Better Bass Tone with “The Producer Switch” (costs $0)

What if you could flip a switch to magically get the perfect bass tone for any song? The power is in your plucking hand…

0:00 - Lee Sklar’s “Producer Switch”
1:20 - The Physics of Plucking Position
1:55 - Setting Up Your Producer Switch
3:36 - The Switch in Action: Reggae Playalong
5:48 - Disco Playalong
6:45 - Rock Playalong

If you’re doing the Beginner to Badass course, this lesson would fit just about anywhere - but the playalongs are somewhere around a Module 6-8 level, I’d approximate.

Bass Tone Playalongs

Here’s the Soundcloud link for all those playalong tracks, so you can experiment with your ‘producer switch’ -

Lee Sklar Links

Is that Lee Sklar clip insane or what? I still laugh out loud every time I see it.

And here’s the video I pulled the other Sklar clips from, he’s got a ton of great vids on his channel -

Bass Tone Cheatsheet

Here’s that graphic I put together for making quick decisions about plucking hand position. Don’t let my generalizations limit you, but I think they’re a good starting point to experiment with on your own.

Did you find this lesson helpful? Is plucking position something you already think about?


Yes indeed, Josh . . . :slight_smile:

Thanks & thumbs up for your video!



By day, I used to build food/beverage factories. We had a can depalletizer operator that insisted that they needed to control the speed of the discharge of cans from the machine to the conveyor.

He didn’t stop complaining, so, we installed a ‘speed control pot’ that was wired to nothing. $10 knob sovled the “problem” and the operator was very happy and thankful.

True story.


Most definitely.

I am always surprised by seasoned musicians that do not know this already but then when I look down and see they have 18+ pedals on a board I start to understand why.

You can save so much money by learning how to get different tones/sounds out of your Bass by noodling around and learning the controls on your instrument and also the amp and how they interact with each other.

Another Great video from the Wizards lounge of Josh.


Thanks for this @JoshFossgreen! I really hadn’t given much thought to plucking positions before. It really makes a difference!


Not until now! I’m always fiddling with the knobs on the bass, and the amp, or in the amp/cab simulator… In the meantime, my hand is pretty much glued to my neck pickup. Time to start moving around a little more!


Man, that is genius with the producer switch :joy:

One thing worth adding is that it is harder to play fast in the “over the fingerboard” position as the strings feel “looser” there, and thus for fast (and precise) stuff, closer to the bridge is “better”.


Awesome, just what I need today, 2nd full day on house arrest. Going to check it out right now. Be back with comments.


Yep, another Gem. Love it @JoshFossgreen.

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I tried the bridge position on my Ray4, and it really made it GROWL. Love it!
I then tried it on my P-clone with flatwounds. Who knew flats can sound like rounds?!

Thank you and keep 'em coming. I’m on lesson 62 of B2B by the way. Still enjoying it immensely.


I did this last night with my Michael Kelly AE fretless as an experiment.
HOLY COW, its like having 3 different basses!


I discovered this when learning Stand By Me — playing the P bass with flatwounds, tone knob at zero, and plucking in the fingerboard position is probably as close as you can come to the upright sound on an electric.


I did try different plucking positions out of curiosity. Combined to changing pickup selection, it can really change the sound of the bass. The video is really helpful nevertheless, as it helps put words on the changes in sound resulting from the changes in plucking position :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks for watching everybody! Just wanted to share here, I had to run around the house screaming a little bit yesterday when I saw Lee Sklar shared the video on his Facebook page: :blush:


Awesome, congratz.


I’m sure Lee Sklar did the same when he found out he was in your video :crazy_face:


I wanna see that video :rofl:


Congrats! Well-deserved honor and great vid, Josh!

Now I guess I gotta try this “plucking” thing… I’ve heard rumors there is more to bass than the mighty slappp!


Yesterday I watched a YT bass comparison video and it annoyed me that he played the whole time right next to the bridge. Why would you demo the neck, especially a P pickup and still play at the bridge? That is not the sound most people are going to want to hear…most people are going to play from around the neck pickup to a little ways up the finger board.


Where do I buy this switch? :smiley: