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Comfort vs. playbility revisited yet again

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by craigb, Oct 30, 2001.


  1. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    This summer there was a thread on comfort vs. playbility:

    the old Comfort vs Playability thread

    At that time I decided to go the all-comfort route and rearranged my bass stable to be full of basses that fit my hands/wrists the best. They were comfortable and they were good basses that sounded good as well. However I missed my old G&L and bought it back when the opportunity presented itself. And it was good for while. And the sound was so good I sold off the rest of the "comfort-fit" basses and have another G&L on the way.

    Fast forward to today. I haven't practiced/played for a few days. That's usually good because any existing hand/wrist strain is fully recovered and everything is good to go. Pull out the L-2000 and practice for about 45 minutes. Not too good. That was 4 hours ago and I can still feel it - not that it was or is painful but I can "feel" that I practiced and that things got stretched and used.

    I'll give it another few days to see what happens - maybe it was the several day layoff that meant things had to get stretched back out. But it may just be that the G&L #5 neck is a little too big for me. If that's the case then I have a choice:

    1) get the G&L neck(s) shaved down - estimated to cost $200 each by a good luthier

    2) revamp the bass stable yet again to go back to "comfort-first" basses (the Fender American Std/American Series P and MTD Beast necks are "perfect" for me)

    The bummer is that I haven't even received the second G&L (used) and it looks like I may not get to keep it. I was hoping to stop the bass rotation and stay put for a while. But it's more important to me to take care of my hands/wrists and keep playing for a long time.

    I guess I just wanted to vent and see if anyone had opinions on getting the G&L's modified or sticking with "stock" basses that fit me better. I'm thinking the American P, Hotrod P and Am Deluxe P all would fit fine and sound good as would the Epi JC Sig (the neck looks to be the right dimension although I'm a little worried about the wider body). I'm leaning towards staying with "stock" basses rather than having the G&L neck's modified as I've been unable to keep any basses for more than about a year and a half so far.

    Thanks for the forum to vent and if I still feel the same way in a week or two you are going to see some for sale/trade/wanted posts from me again. And if anyone wants to buy a G&L (L-2000, LB-100) or trade for one I could be easily convinced right now.
     
  2. Hey craigb!!! Go for comfort.If you don't pursue that while you're relatively young,you'll pay the price in the future.I used to own a StingRay.It got heavy on my left shoulder and soon I was forced to sell it and find a lighter bass.Why?I decided to shorten the strap length so I could have better left hand positioning.As a result my shoulder and left hand have benefitted tremendously.You won't be sorry.
     
  3. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    Hey Willie,

    Wow, I haven't even been called even "relatively" young in a long time. I see I'm only two months older than you so I'm sure you know what I mean.

    Yeah, I made the decision to go comfort first (again). One G&L is sold, the other is on ebay. I have a replacement MTD Beast ordered (it was a very comfortable neck, a light bass and sounded pretty good, too) and an Epi JC Sig on the way (the neck should be good but if the wide body is too uncomfortable I'll rotate it through).

    I've been working on optimizing my strap length, too. I've always been careful of my left hand position/angle but now I'm paying more attention to getting my right hand (plucking hand since I'm a righty) good too. With the right strap length I don't rest my forearm on the body edge and it's a lot better (I had the body up a little too high).

    It's hell getting old.
     
  4. Why not both?

    Don't throw em all out, keep one for playability, and the rest for comfort.

    It doesn't really matter if you can play the perfect 5 minutes of a gig, if you can't finish out the rest of it. So definatly comfort.
     
  5. Ely

    Ely

    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    Umm, am I missing something here? Comfort and Playability are the same thin in my book. An uncomfortable bass is unplayable! I love big baseball bat necks like Stingrays, P-Basses, and 5+ Stringer necks, and they have to be thick too, not just wide! I like high/medium action because I'm very heavy handed and so low action just makes me press my finger against the fret really hard and that doesn't feel very good. See what I mean?
     
  6. Robert B

    Robert B Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2000
    Hampton, Va USA
    Maybe you should consider having a custom neck made for your G&L?
     
  7. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    Robert - that's a good idea. I did think long and hard about having my L2000 neck narrowed/shaved down. My problem is that I'm one of those guys who is constantly changing my limited bass collection (up to 3 now). So I decided it wasn't a good idea to invest some cash in customizing the L2000 when I have a hard time keeping a bass for time periods measured in units longer than months. luthier Mike Dolan estimated the work at about $200 in the Dudepit - not outrageous but definitely not something recoupable if I moved on to something else. I also thought about the Moses graphite G&L replacement neck (same as a Stingray replacement neck) which would be a good fit for my hands. But that's like $3-400 not including installation which is kind of steep for me.

    I'm trying to stop the bass rotation madness. When my current churn settles down with 1 MTD Beast, 1 Epi JC Sig and 1 Steinberger Spirit (for BEAD/DGCF/etc. messing around) I hope to "just say no" to any more bass trading.

    If I can go a year without buying/selling/trading a bass then I may look into doing a customized L-2000 (either shaved or Moses graphited). But for now I just need to settle down with a couple of comfortable basses and play, get working on reading and write.
     
  8. I hear they are coming out with a new line of basses targeting the female consumers.

    A no-name bass co. has collaborated with Kotex Inc. to develop the "Basses with Wings" line of comfort oriented instruments.

    *drum roll ,cymbol crash* :rolleyes:

    Sorry.....can`t fall asleep tonight.
     
  9. I know what you mean,that's mostly the reason I changed strap length and basses.When I was somewhat younger I used to sling my stingray way low;looked cool but my left hand technique suffered.Now I'm glad I made the switch.Might as well age gracefully.(The next time the Stones go on tour,would someone please tell Mick to keep his shirt on.);)