The Canadian Guitar Forum banner

Tug Bar or Thumb Rest?

  • Tug Bar

    Votes: 4 20.0%
  • Thumb Rest

    Votes: 7 35.0%
  • None

    Votes: 9 45.0%

  • Total voters
    20
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,396 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
upload_2019-10-22_5-16-17.png


I like to plant my thumb on the edge of the pup or along the pick guard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,752 Posts
The tug bar always had me scratching my head why.
I like the thumb rest, but can do without too.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,153 Posts
@sulphur the tug bar is an artifact from the earliest days of electric bass (Gibsons had them too) where a player was expected to grab it with fore/middle finger(s) from the bottom and thumb at the strings. Litterally ass backwards to what is expected now. I don't think the vote is gonna be nearly as contentious as last nights election.

When I played more fingerstyle, I occasionally enjoyed a thumbrest, and I did put a tug bar on my vintage Gibson because it was period correct (holes were there) and a guy I knew was making accurate rosewood repros. Now I mostly play with a pick and when not shredding, anchor the edge of my hand/palm or sometimes just pinky on the bridge cover.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,283 Posts
I’ll bet you’ll seldom see a tug bar without also seeing flatwound strings.

Thumb, plus flatwounds = thud.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
ass backwards to what is expected now. I don't think the vote is gonna be nearly as contentious as
i grow my right hand nails fairly long for playing guitar so when i play bass with my fingers i get a awful fingernails sound
so i play bass with my thumb kinda like charlie christian playing guitar i imagine it's what fender had in mind with the early basses and it works great and sounds good
but sometimes i get bugged about it by 'real' bass players
j
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,153 Posts
i grow my right hand nails fairly long for playing guitar so when i play bass with my fingers i get a awful fingernails sound
so i play bass with my thumb kinda like charlie christian playing guitar i imagine it's what fender had in mind with the early basses and it works great and sounds good
but sometimes i get bugged about it by 'real' bass players
j
Nothing wrong with that; thumbing is legit if just not en vogue anymore (F the haters). That was my only point... though I must say when I am short of a pick (i.e around the house just messin - can't be bothered to go get one) I will use my fingernail as a sub - to each his own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
376 Posts
I don't use a tug bar but have one on each of my Fender basses along with a tug bar and a thumb rest on both of my 60's Kent basses.

They're definitely a throw back to the 50's & 60's and very cool looking IMO.

TD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,735 Posts
Neither for me as I play with my thumb and am always muting with my palm. So can't really use either.
Recently I realized how the foam mute trick would really free you up in that regard. That's how Jamerson could play so fast with one finger, he wasn't muting with his hand and it let him use his index finger almost like a drumstick.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,186 Posts
Thanks for clearing this up. I have a really old bass with the tug bar, but I never understood it. I thought maybe a lefty put it there and flip the guitar to be a left handed bass.

Now I know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,374 Posts
My basses don't have either, but on both of them I use the pickups as a thumb rest.
 
  • Like
Reactions: laristotle

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,579 Posts
My old Ventura had a tug bar on it that I removed, I would hit my fingers on it playing chords. Thumb rests are even worse when you get sloppy slapping and hit your thumb.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
168 Posts
I like to play with my thumb . But when I'm playing fingerstyle I tend to use the are from the bridge right to the fretboard . The tone I'm looking for determines position .
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,865 Posts
I like a thumb rest if there isn't a convenient alternative. The best one was on a Godin fretless Acoustibass I used to have. My Freeway doesn't have one but there are two pickups and the end of the neck handy, or I let my hand float.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
220 Posts
I play with a pick so I don't use a bar, but I added one when I built my Tele just to carry the bass theme one step further
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
168 Posts
My first bass was a 72 Pbass . It was used , and fairly new back then . It had the tug bar and I just became accustomed to seeing one there . I was always comfortable with a floating thumb , and played finger style so I never had any use for a thumbrest above the strings . But I was used to seeing them below . When I look at new Fender instruments I think they look kinda naked without a tugbar .
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top