How to Adjust Fender Bass Guitar Pickup Height

An often forgotten aspect of bass guitar setup, pickup height adjustment can have huge reverberations on your tone.

Underneath most body-mount pickups lies a layer of firm but soft foam. Over time, however, this foam may break down and lead to structural issues in your vehicle.

This causes vibration patterns of strings to change and make them sound out-of-tune, but the solution is easy; simply move your pickup closer to them.


Get the perfect bass strings can make an immense difference to the tone and feel of your guitar. After selecting an appropriate gauge of string for your instrument, finding an optimal setup that complements both your playing style and music should become second nature. Begin with lower tension strings for increased output; later experiment with different heights of pickups until achieving your desired tone is reached.

Fender was one of the first companies to mass produce electric basses and bass guitars. Leo Fender’s ground-breaking innovation helped usher in modern bass playing methods. Now, today they provide an extensive variety of bass instruments suitable for players from various genres.

The Jazz Bass was first released for sale in 1960, designed to enhance playability and introduce fresh tones into bass guitar playing. It featured a narrower neck at the nut, close string spacing, and dual single-coil pickups; creating a revolutionary bass instrument with more versatile sounds suitable for use across various musical genres.

Fender basses have also seen many other innovations over time, including drop tunings that expanded the tonal range of their instrument. Metal bands often utilize drop D tuning whereby one string is lowered an entire step to produce deeper and heavier sound; other innovations have included adding strings-through-body bridges with rolled fingerboard edges, as well as new materials like pao ferro and rosewood to their arsenals.

Fender bass guitars may have many advancements, yet still contain certain limitations. For instance, original Precision Bass models featured only one single-coil pickup which may have been popular at one point but more modern bass guitarists prefer something with more versatile sound capabilities – and in response Fender began including dual humbucking pickups in its bass guitar models; eventually this setup would become part of its Music Man Stingray bass guitar model as an iconic moment in its history.


Many bassists may not realize it, but pickup height is one of the primary influences on their tone. If a pickup is set too high, its strings could interfere with its magnetic field and sound buzzy or weird; too low and its strings will sound weak and dull without providing full output from their strings.

Body-mount bass pickups usually include a piece of foam attached under each pickup that helps push them against their string pole pieces (the round magnetic parts underneath each string). Over time, however, this foam may compress and stop pushing upward; to remedy this you must either replace or add more (not necessarily cheap household foam!). You need tough lumberjack-style foam.

Set at its optimal height, a pickup generates a strong magnetic field which supports string vibration. However, if it’s set too low it may counteract string vibratation and cause unpleasant sounds; to check this play the lowest E string at a higher fret (15th works well) and listen for any warbling sounds; these indicate too close proximity of pickup to strings which should be distanced until sound subsides.

For an even E/G string output, use a split-coil pickup. Adjust its pole piece accordingly for each string: raise for upper strings and lower for lower strings. This will give an even output from E and G strings.

As with everything related to guitars, there is no one-size-fits-all answer as to the optimal pickup height. Your results may depend on factors like your playing style, string type and personal taste, but with some experimentation you should find your ideal pickup height for bass and strings – otherwise you risk missing out on part of its tone!


Fender bass amps deliver powerful tube-driven bass tone that’s ideal for clubs, arenas and studios alike. Their touch-sensitive dynamics and tonal richness offer bass guitarists their own voice in music. Equipped with features like EQs and effects processors for extra versatility in performing any gig or recording session.

To keep things short and sweet: Avoid getting too close to your pickups – but this decision should be more felt than heard. When your strings rub against them you can hear an unpleasant warbling sound, and adjusting too high could create thin string sound. Experiment with different pickup heights until you find what best works with your guitar and strings.

Starting out can be tough, so having an affordable Fender combo amplifier such as the Rumble LT25 25-Watt 1×10 Bass Combo Amp is ideal. This amp features two channels with traditional Fender bass sound and hi-fi flat frequency response to meet any genre or style of music imaginable. Plus, its lightweight ported enclosure delivers powerful low end with crisp clarity; while its rear panel XLR line output allows seamless integration into studio or live performance setups.

The Rumble Stage 800 40-watt 1×10 bass combo amp offers a robust combination of features for any musician. Its cutting-edge design boasts classic amp models, onboard effects and digital presets to help both novices and professionals alike find their desired tone quickly and easily. Furthermore, with its flexible control layout and headphone jack for silent practice sessions – making this amp an excellent option for taking your bass sound to new levels!

Fender’s Bassman amplifier heads and speaker cabinets provide an ideal solution for larger venues or professional recording sessions, thanks to their rich tones, subtle nuances, and versatile controls – they make the ideal companions to any gig or recording session with their rich tones, subtle nuances, and versatile controls. Furthermore, their overdrive features make these an attractive option for musicians wanting a deeper bass tone.


When tuning your bass, make sure that the tuning peg allows for effortless turning and accurate adjustments. Experiment with different tunings until you find one you like; having the appropriate peg can also ensure long-lasting sustain.

There are many elements that can change the tone of a bass guitar, but one of the most significant is picking height. By finding an optimal level for yourself, you can ensure that magnetic fields are balanced across all strings equally and that each string pulls in equal directions. Too low of string tension may pull a pickup out of tune with other guitar parts – this is most evident on guitars with Alnico magnets and pole piece arrangement such as Stratocasters or Telecasters; when set too high it can push or pull strings out of tune, potentially changing its tone – or cause damage that changes its tone over time.

Bass players’ job is to set rhythm for other musicians and maintain groove, so having an instrument that feels natural in your hands and easy to play is absolutely vital. Fender Precision and Jazz basses are iconic choices used by every bassist across history – both offering different tones with their own distinct sound to help stand out on stage.

Leo Fender created his first Precision Bass prototype in 1950, quickly becoming a staple in jazz, funk and fusion music. Since then, Fender’s family of bass instruments has expanded to include Jazz Basses, Jaguar Basses and even acoustic basses; creating various models in each series designed specifically to meet players’ needs.

When selecting your bass guitar, the most essential aspect is finding one you love playing. Playing will become much more enjoyable when it’s something that speaks to you aesthetically; finding one with shape and color preferences that evoke feelings of personal attachment makes for easier practice sessions and improvements.