Difficulty Above the 9th Fret

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Roark Haver, Mar 19, 2002.

  1. I've always had a problem with feeling comfortable playing above the 9th fret. I play with my thumb behind the neck and not hanging over it. It feels a little better if I move the neck to a more vertical position when I get up there. It's almost as if my arm is too close to my body. Is it common for the upper part of the neck to be more difficult to play on at first? Any suggestions?

  2. Try shortening your strap. The guys who play with their basses down by their knees tend to not play above the 7th fret.
  3. Thanks Peter,

    I've already got it up pretty at about upper belly level. I wonder if it's just because I haven't work on my technique as much up there. Maybe it comes down to more reps.

    BTW, glad you're ok after the accident.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well I tend to think it's actually easier to play above the 9th fret - the stretches are not so far to make, for example. I've also seen things where Jazz eductaors are warned that bass guitarists can play solos in the higher octaves very easily, while this is very difficult on Double Bass.

    I think the thing that probably has most effect on this is your setup - so how is the action, higher up the neck - if the strings are too high at that point and this is causing you problems, then you probably need to look at getting a setup that will address this.

    But I always think that questions like this show up the limitations of the net and forums and demonstrate the need for one-to-one teachers.

    So (and I have said this many, many times on here :) ) if you were standing in front of me with your bass, then I could probably spot the problem in a few minutes - maybe in less than a minute! ;)

    But we could go round and round forever on here making guesses and not ever get round to actually helping you or even identifying the actual problem!

    I would suggest a one-to-one lesson with a good bass player would be the quickest way to address this.
  5. Thanks Bruce,

    I agree, I think I've finally got a line on one. It has been tough finding one that I think will work musically for me. Most people that I've checked out are guitar players "that also teach bass". I want a teacher that plays bass as their main instrument, and approches music from that stand point.