Do you position your left hand differently for each bass you own?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Deak, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Deak


    Feb 28, 2016
    I have started playing my first P. An MIM Nior and I like it quite a bit but after a few days of playing, when I stretch over 4 frets on the lower 6 frets my middle finger on my left hand flexes straight up as in flipping someone off.
    I have never had that happen on my shorter scale basses and when I switch back to any other bass it does not happen. This is frustrating, and after reading the @jurberg thread and hearing the varied responses that others deal on different necks, I hope that I can work thru it.

    Do your different basses make your hands do strange things?
  2. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Strange things? No, but since I have 15 pretty different basses (and 19 total), I do position my hands a little differently for each of them. More so my left hand than my right, but, in my case it's because I'm left handed...;) But, I know what you mean. Other than slight changes forced by scale length and neck dimensions, my fretting hand doesn't change much. I imagine you "flipping the bird" in certain situations is simply the result of how hands are wired. I've seen other people do it, too. I probably don't do it because I never play that part of the neck...:whistle:
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  3. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
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  4. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Sounds like a technique issue. Don't try and stretch your fingers out to try and cover all four frets at the 1st position, rotate your wrist back and forth to allow your fingers to fret the strings, minimizing the stress on your hand.
  5. Deak


    Feb 28, 2016
    So does this mean I should be looking at a fiver? :whistle:
  6. Deak


    Feb 28, 2016
    Thank you! That makes perfect sense, I'll definitely try rotating my wrist to reduce the stretch.
    Jeff Scott likes this.
  7. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    I really couldn't say. None of my basses are 5-ers, and almost all of what I like to play lives between the nut and the 12th fret. If a 5-er would make playing what you play easier (and keep you from flipping people off), then maybe you should consider one... or else follow Jeff's advice. That would be cheaper...;)
  8. Old Blastard

    Old Blastard

    Aug 18, 2013
    I also have about 15 basses and they are all very different. I have issues with the neck on the Jack Casady, just because of its shape. I take extra time and focus on easy, smooth scales, using more upright fingering technique to limit stretch and focus on more relaxation. If Inswitch to it after a month or so off, Inhave to practice it again.
  9. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    I've always made adjustments to my technique for every bass I've ever owned or played. Subtle differences in the feel and response of different basses makes it a virtual necessity if you're going to bring out the very best a particular instrument has to offer.

    After many years I no longer consciously think about my playing technique. It all just happens and flows now. As it eventually does for the bulk of the players out there.
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  10. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I'm partially blind as a result of loving one of my basses, too much...

    ... to this day, I have trouble listening to the intro to, 'Crazy Train', as Ozzie tauntingly screams, 'Eye, Eye, eye...'.
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  11. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    I have this same issue with the middle finger. It's the Eric Clapton Barre Chord syndrome. When I'm not using it, it's flipping the bird. Especially with barre chords on the guitar. If your hand is relaxed, and fingers not stressed, there should be no problems. Other than concerns from people who are easily offended by the gesture.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
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  12. fourlow

    fourlow Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2016
    Vancouver, BC
    I certainly play different necks differently, tho I would say I vary my right technique/placement more between different basses.
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  13. No, but I have really big hands and if I don't like the neck I ditch the instrument in lieu of something I do like.
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  14. QweziRider

    QweziRider Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Ahhhh, the bassist flip off. I just let it fly. :)
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  15. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    I got about 14 basses, almost all of them have the same dimensions. So not really..
  17. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    No. I'm one of those 'thumb on the back of the neck centerline' guys. I'd hazard a guess that coming from a short scale axe to a full sized Precision Bass, you're just stretching your lefty differently and will go away in time as you play it more and the muscles work in.
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  18. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
  19. jaybones

    jaybones Inactive

    Mar 4, 2015
    Kelleys Island, Ohio
    Not really. Although I do have to stretch my fingers a little wider when I play my precision. Wider frets than my jazz, and for sure my Rivoli (EA 260 short scale).

    That was exactly what I thought of when I read the OP.

    Buddy of mine, and former bandmate were watching him play Unplugged (Layla to be specific), and Reggie commented on the middle finger.

    Also, I had a professor in college who had a carved tropical wood hand making that gesture (with the thumb extended) on her desk. I asked her about it, and she'd gotten it in Thailand said it meant good luck. Very common for taxi cabs and store owners to display them.

    Sort of like the cat waving the paw in Japan.
  20. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    I think my hands do it on their own. One pic from July 4 gig shows I'm fretting 1st fret with index finger and 3rd fret with middle finger. I'm not sure if I was reaching for the low note or getting ready to move up the neck. Yes, I have that much stretch in my hands - it's from stretching the fascia in the palm. Finger-per-fret is not an issue. ;)

    I stumbled on the fascia thing when I first started to play keys.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
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