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2 questions...

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by gitaru, May 2, 2001.


  1. gitaru

    gitaru

    May 2, 2001
    Do you think it's difficult for a girl with small hands and short fingers to play bass guitar?
    Is it better to buy a 5 string bass instead of a 4 string one for a beginner?
     
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Absolutley not! Victor Wooten has small hands. It is all about the technique. As for 4 or 5 strings. I don't think that it matters where you start (as long as you start). What do you hear in your head? If you hear the extended range that the 5 string offers you, then go for it. If not, many really wonderful players, still play the 4 string. Good luck and stay in touch.

    Mike
     
  3. gitaru

    gitaru

    May 2, 2001
    Thank you for answering the questions! :)
    And can you tell me what else do I need? (I mean other than the bass guitar..) and how they work/how to connect?

    thanks!!
     
  4. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Besides the bass you will need an amplifier (to start- a small "practice" amp will suffice) and a cable to connect the guitar to the amp. They are called instrument cables and have a 1/4" phone plug on either end. Just plug the bass into the amp and your off and running.

    Mike
     
  5. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Hi there :)

    I am a pretty small person with very small hands and fingers and I don't find that as a hindrance. But, like you, I first wondered that before I bought a bass.

    The only problems I find I'm having is reaching some high notes, but I am learning how to properly position my thumb and arms..and also...

    ...and Mike if you have any suggestions for this one...

    ..if I'm standing up and playing, let's say for example, one of those postition scales I've been working on...we'll do Bb scale in 10th position that starts on the D (E string 10th fret): I find it a bit hard for me to play the scales starting at around that point and higher. Any suggestions on correct positioning, etc. to be able to play them a little bit better? :)

    Thanks,

    ~Stephanie
     
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Sorry to butt in, but this intrigued me, as I thought that it would have been more difficult to reach the scales at say the 1st fret, by the nut, rather than scales in the middle of the neck?

    I often find that, if I play lines around the 1st fret for long periods at a gig, I get "fatigue" in my left hand/wrist and so I try to play more often at around the 10th - 12th frets as this feels much easier.

    What I mean is that you have to reach further with your left hand, to get right by the headstock, than you do, to play in the middle of the neck, so I would have thought this harder for smaller people - unless we were talking about double bass.

    Also - the distance between frets is much greater at around the 1st fret - so you have a wider stretch to make with your fingers, than at the 10th fret where the frets are more closely-spaced, so I would have thought that it would be easier for somebody with smaller hands as you go further up the neck? :confused:

    But I suppose this shows up that there is no substitute for actually talking to somebody face-to-face - as in with a teacher. I just can't visualise the problem from hearing about it without actually seeing what's happening.
     
  7. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    I can understand where you are coming from Stephanie. Try rotating the fretting hand a bit so that you are moving your pinky up - toward your head. The palm of the hand should be parrallel to the neck. Also try changing the angle at which you hold the bass and the length of your strap. A shorter strap and a greater angle will allow you to achieve the position a bit easier.

    Mike
     
  8. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Actually Bruce, I can see why you think that. But being that I play a Squier, which I believe has only 20 frets, and it's rather small. I have tried a couple basses with 24 frets and they are indeed a little more difficult to reach that 1st fret...

    ...though I do find myself playing with the neck almost pointed straight upwards sometimes to get that 1st fret. LOL....but anyway...

    Thanks for the suggestion Mike. I had asked my teacher about something similar when we were playing 2 octave scales. For the Eb scale I just couldn't get my pinky on that 20th fret for the life of me! It was all in the way I positioned myself and the bass. For instance, I had the bass on my lap to off to my right side when I could play it easier when it's more in front of me. Also my left arm was postioned too close to my body and I angled it a little more.

    Now I can play that scale much easier and without less effort.

    And I will try what you said Mike. Thanks. :)

    Cheers,

    ~Stephanie
     
  9. I think it's the length of the top horn on the bass body and the position of the strap button that determines on a bass how difficult it is to reach the 1st fret when playing standing (assuming the same scale length).

    strangely enough, I find it tiring to play around the first position when playing sitting down or when wearing the bass high on a strap, so I find it more comfortable to wear the bass low...but I do have long arms.