(* This is NOT John's bass)
First we shall begin terminology explanation.|
This is a body of US Fender Precision bass.
Look at the yellow arrow.
We call this black plastic part "a Finger Rest".
It's generally for making support to fix the right hand.
Basically we put three fingers (forefinger, middle finger and third finger) from the direction of the arrow and flip a string with the thumb (don't use when play with a pick).
Although the bass of this picture was made in 1964, the type which the finger rest is attached in this position expresses that it was made in 1975 from 1954.
(* This is NOT John's bass)
On the other hand, the position of the finger rest of this bass made in 1977 is changed in the position of a black arrow. |
We put the thumb from the direction of the arrow, hold down it and play a string with the forefinger, middle finger etc (also don't use when play with a pick).
This type is the characteristic of the precision bass that was made by after 1976, 1984.
However, after 1984, the finger rest is not attached in the precision, because it's just said "no necessary"...
Besides, the position of the finger rest of "Old Precision" bass is the upper part of a pickup. This picup of Old Precision doesn't have a plastic cover and the tape wound to the coil inside the pickup can be seen, so there is a risk that causes the trouble of snapping of a wire when you put a finger directly to the pickup and play.
Maybe that's why he attached the finger rest.
It is said that John Deacon is a sort of bassist that does not use the finger rest.
Actually, he puts the thumb in "the upper part of a pickup" and plays (see the left picture), so in this case, the finger rest is not necessary naturally.
Even if John plays with the thumb, he doesn't use the finger rest, because he uses the style of playing that hooks the forefinger to 1 string (G string) and flips a string with the thumb.
Therefore, we may conclude that the finger rest is not necessary for John, but...
we're not able to assert actually.
The left picture is taken from a PV of "Liar" or "Keep Yourself Alive" shot at St Johns Wood Studios.|
It's not the bass which John usually uses.
Look at the arrow. The finger rest is attached in the upper part of the pickup.
We can compare the difference of the position of the finger rest with that of the precision above made in 1977.
Then it is conceivable that basically John was not the type that puts the thumb on a pickup and plays.
Let's consider why.
This is taken from a PV of "Liar" or "Keep Yourself Alive" shot at Brewer Street Studio.
In this picture (his early days), John puts the thumb to the brim of the outside of a pick guard and plays.
We don't say that it's his usual style, but at least in this PV, he never separates the thumb from this position.
Therefore, we see that basically John didn't play putting the thumb in the upper part of a pickup.
After that, John changes his style to the above, though...
There's an exception.
The left picture is taken from a PV of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". The position of the finger rest of this "Precision Natural 1" bass is (temporarily) attached in the upper part of a pickup. In fact, John was doing tours as the condition which the finger rest is attached in this position.
However, we'd like to mention specially that in this PV John didn't play putting his finger the upper part of the finger rest from start to finish.
His position isn't decided: he plays with the thumb on the pickup upper part or on the upper part of a pick guard.
It may be possible that this body of Natural 1 is different from that of the other natural bass.
This is from a PV of "Flash".|
As well as on "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", he uses "Precision Natural 1" bass on this PV, but the pickup is exchanged to that of 'the Larry DiMarzio company'.
(However, it's difficult to think that he particularly bought the DiMarzio pickup. It may be possible to transplante the pickup of the Kramer bass.)
The sound from the DiMarzio pickup is thicker and clearer than the one from original Fender company.
But now it's removed.
The finger rest is returned in the original position (see the arrow), but the body seems to be different from a usual natural bass.
Like this, we can see lots of interesting parts when we consider only about finger rest.
Actually, you feel quite different in respect of playing, on which your thumb put, the finger rest or the pickup.