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Old 04-17-2010, 03:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bass thumb rests?

What are your opinions of them? I usually rest my thumb on the string next to the string I'm playing, or on the pickups if I'm playing E string. But the bass I'm using at the moment the pickups are placed really awkwardly - one set are really close to the neck and disjointed so you can't rest your thumb on the second, and the next pickup is too far away from the neck where you get that really plucky sound. I like to position my hand in-between these two spots! I'm thinking of purchasing a thumb rest to place in between the pickups. But I'm not sure... mainly because you have to screw it into the body of your bass which I'm freaking out about. I've tried floating my thumb when I play E but it's just uncomfortable and you don't get as much consistent pressure/ force. What do you guys think?
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Old 04-17-2010, 04:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I find it's way easier to have something to rest the thumb on, so floating should be your last option if you're not interested in being even cooler than you already are.

Resting on strings is good too, but for the E string it's also good to have a rest for that string, which can obviously be a problem if you don't have one. Unless you're trying to preserve the authenticity of your bass I don't see why you would be opposed to installing a thumb rest... but if you are, you can play a little further down the neck and use the actual neck as a thumb rest. If it's not your comfortable distance, then you should consider making it your comfortable distance or floating.

It should also be noted that pressing your thumb into a stationary position against the face of your bass where you'd have a thumb rest is also an option.
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Old 04-17-2010, 04:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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In your case, I'd definitely get a thumbrest if possible since you don't have the alternative of a nicely positioned pickup. Having a thumbrest diagonally placed on your bass means that you can anchor above E at whatever distance feels most comfortable. Not only that but its height will be similar to that of your action meaning that you can more easily transition between anchoring on the thumbrest and strings (at least that's what I figure).

Though I suppose it is a bit of a double-edged sword... I got rid of my thumb rest because I realised that I was using it to anchor at different distances from E depending on what I was playing and I didn't like this inconsistency. Fine for me since I can anchor on my pickups anyway.
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Old 04-17-2010, 05:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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As a force of habit I just use the pick up, and although if I incorporated the floating thumb I'd probably play better I haven't really put much effort into making that transition yet. Right now I'm just comfortable in keeping my thumb on my pick-up. However when I do use floating thumb I do rely on going pack to the pick-up for my low E string. Just makes sense, your thumb has to have something to rest on to be controlled in what you're doing.
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Old 04-17-2010, 03:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Lol, back in the day you were supposed to use your thumb to hit the stings, hence this weird rest.
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Old 04-17-2010, 04:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loose_lips_sink_ships View Post


Lol, back in the day you were supposed to use your thumb to hit the stings, hence this weird rest.
I know, when I first saw guitars like this I always wondered what that rest was for. That's oldschool.
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Old 04-17-2010, 05:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice guys, I think I'm just gonna whack a thumb rest on there. It'll be more comfortable and I'll probably play better and I'm not really concerned with preserving the authenticity of my bass.

So when the thumb rest goes on, it's gonna be there long-term, what's the best position to screw it on there? I was just going to place it parallel to the strings but it seems that on a diagonal slant is the way to go to allow for a variety of different distances which may or may not feel comfortable.

Sorry for being a bass noob and all the questions lately!
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Old 04-17-2010, 06:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think it's cute. Not to mention, the little additions and such usually add up to be character marks. Something to set your axe apart from the rest of it's kind. What do you play, anyway?
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freebase Dali View Post
It should also be noted that pressing your thumb into a stationary position against the face of your bass where you'd have a thumb rest is also an option.
i'm guilty of using this method quite a bit although technically it's bad form and could lead to issues later on. especially if you never vary the position.


one other option prior to screwing a thumb rest into the body - use a mild adhesive instead. maybe wood glue or some sort of modeling putty.
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Old 04-19-2010, 05:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I was at an open mic night a long while back and the house band had a bassist that applied no technique with his thumb what so ever, no floating thumb, no rest on the pick up, just closed it in to his palm and played loose but still somehow he was an incredibly tight and smooth player.
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