2 months with BEAD (+1 bass skill level)

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by kurth83, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. kurth83


    Mar 28, 2016
    I'm not much of a bass player, playing "up-the-neck" is not in my vocabulary.
    Bass isn't my first, second, or even third instrument. All I have is one Fender J.
    I am also a three fingered fretter, my pinky isn't strong enough to fret a bass.
    But what I could do I could do without looking much at the fretboard
    and I could read a chord chart in any key, but some keys were hard ya know.

    So you get the idea, on a scale of 1-10 I rank myself a three at best,
    where 1 is never picked up a bass at all.

    All I wanted with BEAD was to do some octaves and stay down low while doing it.
    Ok, that much worked, it took a week of practice and I was semi-comfy with BEAD,
    I could do what I always did in the new tuning.

    But living with BEAD longer term has caused me to change in unexpected ways.
    - it drove me up the neck, which in turn:
    - forced me to do a decent setup for the first time, action was way too high, which in turn:
    - enabled me to use my weak pinky (big surprise - cough) which in turn allowed me to:
    - start using the one finger per fret four finger spread, which in turn:
    - is allowing me to play all kinds of bass lines I could never play before, and in any key!
    I know right? Who knew?

    So... yeah, I'm glad I switched to BEAD. And maybe I'm a four now... :)

    Now I'm thinking about a five string, but am worried the wider neck will cause
    problems for my still pitifully weak pinky. And muting 5 strings sounds hard,
    I have enough trouble with 4. But the itch won't go away...

    Now I am reading the 5 string conversion thread... And the injury thread...
    I have no idea how this is going to end up... I think that's what makes it fun.
    catcauphonic and bholder like this.
  2. I think you are worrying too much! Go for it! In reality, muting a 5er is not harder, since the B doesn't ring out very much, and one tends to rest their thumb on the B when playing the other strings.

    Injury can only be caused by extremely poor technique...your body will warn you pretty quick that you are playing with bad technique, when one continues to ignore their body warnings then injury occurs! No need to worry
  3. lostreality


    Sep 2, 2016
    I spent a few weeks working through James Jamerson's lines and it did a lot for my finger strength and coordination
  4. hondo4life


    Feb 29, 2016
    Playing a 5-string will give +2 skill in addition to your +1.
  5. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    You should get the 5. I think you could build up to it. Get the right one tho. If wide neck is a concern look into ibanez they have some darn skinny neck 5s. Schecter may be worth a look too.
  6. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    get a 5
  7. Reminds me of the movie Scott Pilgrim vs The World.
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