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Bass Thumb Rest
Bass Thumb Rest

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Description Technical Specs
The original Thumb rest or “tug bar” was used on basses as early as 1951, and is actually detailed on the early patent sketches just below the stings.

Originally designed to provide an anchor point, meaning a player could apply more pressure to their thumb down strokes by gripping the rest with their fingers. Hence the old nick-name of tug bar. The result was a more driving, thumping tone, heavily influenced by the style of attack on the strings.

In the 70s, as electric bass playing had evolved away from simply emulating a thumb picked double bass, the thumb rest was moved above the strings, and became a true rest for the thumb. It still worked on the same principle though, giving the player a little more leverage, but now with the use of their fingers, resulting in that classic driving tone that made these basses the timeless classics we see today.

As a standard part, it was discontinued in the early 1980s as music changed once again, and the use of a plectrum became common place, however the first vintage re-issues of historic basses were soon released, and the “Tug bar” and “thumb rest” made many more outings, and are relatively common place even today.

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