I got one of my basses set up professionally. It’s set up to be basically as low as it can go which is what I want, but now when I do my right handed plucking, my fingers hit the pickups. This might sound really dumb, but is that normal with a low action? Is it going to cause any issues with sound?
You could try lowering the pickups. See if there are screws on either end of the pickup. Keep track of the number of turns you make, so you can back out of any modifications if necessary.
You could also plug somewhere else on the string.
Personally, I like when my fingers hit the pickups, keeps them from going too deep.
There are several pickup models that are designed for that specific reason. Just like a built in finger ramp.
That sounds weird to me…
Even if it’s low action, if it was set up by a ‘professional’, the pickups high should be adjusted as well (you have default pickup brands for each brand).
That being said, touching the pickups with your fingertips is not a problem (it is tho if you hit it with the strings while plucking).
It could also be a sign that you’re plucking too hard (I can’t say for sure without looking at the bass). That’s not a problem, but digging hard and low action are not a good match.
My fingers hit the pickups sometimes. Especially if I am playing over the bridge pickup. I don’t think it’s a big deal unless you find it uncomfortable.
There are valid reasons to change the pickup height, but making more room for your fingers is not one of them I think. Changing the height changes the tone and the signal level, and if you do it incorrectly, you can make it uneven, some strings are going to be louder than the others, etc.
If your pickups have exposed metal poles, then touching those might result in some noise. If that’s bothering you, then just move your hand to avoid the poles.
Otherwise I wouldn’t worry about it.
It’s real normal with low action.
If you play with a light touch, it won’t be a problem.
If it feels weird to you… well, that’s a problem.
I have this issue on my P-bass, and if it bugs me I just adjust my hand a smidge and get my fingers away from the pickup.
I wouldn’t worry about it unless you are making extra sound by clacking against the pickup or it just feels too weird.
Thank you! I think it’s just so apparent now because my action was so high before. So far it’s not caused any unwanted clacking or anything, it’s more just my fingers now skim over the pickups, or my fingertips end up resting on them as I hit the next string when I pluck. It was just very different from how I was playing before, and I wasn’t sure if there were any issues since I’ve never seen anyone talk about it before.
Funny I just saw your question right after watching a video of Billy Sheehan changing his pickups (look for it on his youtube channel). His take is that by running his fingers across the pickup means he’s hitting the strings the same way every time.
There was one song I was learning earlier this year that every time through in a certain spot, because of the transition between strings, I’d pull the string at an angle and end up hitting the pickup. Took me a little bit of work on that section to stop from doing that… I’ve never ever had that happen at any other time but it’s a jazz piece with a lot of string crossing and open strings. Otherwise, I think I probably often touch the top of the pickups with my fingers, especially on my pbass.
I had a look at my PJ bass that I’ve played the most in the ~year I’ve owned it and it’s actually worn on the top of the P pup covers so I guess I touch them quite a bit
If you have not seen this yet, it is worth a watch.
It made me scratch my head and say “why aren’t all P pickups designed like this, why is it only his?”