Original 60's 'P' Bass Question

For any discussion about bass guitars, bass players and other bass related subjects

Moderators: Iain Purdon, dave robinson, George Geddes, David Martin

Original 60's 'P' Bass Question

Postby Tab » Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:43 pm

On the original 60's 'P' Bass there is a black oblong item screwed (two screws) on to the top right of the scratch plate close to the right hand side of the base of the neck.

What is this and what purpose did it serve?
User avatar
Tab
 
Posts: 589
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:22 pm
Location: East Sussex
Full Real Name: Terry Bryant

Re: Original 60's 'P' Bass Question

Postby Jay Bass » Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:49 pm

Hi Terry
Are You talking about The Thumb rest, i cant think of anything else attached to the pickguard
This was originaly called a pull bar , people who played with thier thumb would use this to anchor thier fingers on?
User avatar
Jay Bass
 
Posts: 877
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:10 pm
Location: Cambridgeshire UK
Full Real Name: Jay Hartop

Re: Original 60's 'P' Bass Question

Postby JimN » Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:18 pm

As originally placed on the treble side of the body, that rosewood (later plastic) bar was not for the thumb.

It was designed to let (some of) the fingers sit in a more or less natural position whilst the thumb was being used to play the strings. Later, the item was placed on the bass side of the strings so that the thumb could anchor the hand whilst playing with the fingers (or some of them).
User avatar
JimN
 
Posts: 4106
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:39 pm
Full Real Name: Jim Nugent

Re: Original 60's 'P' Bass Question

Postby Tab » Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:37 pm

Thanks both. Always wondered, not being a bass player but owning a later Japanese 'P' bass without said bar.
User avatar
Tab
 
Posts: 589
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:22 pm
Location: East Sussex
Full Real Name: Terry Bryant

Re: Original 60's 'P' Bass Question

Postby MMStingray54 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:20 am

People talking about basses - excellent!!

To expand on what Jim has said, it's called a tug bar. Introduced on the 51 Precision as a piece of maple held on by one screw, it gravitated to a plastic bar held on by two screws in early 57 (when the Precision changed from a telecaster shape with huge pickguard to more of a Strat shape). It also appeared on the Jazz Bass from the start. This enabled people to 'tug' at it with their fingers whilst striking the strings with their thumb - which few bass players actually did, using either a pick or their finger(s) to play (eg James Jamerson - allegedly one finger).

However it took Fender until 74 (Jazz) and 73 (Precision) to move said bar to above the E string enabling finger style players to plant their thumb on it and pluck with their fingers - the original position having confused many a young player and been used by very few, this new position appeared to have some purpose - however not only could the new position impede pick players, it could certainly cause a bruised thumb for the burgeoning thumb slap player, a style which was taking off at the same time in R and B (early Rose Royce, Sly and the Family Stone and many others). Fender deleted it around 1983 with the American Standard and other new versions - although it has remained on reissues.

It's sort of part of the 'furniture' on vintage Fender basses and reissues!
MMStingray54
 
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:02 pm
Full Real Name: Don Vann

Re: Original 60's 'P' Bass Question

Postby Uncle Fiesta » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:32 am

My Rickenbacker 4001 (a '72) had a clear plastic one on the treble side.

As for slap players getting bruised thumbs, well serve 'em right I say.
User avatar
Uncle Fiesta
 
Posts: 904
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:31 pm
Location: near Gainsborough, England
Full Real Name: Steve Tebble

Re: Original 60's 'P' Bass Question

Postby MMStingray54 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:13 am

Oo er - are you allowed to mention Rickenbacker here?! Great bass though and I've never noticed a rest bar on them (probably because it's clear). Stingrays never had them or the pick up and bridge covers - late 70s on became a time of bass players thumping the strings so all that stuff was ditched.

Bass players (the double version) were playing slap style a good 25-30 yrs before Cliff and the Drifters started. Just like finger style, bowed etc etc, it's just another method of playing - the percussive sound can be quite effective. Now two handed tapping (eg Stu Hamm) - I never did get that (other than playing a couple of notes here and there) but some people can play orchestral pieces using it!!

Slap style is de rigeur for anyone who played 70s R and B - I'd wager Messrs Jones and Griffiths do a bit on the quiet, and had he been around, a bass player of the ability of John Rostill would likely have done. But each to their own!! It can be quite therapeutic - minus the daft Fender thumb rest of course (and chrome covers - mostly used as convenient ash trays in studios - the Jazz bass bridge one is particularly good for that)!! Although musicians don't smoke any more (well not regular tobacco anyway)...
MMStingray54
 
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:02 pm
Full Real Name: Don Vann

Re: Original 60's 'P' Bass Question

Postby JimN » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:55 am

MMStingray54 wrote:Oo er - are you allowed to mention Rickenbacker here?!


Alan Jones used a Rick bass with The Shadows in the late 70s / early 80s. Contact me for the video evidence...
User avatar
JimN
 
Posts: 4106
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:39 pm
Full Real Name: Jim Nugent

Re: Original 60's 'P' Bass Question

Postby MMStingray54 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:31 am

JimN wrote:
MMStingray54 wrote:Oo er - are you allowed to mention Rickenbacker here?!


Alan Jones used a Rick bass with The Shadows in the late 70s / early 80s. Contact me for the video evidence...


That's very interesting and doesn't surprise me - they can be made to sound really nice. I'll drop you a PM. The comment I posted above was very much tongue in cheek btw - anyone who visits bass guitar forums will know what i mean!!
MMStingray54
 
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:02 pm
Full Real Name: Don Vann

Re: Original 60's 'P' Bass Question

Postby Iain Purdon » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:31 pm

If you listen to Hank’s version of Pipeline you’ll hear Mark G slapping like a good ‘un. Definitely not done on the quiet.
Iain Purdon
site moderator team
User avatar
Iain Purdon
 
Posts: 2537
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Axmouth, Devon
Full Real Name: Iain Purdon

Next

Return to Bass and Bass Players

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Ads by Google
These advertisements are selected and placed by Google to assist with the cost of site maintenance.
ShadowMusic is not responsible for the content of external advertisements.