#2
Tug bar. Basically, when Leo first designed the thing, he figured bassists would pick with their thumbs, so that functions as a finger rest. On later basses, and as an aftermarket addition, you may see it having migrated to the bass side because obviously the predominant convention in many styles has for a long time now been to play with the fingers.
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#3
These sometimes appear on BOTH sides of the strings. If you're picking with your thumb (on the bass you've referenced), it's a place for the fingers of your right hand to go to develop some leverage. I've seen some bass players plant their little finger (or their little finger and ring finger) on it.

When it appears on the OTHER side of the strings, it's a place for your thumb to rest while you're using your fingers:



Note: if you have a five-string, the bottom string can be used as a thumb rest...
Last edited by dspellman at Sep 14, 2015,
#4
Many took off the chrome ware and used the pickup as a thumb rest.
I saved the chrome ware from my 1965 Jazz bass including taping the original screws to the said parts, it sure put up the offers I got from prospective buyers when I came to sell it.
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#5
it's a thumb rest. i've actually added one to one of my basses.
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#6
Not the best video, but Brian Wilson (yes he "played" bass in their televised performances) is using a tug bar in this video and playing with his fingers. Sting plays in a similar style at times.

https://youtu.be/4Te_lCF69Aw
#7
Funny how Leo placed that on the G string side when the Pizzicato action on the Bass Violin has always been the anchoring of the thumb, because the plucking of the sting was with the index finger as the bow was maintained in the hand by the remaining three fingers.

What was he thinking? Did he really think that Bass Violinists were not going to migrate to his Instrument? Did he think that their technique was irrelevant?

Go figure.
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#8
Quote by Sliide90027
Funny how Leo placed that on the G string side when the Pizzicato action on the Bass Violin has always been the anchoring of the thumb, because the plucking of the sting was with the index finger as the bow was maintained in the hand by the remaining three fingers.

What was he thinking? Did he really think that Bass Violinists were not going to migrate to his Instrument? Did he think that their technique was irrelevant?

Go figure.


You must appreciate that bass guitars were in their infancy back in the day.
I started back in 62 when many bassists were former guitarists therefore we used a plectrum (pick), many of those playing Bass from the start used their thumb.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#9
Well then, what he was thinking was not about Bass Violin players as his target market.

The pickup cover and finger anchor was all about selling the instruments to guitarists alone.
Ibanez BTB 1006 Fretless and 405 (no Barts)
456 & 455(w/Barts)
Genz Benz NeoX400 112T & NeoX 112T cab.
Digitech BP-8 (x2)
Yamaha PB-1
Boss: SYB-5, PS-2, OD-20, EQ-20, PH-3,BF-3, CE-20, DD-20
Morely A/B
#10
The explosion of new bassists on the scene from 62 onwards far exceeded existing upright basses which were a pig to transport back in the early 60s late 50s.
Most upright Bassists were in big bands or Jazz bands.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#11
Leo Fender wasn't a musician. I wouldn't be surprised if his thought process was simply that using the thumb was the most intuitive method for him (as it often is for beginners) and thus would suit anyone playing his new instrument.
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