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Where to Pluck: Squier Affinity Precision PJ

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by canrock dpm1, Jan 9, 2021.


  1. Hi, I’m new to bass learning and Talk Bass, so please forgive any stupid and/or redundant questions, and if I am not utilizing the forum correctly (and I’m open to corrections). My question at this time is, for those of you who have a PJ bass like my Squier Affinity, having a P pickup in neck position, and a J pickup added to the bridge position, where is the optimal position on the body to pluck the strings in order to get the most out of both pickups? Having looked through this site, I know now that there are a lot of factors that would affect the answer to simply asking “Where should I pluck?” in general, but I’m specifically wondering about the answer(s) relative to both pickups in this configuration (again, in order to make the best use out of both). So far, I’ve been plucking in the middle position between the two pickups, but I am still waiting for an amp to be shipped to me, so I’m not sure what is best for when I get the amp so I don’t have to do as much guessing and attempting to draw accurate and helpful conclusions from various trial positions. Please feel free to ask for further clarification and information if helpful. Thanks in advance for any help with this!
     
  2. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Hi, and welcome to TB.
    As far as plucking position is concerned, you will find as you progress that where you pluck the string has a big influence on the types of tone and attack you can produce. Pluck up towards the fingerboard for a thick warm tone that blends well. Move back towards the bridge for a brighter, tighter tone that is good for standing out, either for solos or faster funky percussive lines. Try to resist the temptation to anchor your thumb on the pickups - just let it lay over the (thicker) strings that you are not playing, where it will act as a mute to make your playing cleaner and clearer.

    Experiment with different combinations of plucking position and pickup selection. There is no right or wrong here, but some combinations produce more workable tones than others.

    Good luck...
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
  3. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Right -- what he said.

    Also, be careful about trying to do too much practicing without an amp to plug into: It's easy this way to develop a bad habit of plucking too hard, since you have to in order to be able to hear yourself. When you get the amp, work on plucking softly and letting the amp do the work of producing volume. Sometimes I'll practice unplugged for brief periods, but only using a pick (since it produces a louder sound acoustically).
     
    canrock dpm1 likes this.
  4. Lagado

    Lagado Inactive

    Jan 6, 2020
    Many prefer to pick over the pickup for the ramp effect, especially the back pickup ala Jaco etc.:

    Bass Bench: Bass Ramps--Right for You? | Premier Guitar

    If you check out the picture, you can see how that works. Plucking over the pickups stops from you digging in too much, quicker recovery. My back pickup gap is around the same as my action, 2.5-3mm, without that buffer, some things would be very tricky.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
    canrock dpm1 likes this.
  5. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Inactive

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody notices
    I generally play about an inch behind the E A pickup. So close to in line with the back of the D G half. Screenshot_20210109-162927_YouTube.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
    canrock dpm1 likes this.
  6. Samatza

    Samatza

    Apr 15, 2019
    Australia
    Closer to the neck will give you a fatter sound, closer to the bridge a brighter sound.

    When your amp arrives you’ll work out where to play depending on the song and the sound that feels right.

    Playing faster is more comfortable closer to the bridge as the strings are tighter in feel there. I wouldn’t worry about trying to play for pickup output, they read the motion of the string regardless of where you pluck, just experiment and you’ll find the tones you like.
     
    canrock dpm1 likes this.
  7. Thanks for clarifying this for me!
     
    Lobster11 likes this.
  8. Thanks for all the helpful information here, guys. I appreciate it.
     
  9. 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.

     
    Feb 26, 2021

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