What is this thingie doing?

I have seen this seemingly badly placed/aesthetically displeasing little piece on several (often vintage) basses and I just don’t know what it is supposed to be doing/good for. Anyone can help?
Thanks!

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are you talking about the string retainer ? it’s here to give an angle to the strings, allowing them to apply enough pressure on the nut.

Nah, sorry, I hope you can see the whole picture (might have to click on it). I put a red arrow pointing the the thing I mean :smile:

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oh yes, sorry, I didn’t saw the whole picture :laughing: the black little rectangle is an anchor point for the fingers. it’s often placed above the E string and then it’s a thumb rest.

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Thanks! I get the idea of a thumb rest, but what is it doing on the other side of the strings, i.e., above the G string???

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I belive it was placed as an index rest when it was common to play bass with the thumb

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Aaah, yes, I can see that now! Still, a bit weird… it must be in the way a lot for strumming, slapping, and other “funky” stuff :grin:

Thanks!

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I understand that Leo Fender thought people would be plucking with their thumbs, so he designed it that way. You could call it a “tug rest”.

If it was relocated it to the upper side of the strings it would be a “thumb rest”.

All best, Joe

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Yep, @terb and @Jazzbass19 got it right, Fender thought the future of electric bass was thumb plucking! Oops.

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Thanks so much, @terb, @Jazzbass19 and @JoshFossgreen for solving this “mystery” :smile:

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