Hey crew, this is going out to all you P-Bass owners out there (and potential future ones).
The twin strum bars are cool, right? I thought so too, but the functionality isn't there. If you upstrum with both fingers, the guitar tends to drop a LOT of notes due to hardware limitations. The guitar just can't keep up with rapid upstrums because the switches take too long to reset between hits.
So my good friend Doc and myself brainstormed and came up with this mod that basically switches the Up- and Down-strum on the right strum bar. It takes some basic soldering/desoldering skill, but it's WELL worth the effort. Keep in mind that opening up the Bass with void your warranty, but this mod will make it work the way it's SUPPOSED to
- Unscrew the back on your P-Bass and open up that sucker. Be careful with that wire for the RB1/RB2 switch that connects the back plate to the front.
- Find your strum bars.
- Unscrew the boards on the top and bottom of the strum bars (also, take out the hot glue holding them in place from the bottom. A blade along the bottom works just fine)
- Find the wires that connect the switches for the Right Strum Bar's Upstrum and Downstrum to the main board.
- Desolder the plastic wire casings from the end of the board and remove them from their respective boards.
- Swap the wire casings and attach them each to the opposite boards, as shown in this diagram:
strumbarre-wiring with notes.jpg
- Solder the wires back into place on their new boards, screw the boards back into the strum housing, and you're done! Just make sure the wires you just switched are not touching the actual strum bar or spring before you close up the Bass, otherwise you may have some contact problem inside and have to re-open it again to put it out of the way.
With this fix, the Left Strum Bar will work as normal, but the Right Strum Bar will be reversed. You'll be able to strum MUCH faster, though, without missing notes, because you'll essentially be alt-strumming between the two strum bars, instead of only trying to hit Up-strums.
There is ONE downside: since the up-strums on the right strum bar will count as downstrums, you won't get the Authentic Strummer award at the end of songs, even if you up-strum only. If it really bugs you and you're trying for the Flawless Groove achievement, play an easy song (such as "Charlene (I'm Right Behind You") and only use the left strum bar for up-strums.
If you're unhappy with the performance of your P-Bass, but still love the guitar like hell and want to maximize its potential, please consider doing this mod