21 vs. 22. vs. 24 frets? What am I missing with 21?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rickreyn, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    Don't say 3 frets! I am soon to get a new bass with 21 frets, as opposed to my existing bass with 24. My previous bass was 22 frets. I really haven't cared to this point how many frets were on the neck as long as I could play it comfortably. I am wondering though if having just 21 frets is a major drawback to many players. I am not one to play all the way up there, and if I were to covet the high notes, I'd get a six. Just asking since I've never seen a discussion of this topic. Of course, I could be wrong.
  2. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I guess I asked for that.
  3. smakbass

    smakbass Smakkin basses for 25 years..

    Aug 6, 2002
    Vancouver Canada
    3 notes but theres always artificial harmonics
  4. I guess I'm a fan of 24 because 24 is 2 octaves.
  5. Zirc


    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Notes up that high tend to have a bad tone anyway. I can't think of a song where I use any of the 21st fret or what not. Highest I usually go is 17th.
  6. GDJ


    Jun 15, 2002
    you will rarely need anything above the 12th (unless your soloing) and the harmonics are still there, smakbass, just not the frets.

    a huge % of music is made on the fender P and J basses and they only have 20 frets.

    if you feel like you have to have 24 frets then buy a bass with 24 frets.
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I don't go up there much. When I do, if the bass I'm playing on only has 20, I just keep that in mind and play the highest notes in a lower octave.
  8. smakbass

    smakbass Smakkin basses for 25 years..

    Aug 6, 2002
    Vancouver Canada
    Umm thats what I was saying...not sure you read it right....

    I use the notes up there all the time and on my basses all the upper notes sound great Lefty...
  9. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    Practically, most bass playing is played to provide some kind of foundation to a song. So playing up there steadily would be leave a hole in the song. To me, playing a six would be much easier than playing with so little room to maneuver.
  10. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    If you play faux guitar leads w/fuzz, you'll miss those three little frets...
  11. funkfish

    funkfish Guest

    Jun 20, 2002
    U.S., Princeton, NJ
    i have a 20 fret mia jbass
  12. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    wow, it would suck to have to actually care about this kind of stuff :p :D
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    If you don't venture up there it's probably no much of an issue. If you slap, having more or less frets can affect where you slap. I like less frets but I don't have an issue with having 24.
  14. BassAxe


    Jul 22, 2002
    Culpeper, VA
    I have written a few original pieces utilizing chords, intervals, and open strings which take me up to the 24th fret. I wrote these on my first bass, which is a 24 fret, 4 string.

    Since then, I have acquired two more basses, one with 20 frets and another with only 19. I feel limited trying to play those originals on my two newer basses, but it also makes me explore new possibilities for those same works, trying to work within the limits of fewer frets, substituting lower notes.

    I approach the bass as a musical instrument instead of just a function of a group effort. That's just me. The down side of my attitude comes from dealing with other musicians who expect me to stick with the traditional role of the bass player. In the past, these creative conflicts have cost me work. Oh well.

    My only arguement against getting a 6 string is that I am not yet fluent in traveling up and down the neck in search of notes. With 6 strings, I know I'd just get lazy and go back and forth across the strings in a small area of the neck.

    Good luck with your decisions.
  15. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    There's an enlightened post :D

    Unless you're, you know, playing stuff above the twelfth besides solos. :rolleyes: The lowest B on a four is on the twelfth fret of a five, so you can play a "standard" bassline above the twelfth fret without it being a solo (I'm not a fan of those kind of limitations). JT, how hard is it to fret notes up there on your eight-string? I was looking at your post in the "custom basses," and it looks like there's no space at all.
  16. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Forget the extra frets, go for an extra string. :)

    Seriously: I've been a 21 or 22 fret guy most of my life, and don't solo much, so I usually get confused when playing up above 17 on my 24-fret basses. And like others I don't care for the tone up there, and have trouble hitting proper notes with so little room to work with.
  17. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    slapping on a 24 fret is annoying as hell.

    suddenly, there's like no room cause the pickup is sooo darn close. on my Elrick, tho, sometimes, i just get dizzy from all the frets down there. its like,

    [keeenu on]


    [keeenu off]

    besides, i think i make good with the few frets i am given. ;)
  18. bass_man86


    Apr 29, 2002
    Virginia Beach
    I own six basses and some have only twenty frets, some have twenty-four. For most of my twenty-eight years of playing the fat string wonder I just used four string instruments with twenty frets. I will admit that I really like my five string instruments however, the extra frets really don't do much for me. I make no prentention of being Stanley Clarke or Jaco Pastorious. My attitude is that I am playing a bass not a guitar. Most of my work is in the low end of the musical spectrum. This is just me but if I really wanted to play screaming highs all the time I would be playing a guitar. Moral of the story. You are missing three or four frets that you will hardly ever use.
  19. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Can't play "The Perfect Kiss" by New Order with less than 21 frets. . . :D (oops, guess 20 wasn't an option anyway)

    Seriously though. . .I got 24, plenty of room for slapping. . .

    But, if you never get up there much, why care? If you ever find yourself missing one of those three notes, it's just as likely if you'd had 24 frets you'd find yourself needing a high G# or something.