, too, that both Will Lee & Marcus Miller keep that plate in-place(the guy in The Wonders does, too). ;)

    I removed my 'thumb' rest from my '64 P-bass back in the mid-'70s when slapping become popular...I've basically misplaced it & both the pickup and brdige plates from that bass. Oh, well.
  8. it's ironic how Precision and Jazz pickups make such good thumbrests when they weren't even intended to be seen.
    on a P bass the distance between the top of the p/up and the E string is pretty much equal to the distance between E and A strings, which is great for the "thumb trailing" approach.
    I find it difficult playing on basses with longer/shorter p/up shells.
  9. LOL, what made you want to add to this thread 11 years later?

    Not to be rude...
  10. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    I dont know...10 years 20 years 30 years....

    Otis Redding still kicks butt...woooo.

    but yah thread from the dead... muah hah hah....brains brains.

    finger rest is a place to rest your fingers....brilliant
    thumb rest is a place to rest your thumb...brilliant
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Let's say you have a thumb, and said thumb is getting a little tired ...