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Avoid playing certain notes on the fretboard?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by badboy1984, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. badboy1984


    Mar 27, 2007
    United Kingdom
    I never really felt that bother, but i really bother about dead notes now on the fretboard. I get great sound from my bass and i love the EQ setting i set but is the notes on the G string starting from 4-6 sound really really bad. Sound too muddy and unclear.

    Do you guys just avoid playing those notes?
  2. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Nope. I avoid playing those basses.
  3. alexit


    Feb 21, 2006
    That's an issue present on almost every fender and some others with similar headstocks. The Fat Finger headstock weight is supposed to help. Or you can just ignore it, many people don't find themselves playing half or whole notes up there anyway.
  4. sedan_dad

    sedan_dad Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    I just don't dwell on bad notes.
    I'm not there long anyways.
    Nobody ever notices.
  5. Craithius


    Oct 19, 2007
    Or you could just play the octave lower
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member


    Some dead spots are worse than others. Most basses have mild ones. You don't necessarily have to avoid a dead spot completely, you just have to avoid them when playing notes that require a lot of sustain.
  7. Loudthud


    Dec 25, 2007
    Dallas Texas
    I decided to build an amp that sounded the way I wanted it to sound no matter what anybody else though. Whenever I got close, I started noticing the dead spot on my G&L L1000. I tried all kinds of different strings, it wouldn't go away. I started looking for any bass that didn't have the dead spot. I got a Ric that had two dead spots. One in the usual place and one on the D string about the 10th-12th fret. Curious, it's the same notes! And the Ric has two truss rods.

    Got a bunch of G&L's and Precisions, they all have it. Got one of those hollow bodied Precisions, it does it. Got a MusicMan Sting Ray, it does it. Tried a Jazz bass, it did it bad. Routed a cavity in a precision copy to move the DG pickup closer to the neck, still does it. Tried a Sting Signature, it does it.

    Got a Modulus bass with 35 inch scale graphite neck, no dead spot. Got a Kawai bass with neck thru construction, sort of an Alembic knock off. It comes and goes depending on truss rod adjustment. Got a Peavey bass with graphite neck, no dead spot. Have a (short scale) vintage Guild Starfire and a reissue, no dead spot. Got a Rogue VB100 and a Hofner Club, no dead spot. In fact, never found a short scale bass that did have a dead spot. Picked up a vintage Les Paul bass... too heavy, never changed the strings. Never tried one of those Precision Lites with a 32 inch scale.

    Looking at the output of my amp with an oscilloscope you can clearly see that the fundamental frequency just dies away when notes in the dead spot are played leaving a tone one octave higher, right in the middle of the midrange notch in my EQ. So those notes are really weak. Players that have a strong midrange tone don't suffer near as badly.

    I read once that Leo Fender noticed the dead spot when the first version on the Precision bass was in production. He hired a consultant to solve the problem. The result is the headstock you see today. The Bad Finger moves the spot slightly but does not remove it.

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