1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

does having long fingers give you an advantage in playing?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Brian Stefan, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. Brian Stefan

    Brian Stefan Guest

    Sep 22, 2003
    Wall, NJ
    same :bassist:
  2. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    As one who does not have large hands, I vote yes. Playing an up tempo groove in the first position takes all my attention.
  3. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    yes :p

  4. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    First off, great icon.

    Second and on topic......

    Yes and no.

    Being able to make large stretches could be helpful if you ever come across the need to reach so far. Personally, I rarely see an instance where I really need to reach for anything. I dont think it would be nescesary for most situations unless you are chording or tapping.

  5. incognito89x

    incognito89x ♪♫♪ ♪ ♪ ♫&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    [​IMG] :eek:

    That doesn't look healthy! ;)
  6. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    Ah, my image got deleted...
  7. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    I think having mAd 0wnAg3 sKillZ gives more advantage than lenght..

    Same thing with getting girls :( ;)
  8. I can basically make that strech there by felix.. but not in a useable way... maybe if I work on if for a couple years I will have great usable stretches... I have the biggest hands out of anyone I have ever met in life... one person had the same size at the fingers, but their thumb was a cm shorter and he was 6'7".. So I am doing ok there.. but I actually find it to be a bit of a hinderance at times and uncomfortable in high positions. Its especially my quite long thumb that causes the "C" shape of my hand to be a bit off balance and not very comfortable to play with proper technique.. I am now working with a teacher who is helping me with proper technique (Mollerup). It will take time, but in the end the large hands will probably help...

    So my answer to this post... larger hands can help, or hurt.. depending on the situation.
  9. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Same thing I was thinking. It actually is one of the reasons I moved to a five instead of tunning a four BEAD.

  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I agree - I have seen the most virtuosic bass players with small hands - it may well be that like many things - the larger you are, the less flexible, athough I think that this is probably as much a "blanket generalisation" as the premise of this thread?

    What you need is a bit of dexterity and the motivation to practice - I think this is far more important. You can have all the natural advantages possible - but if you don't practice and focus on what you want to achieve, then you will never be a great bass player - that's the only definite!!
  11. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    smaller/shorter fingers have a certain slight advantage over longer fingers... think of it like a weight lifter. the short stocky guys are generally perceived to be the strongest. they can bench twice as much as the tall guys who have arms a foot longer. it is as simple as mechanical advantage. there is less distance for them to quickly move to, so there is less fatigue and moe output. this is not to say that the tall guys cannot achieve similar results be it in the weight room or on the stage, it is just to the shorter fingered people's advanage. an ibanez has a fast thin neck and some are baseball bats. you can play faster on the ibanez but it will also fatigue your hand more... having very long fingers can make even the thickest necks feel like ibanez necks. same goes for those long stretches. a longer finger initially has the advantage over a shorter one. but with time, good hand/wrist habits, and practice, anything is possible. so i guess the answer is one is not really better than the other inherently but your situation will be different than everyone else's... ;)
  12. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    There are enough different bass designs out there to find something that suits you whatever size your hands are. In other words, its relatively easy to find a tool that makes the most of the way you're put together - I'd concur with the voices suggesting that it's practise and dedication that make the real difference.

  13. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    Aren't those 'extended' necks kinda wide? I have an RB5 and that is about my limit.
  14. dabshire

    dabshire Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2002
    McKinney, TX
    I'm not sure if you gain any real advantage by having larger hands/longer fingers.

    For example:

    I think I have longer finfers than Jeff Rader (another TB'er here), and he still rolls me up and smokes me every time he plays.


    I think it's more about skill and less about physical attributes.

    Whatever size your hands are, you learn to play within your stretching limits, and you learn how to grab notes that you can reach. Also, as was stated earlier, I haven't run into many situations where I needed to stretch very far to get the next note I needed.

  15. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Not if you don't insist on hooking your thumb over the top :D

    One of the 'advantages' of not having huge fingers is that you have to learn how to do things more efficiently at an earlier stage...

  16. Billdog


    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    In my short time playing bass I have found that you shouldn't worry about it one way or the other. I'm a pretty big guy and my hands are plenty big, but I still suck. :) But, if all other things are equal, I would say they can help a little.
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I don't think long fingers gives you an advantage. Watching Anthony Wellington tear it up on a 6 kind of dispels the idea that short fingers are automatically "too short". Throw Anthony Jackson, Steve Bailey, Mark Egan into that mix and it should be clear that desire is what gives you an advantage. Desire will push you to figure out a way to get things done, instead of coming up with reasons (or excuses) for why you can't do what you supposedly want to do.
  18. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    No correlation between the length of your fingers and the size of your heart.

    Also, some basic stuff like reading well and having good time, knowing a ton of songs etc all matter a lot more.

    If you've got all that down and are limited totally by the length of your fingers, then there might be an issue.

    - pt
  19. Hey, doesn't his belong in technique?
  20. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Long fingers are okay, short fingers are okay.
    People that don't practice won't get better. People who don't hear it before they play it aren't going to be musical.
    People that only copy others aren't saying anything.
    People that play out of time or out of tune aren't going to work much.


    Nobody wants to work with a bassist because he or she has long fingers.

    (Long fingers, and doesn't care);)

Share This Page