Hand Size

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Caustic Crunch, Feb 11, 2014.


  1. Caustic Crunch

    Caustic Crunch

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2013
    Sorry if this is a repeat....
    I've been watching the Jaco vid on Youtube - "Modern Electric Bass"

    Amazing. One thing that gets me is the size of his hands.
    I have pretty short, squat fingers and I find some of his exercises to be pretty daunting.
    I'm playing an '86 P Bass.
    I also know that Ray Shulman of Gentle Giant also plays a Precision and his hands are big also, thus making some of his riffs pretty difficult.
    Will practice overcome this? Is there a "small hand" thread out there? Hehe...
    Thanks all.
  2. t77mackie

    t77mackie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Wormtown, MA
    We just did this about a week or so ago.

    Apparently I have relatively small hands. If I didn't know I wouldn't know. So, yes, you can overcome.
  3. portpc

    portpc

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    You can only be yourself so strive to be the best you you can..
    that said..

    I don't have big mitts either, P-Bass is my main instrument.

    You can always adapt exercises/patterns to what works for you.
    I've been doing this forever, Make things practical rather then painful..

    In fact by having to analyze fingerings etc you gain a better knoeledge of the neck..
  4. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    you can play whatever with whatever size of hands ... what will help is having a good technique like not wrapping your thumb around the neck.
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  6. pgolliher

    pgolliher

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Watch Victor Wooten or Steve Bailey. I am 5'6" and those guys are my size or shorter. Small hands is not an obstacle.
  7. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    London,NewYork,Paris,Braintree
    I have posted this answer before so i will post it again.
    Find a bass to suit you, do not look to develop to suit the bass.

    Would you wear shoes that are three sizes to big?..or buy a suit three sizes bigger etc.

    Bass come in three sizes short scale, medium scale and long, as well as many neck widths and thicknesses (i prefer a 20 fret Bass). If you have the money, then get one made, they are not as expensive as you may think.
    I shot some videos last year for Hofner using the now with with-drawen Galaxie bass, so those basses are great to customize with new hardware, EQ suites Pick-ups etc if you want to, and have a great Jazz style bass...but smaller.

    I have always been amazed at how using Short scale basses is some how frowned upon as it is seen as a 'weakness'?????
    But players can use an even smaller Kala Bass and that is seen as cool????

    Anyway you have to deal will it so put in place what works for you.
  8. basspedaler

    basspedaler Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Location:
    RDU-NC
    I have small hands as well. I always loved bass and thought it would be a huge obstacle. It was at first, but the reach is coming along after a year of practice. I still get challenged by some stuff with the pinky in particular, but in due time I will get there.

    True story:in the summer of '91, I worked at a hip restaurant and the local jazz station threw some killer shows on the lawn out back. we fed the bands in one our private rooms. this gig was stanley jordan and larry carlton. steve baily was playing w/Larry and I met him and rapped a bit with him. he realised I was a player, and I told him I played trumpet, but wished I could play bass, but my hands were too small. he said "nonsense! show me" he held his hand up asked me to do so. low and behold, almost exactly the same, except he had a longer pinky of course. he said "man, you can do it. get yourself a bass."
    I waited a long time, but I am really glad I finally did!
  9. kzr750r1

    kzr750r1 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Location:
    NorCal
    It's a matter of doing and not trippin on it. You learn ways to overcome by doing. I was convincing myself the 35" scale on my Gecko was a drawback for me and now I'm using as primary lately.
  10. Caustic Crunch

    Caustic Crunch

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2013
    Great stuff, thanks everyone.
  11. Stealth Fighter

    Stealth Fighter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina, USA
  12. WashburnAB95

    WashburnAB95

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Wow could you imagine if you where playing upright? Come on guys the stretches are not that bad on electric bass. In my experince technique and strength matters more than hand size.
  13. WashburnAB95

    WashburnAB95

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
  14. WashburnAB95

    WashburnAB95

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013



    Anybodys hands smaller than hers?
  15. pfox14

    pfox14

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    I wish I had hands the size of Stanley Clarke.

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