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Switching between a 3/4 and 1/2 sized bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by othefool, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. othefool

    othefool Supporting Member

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    Feb 25, 2004
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    TL/DR: I have both a 1/2 and a 3/4 bass; am worried that devoting time practicing on the 1/2 can lead to intonation issues overall as I switch between bases...

    I have owned and played URB for over a decade, and in the last year I have found myself playing it exclusively, to the disappointment of my closet full of beautiful slabs...I play in an americana/bluegrass band, and back a singer/songwriter.

    A year ago I got a staff position at a big bluegrass festival that happens twice a year. The "spring" festival is famous for wet weather, and last year it brought rain sleet and snow in a day.

    At the same time I happened upon an amazing deal on a 1/2 size bass, and I snatched it up as a "festival bass." It works great and holds its own in large jam circles. It also fits in my compact hatchback on top of tents, ice chests, etc..Also, I don't cry when it gets exposed to inclement weather or whiskey spills, as I would my main bass...

    The issue is: I have a space where I practice that is apart from my home and band spaces. I keep my 1/2 there, and practice on it often. Recently after a month or two period of exclusively practicing on my 1/2 I attended rehearsal in my bluegrass/acoustic country band, and as I played my 3/4 I found my intonation was amazingly bad.

    I talked to my guitarist about muscle memory, and we agreed that it might be possible to switch between instruments of different sizes as long as both were practiced regularly. My intonation playing the fretless and urb bass is generally pretty true, but this experience made me doubt myself.

    Since then I have had some good gigs and opportunities, and I hate to say but I have placed sticker dots on the 5th and 9th position of my 3/4 to help keep me in check.

    I have searched on this forum but not found a discussion: should I avoid practicing on my 1/2 size?

    I wanted to check with others who may have been in the same situation, or have insight into this matter. The alternative to the 1/2 in my practice space is a 6 string slab...

    Thoughts please...
  2. jmacdbass

    jmacdbass jmacdbass.com, openmusiccollective.org Supporting Member

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    having some kind of warm up exercise to "tune" into the scale would be ideal, so when you pick up whatever bass there is a little set thing you do to dial in the muscle memory, chromatic scales, arpeggios and scales, all really good for this kind of switcharoo
  3. gottliver

    gottliver

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    Dec 20, 2004
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    i only have a 3/4..but i do what jmacdbass mentioned. I'll tune up, then play G on the E string to the open G, E octave on the D to the open E, D at the seventh of the G to the open G. F octave on the D to the low E and so on. E and A major and minor scales and G and C major and minor scales all with open strings and all "fretted". Warms up both my hands and ears...
  4. Thumpie

    Thumpie

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    "Fingered."
  5. gottliver

    gottliver

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    Dec 20, 2004
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