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21-fret 4-string players out there - do you ever wish you had an extra 3 frets?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rob_the_bassist, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. During solos I actually find myself missing the top 3 frets. I'm not sure if this is just because the extra 3 help me visualize the fretboard better, or if I would actually make use of an extra 3 high notes.

    Do any of you guys miss having a full 24 fret fingerboard? Why?
  2. I usually don't notice. I just can't think of anything I'd use the higher notes for. How do you even solo up there?
  3. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I want to say that, although I have instruments ranging anything between 20 and 24 frets, having 24 frets is a must for me to consider an instrument my main bass (among other features, of course).
  4. yes; all the times I play a standard J (20 frets, mind you!). 22 is also ok; but if 24 it's better.

    well: to each his own! It depends on the role you have in the band you play in and on the musical genre. Playing jazz requires being in condition to solo with taste and anywhere on the fretboard. It's not so uncommon, trust me.

    Can I live with 4 strings and 20 frets only? Yes, definitely (Jaco and tons of others did it). But if I can, personally I prefer having a five stringer with 24 frets. 22 is ok too... ;)
  5. Playing a P (20 fret) and have never missed having the extra 4, or even the extra 2 i get with my Ibanez. The only time i ever get up there is when we play New Divide by Linkin Park (Which we haven't done for about 8 months) as i do the synth intro, but never higher than 20.

  6. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    deviated prevert
    When I need the extra notes, I play my 24 fret basses.

    I mostly play a standard P and a J. No worries here.

  7. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    The only "21-fret" instrument I still have is my Rob Allen Deep 4 fretless (which actually I can grab high F if I try hard). Other than that it is 24 or 26 fret. The other 21 fret instruments I had didn't really give decent access beyond the 16th fret. Whether you need it or not depends on the music you play and how you play it. There are times I want to comp a Dm7 chord while pedaling a low D. With most typical lineups I prefer to play that at the 17th fret (with the low E dropped). Trivial on my 24 fret bass, pita on a 21 fret bass.
  8. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Whenever I got it: Yamaha Attitude and BB series, LTD Phoenix, Eko Florence Acoustic and the Precision American Deluxe replacement neck I swapped in a former Squier VM Jazz natural, I'm definitely alright.
    Conversely, I play a full step downtuned and apply an Hipshot bass extender to reach the notes I need more DOWN there

  9. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    My main bass is a 24 fretter, and I have at least one solo where I use those last few that are unavailable on my jazz. I miss them when they're not there.
  10. yes: this is THE thing!!! You might need'em (often or occasionally) so better have them than not.
  11. I can get by with my 21-fret basses, but sure appreciate the extra 3, when I play my Warwick. I only seem to miss them, when playing acoustic duo/trio gigs, since I solo a lot more than in full band/electric gigs. There are no 20-fretters in my stable, currently.
  12. It doesn't bother me that a few of my basses (Rob Allens and Kramer) don't have 24. That being said, I wouldn't object if the basses had 24.
  13. Tx Basser

    Tx Basser

    Jul 21, 2012
    Just to answer your question:

    No, don't miss them and wouldn't use them if I had them.

    The style of music I have played for 40+ years has never called for that high a bass guitar note. (rock & blues & country) But I am sure a lot of you players in the Jazz / fusion / whatever genre, etc use them.

    Solo on Bassin' brothers!

    BTW: Not to hijack this thread but note to nostatic...

    Zulu as Kono = greatness! I watched every Hawaii 5-O episode from that era! That made me laugh! You must be an old guy like me......
  14. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    If 50 is old, then yes :D

    Nice catch - it is a pretty obscure reference. The opening montage for that show is art - from the kick-arse tune to the hip (for the 60's) quick cuts and zooms to the fisheye lens shot of the jet engine.

  15. BassilPesto

    BassilPesto Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2012
    Massachusetts, USA
    Only when reading some solo bass arrangements.

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