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Best bridge width of bass?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Paul4703, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Paul4703


    Mar 19, 2007

    I'm buying my first bass guitar and checked out a few in the local music store at lunchtime today.

    I'm leaning towards buying a Fender bass but noticed that the bridge width on them varies from 1.5" to 1.75". As a guitarist the wider bridge appeals to me because there is more room to get the fingers around. But the guy in the shop advised against this saying that they were more difficult to play.

    Is this true and what bridge width would you recommend for a learner?


  2. mightypog


    Apr 21, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    First of all, take anything you hear in a music store with a grain of salt.

    Second, I am female and thus have smaller hands than many bass players. But I play a Pedulla 5-string, which I chose specifically in part for its fat span (the distance between strings). Previously I played a Carvin 5 which has a much narrower span. I simply found I played a lot cleaner with a wider span. My hands could handle it and there was less string harmonic noise, less errors, and if you're into slap/pop at all, it's a lot easier to get in and get that pop or not slap the wrong string when the span is wide. Fenders are spanned waaaaay wide, and I find that span to be just about ideal. Happy playing!
  3. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska

    Are you asking about the width at the bridge, or at the nut? 1.5" and 1.75" are typical *nut* widths for Fender Jazz and Precision basses (respectively). The width at the bridge is the same for both Jazz and Precision basses.

    As for which is "best", there is no answer because it's a very personal decision based on what feels best *to you*. Some people (myself included) like wider spacing at the nut, while others like it narrower--you'll need to play both and decide for yourself which feels most comfortable.

  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Agreed. Also, you may find that your tastes change. I started off liking wider string spacing, and now I like narrow string spacing. Both are equally "good" in the bigger picture, but at first one was "best" for me, and now the other is "best".

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