Does small hands player stuck ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wishforbass, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    I have fairly short fingers. I play both electric and upright bass. The ONLY time my hand size has EVER stopped me from playing something I wanted to play was a single harmonics chord in Jaco's "Portrait of Tracy." Other than that one specific example, my hand size has never in the slightest been an impediment for me. :)
  2. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Go to 1:55 and see what this guy does on a string bass. Then never mention small hands again. ;)

    craigie and Fretless1! like this.
  3. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i'm 5' 3" with small hands that are significantly shorter than yours (i checked the pics), and i started out playing a 35" scale 5 string. i learned to adapt. then for years i played only 34" scale basses. i only moved to short scales due to shoulder damage.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  4. St_G


    Jan 22, 2013
    Memphis, TN
    I have short fingers, but that's not why I suck.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

  6. jaymelewis


    Jan 6, 2010
    Fillmore, CA
    From watching the numerous female players who can smoke me with their eyes closed, I'd say hand size is irrelevant.
  7. This guy is one of the most booked bassplayers of all times, Lee Sklar:

    Leland Sklar interview
    EatS1stBassist and gebass6 like this.
  8. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I have very large hands. I'm a good bassist, but hand size isn't the reason I'm good. I play a lot of double stops, so I shift all over the neck to play things. With short hands, you'll end up doing more shifting than some folks, but probably less that I do, unless you end up with a similar style to mine. It's not going to stop you from being good.
  9. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    If you have small hands or short fingers, don't stretch your fingers, move your hand to the right position.

    You might want a smaller bass but you don't need one.

    If you get your technique right you can play anything.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  10. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    My left hand is a little bit smaller than my right, so I have to shift around to play riffs.
    chris_b, SpyderX, Deak and 2 others like this.
  11. I believe I've answered one of your posts before in the same vein as this. My fingers are short and I have big, meaty palms. I've played p-bass copies, p-basses and five strings. Necks were wider on the 5's but the others were pretty wide too. Currently, I'm playing a Stingray 5. My short fingers have never been a problem. If you keep trying, asking for advice, looking for videos/instructions you'll find ways to get along with it. Don't give up, keep searching and you'll find your answer. Bass on!
  12. Xandrell


    Aug 23, 2014
    I have smaller hands as well and did notice it was harder when I got my 35" 5 string. Now I don't notice it after playing it a bit. If I'm playing long intervals down the neck I just move my hand a little. I was at a track meet and a runner was shorter than everyone else with shorter legs and needless to say that person smoked everyone. I've even seen a bass player that was missing his index finger and not missing a beat. Having larger hands could be an advantage making things easier but smaller hands aren't really an impediment. Of course there's bass players with smaller hands that are better than players with larger hands.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  13. toowrongfoo


    Nov 25, 2017
  14. toowrongfoo


    Nov 25, 2017
    The reason I don't care for 35" scale at the time was strings didn't always fit. Has that changed?
  15. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
  16. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Ultimately, you should play what's comfortable to YOU. If that ends up being a bass with a narrower neck, thinner neck or shorter scale, so be it. There are great basses out there with any or all of those attributes. Play the instrument that let's you be the best you can be.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  17. No hand size doesn't matter.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  18. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    I know a gal whose about 5’2”, 105 lbs.

    Kills on upright (5/8 scale) (mostly arco).
  19. Wesley R

    Wesley R Gold Supporting Member

    It might be argued that smaller hands or fingers are easier to move quickly or more accurately moved. I do not believe size of hands has a lot to do with skills.
  20. Waytootrue


    Jan 19, 2018
    Its the kinda thing that really only makes it harder to learn. With enough practice people can play whatever they set their mind on. The bass is a very versatile instrument. 3 frets higher is the same as two down on the next string. Short scales exist for making it a bit easier if you don't have arms long enough. I don't like playing the really chunky P necks, and I'm a pretty large guy. Its because I learnt on a puny Ibanez neck. The important thing is to find whats comfortable for you, and that's not something to worry about. Its not gonna sound worse or limit you in the slightest as a musician.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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