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Any Advice?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassBaby20o6, Apr 6, 2005.


  1. Hey all. I just signed up here, and I'd like some possible advice on buying a new bass. Currently, I have one that I bought, with equipment, for $100 off Ebay brand new. It's so cheap it doesn't even have a name on it. However, it dosen't sound cheap.

    Anyway, my biggest problem is, the frets are so big on it, that I have to move my hand just to jump from the 5th to 7th frets. Could anyone recommend a smaller bass for me? Some of the Ibanez basses look and feel about right, but which should I look for exactly?

    This is important to me, because I actually gave up trying to play for a year and a half because I thought I just sucked. It wasn't until recently that I learned that my bass just had large frets and my string were thicker than they should have been.

    Thanks, I appreciate it :bassist:
    Kate
     
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    You should do a search here and google for 'short scale' basses. I know that Fender used to make a bunch of them. In fact, their website lists a Mustang Bass that's a 30" scale...Regular scale for most basses are 34 inches, and it's not unusual for 5 string basses to be 35 inch scales. I'd suggest avoiding those cheap ebay basses...they're almost never fun to play, and can make it 'motivationally challenging' to learn bass!

    There's nothing wrong with a full (34") bass if you have small hands...I know a bunch of little handed players who make up for it by moving efficiently up and down the neck. It'll just take a bit more work!

    :)
     
  3. Dincrest

    Dincrest

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Definitely. One can bluster on and on about the tone being in one's hands, but gear does play a part. And oftentimes cheap gear really does feel and play very poorly and that can hold you back and lower your motivation.

    My hands are relatively small for a guy my size and I find the neck of my nicer 6-string much easier to play than the neck of my cheapie 5-string. My 6's neck may be wider, but it has a slimmer profile and was able to be set-up where the action is comfortable to my tastes.

    On the other hand, no matter what pros did with my 5, the bass was never comfortable to play with the action the way I wanted it. And that bass has a much narrower neck. But that bass was a total cheapie and many cheapies can't even sound remotely good unless the action is so high you can race Micro-Machine toy cars under the strings. But that can fatigue your left hand.

    So while a short scale bass may do the trick for you (and I know Stanley Clarke, who has VERY long fingers, prefers short-scale necks), I wouldn't discount a better 34" scale bass, just because you have small hands.

    A Geddy Lee Jazz Bass may be worth trying out since that bass has a thinner neck profile than regular Jazz basses and the Jazz neck width (1.5" wide at the nut vs. 1.65" nut width for a P-Bass.)

    But, really, go to music stores and try out as many basses as you can, to see what's comfortable for you. I'd also try out some beyond your price range so you can feel what a "good" bass is supposed to feel like.

    I know many folks here whine about Warwick bass necks feeling like baseball bats, yet a female player on these forums who says she has small hands finds her Warwick Thumb a joy to play. I also know folks who bought an Ibanez bass because they had small hands, but found themselves more comfortable with the thicker Fender-style necks over the pencil-thin Ibanez necks.

    Also, the finger stretching is something all budding bassists need to get used to. We've all been there. All our hands have hurt some. I certainly had to get used to it when I was starting out. I'm still getting used to some of the finger stretches on my 6.
     
  4. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    I like a shorter than P bass scale myself. My Guild has assisted me in developing that lazy habit. fortunetly I do not depend on my playing for $.
    For what it is woth try to stay with the pbass length. I did try a budget priced bass today for giggles, spending time and potentialy a back up bass.
    Go to several stores and try everything. tAKE NOTES, BRING BUDS ETC. IMHO never buy a bass or guitar with the thought of '"I will get used to it"

    Avoid junk if at all possible. I personaly prefer not to buy guitars over the net (yet I have) Some one has a Yamaha (not the RBX series, the better BB one) on sale for like 229, the list is over 400 and it should be a decent enough bass. Not exotic by any means but darned functional.

    Best of Luck,
    Wesley R.
     
  5. Hey , Kate! I also have small hands and can really relate to your problems. I have found that Ibanez makes a bass that is really playable for me ( I play a GSR 200) and I am totally in love with the Cort Curbows (Yeah, yeah, I've heard all
    the negative stuff). They're small, lightweight. and fast, IMO. They're also super people to deal with.
     
  6. purfektstranger

    purfektstranger

    Apr 10, 2003
    Canada
    'I know many folks here whine about Warwick bass necks feeling like baseball bats, yet a female player on these forums who says she has small hands finds her Warwick Thumb a joy to play. I also know folks who bought an Ibanez bass because they had small hands, but found themselves more comfortable with the thicker Fender-style necks over the pencil-thin Ibanez necks.'

    My situation to a tee. Started off with an Ibanez sr300 and then switched to a Fender Jazz ( MIM) because I found the Ibanez neck too thin. Try before you buy and take your time in the shops.
     
  7. I bought my sister 1 of the ibanez jumpstart boxes for christmas. amp leads picks tuner and a really nice sounding bass. Its a nice starter set good to use. the necks thin and its a really comfey shape to play.