Fingers getting caught

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by wishface, Aug 23, 2019.


  1. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    A good fan will help the sticking.

    Also consider gentley sanding the back of the neck with some 2500 grit. Something to possibly post about in the Bass or Luthier forum.
     
  2. wishface

    wishface

    Jan 27, 2012
    wouldn't that just make the neck rough?
     
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    You wanna take off some of the gloss. Good question for the Bass forum.:thumbsup:
     
  4. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass

    Nov 22, 2017
    OK five pages and I'm sure someone has mentioned this, but I'm going to guess your new Sire has a tighter fingerboard radius than your other bass. Nothing to be done for that except to practice.
     
  5. wishface

    wishface

    Jan 27, 2012
    Which I'm happy to do, because I enjoy playing. I don't think that has been mentioned however, iirc.

    Does the fingerboard radius encompass the entire neck (i suppose that would be circumference), or just the fretboard?

    I don't know the measurements for the bas I had before, but that was a wider fretboard with a much fatter more rounded neck and a much heaiver instrument all round. This board looks 'flatter'. Not very scientific of course.

    Why would that make a differnece though? Surely this is confined to fingers and strings
     
    LBS-bass likes this.
  6. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass

    Nov 22, 2017
    Yes it encompasses the entire string, because the height of the saddles at the bridge should be set to match the radius of the neck. It sounds like maybe I have this backwards and your prior bass had a tighter radius. I guessed the other way around because my Sire has a 9.5" radius, which is pretty tight. Not sure if the other models would be the same or not.

    ETA: Didn't see your last question about why this matters. It matters because your fingers are used to a certain reach at each string, and the minor differences in the positions of the strings with a different radius than you're used to can be enough to cause some trouble with fingering on either or both hands in the beginning, until you get used to them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  7. wishface

    wishface

    Jan 27, 2012
    According to Sire, the M2 has a 12" radius. That's for the new version of the M2. Mine is first generation but I believe the only difference is that the fretboard edges roll off. Everything else is the same (correct me otherwise).

    I don't know the radius of my previous instrument, safe bet it was slightly different. So you may have a point, thanks for bringing it up.

    I am confused though, we are talking about the plucking of the notes so I'm not entirely seeing how the radius would make a difference. I have altered the action of the strings. So it's possible they are not uniform over the radius of the neck, since I have no tool to do so. I also pick over the pickups and the strings are about 3mm of the pups (to the best i can measure).
     
  8. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    +1 to all of that. I recently removed the ramp from my fretted 5 string and may also do that with the fretless four that's had one for a few years now. I found them to be a great tool for ingraining certain picking techniques, but also a real hindrance for some other things I now want to do occasionally. But since I have a new FL4, I may just leave the older one the way it is. I've always played with a pretty light touch most of the time, but the ramps still did what they are supposed to IME.
     
    LBS-bass and Wasnex like this.
  9. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass

    Nov 22, 2017
    Yep, the 12" radius would be flatter-looking than 9.5" would be, so it's a good bet your previous bass had a tighter radius than this new one.

    Because radius is set both from the curve of the fretboard and the saddle placement at the bridge, it affects the position of the strings in relation to each other all the way from the nut to the bridge. So, if you're reaching for the G string from the A string, it's likely to be a hair out of position (slightly higher, in this case) from where you are normally used to finding it. It may not seem like a visible difference, but to your muscle memory it could be a big deal. Did you change the saddle heights individually, or just the truss rod? Ideally, the saddle heights are set by a luthier individually using a radius gauge in order to match the radius of the fingerboard. Changing the heights individually without a gauge can also throw you off.

    Anyway, this may not be the issue, but it's something to consider. It took some work getting used to my Sire (which is a P7 with a 9.5" radius) after playing my Fender, which is something like 11.5". That's why I thought of it.
     
    wishface likes this.
  10. wishface

    wishface

    Jan 27, 2012
    I have changed the action yes, individually. I have also very slightly tweaked the truss rod. Probably not even enough to have made a difference in playing. Not that i've noticed.

    It's entirely possible that your analysis is correct, however this is an issue with plucking so I'm not 100% convinced. However there really is no way to know for certain what the problem is. I don't think it's due to a technical fault or some weird misalignment of the neck, for example. At least nothing I can discern. So I guess the only thing is to try and work through it and hope that i can adapt.

    String height adjustments have only been within very small parameters. Again it's possible, but we're talking the smallest increments so I remain not fully convinced that altered action is the cause when it has never been to my recollection on any bass I've played before. Though it's also possible I don't remember.

    I appreciate the input. Hopefully this can be overcome. The only other issue, which someone else hinted at, is that my callouses, on my picking fingers, have become 'larger'. That is to say, having played more intensely since acquiring theinstrument, my finger tips feel a bit 'fatter' (can't really explain it any other way). It sounds weird, and it's not some huge thing. it's not like they've ballooned like I have some disease! Just the product of a more intense approach
     
  11. bbh

    bbh Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    For kicks, what if you try play like you have tony levin magic fingers or whatever they call those extensions. It’s just an exercise in different teqnique. Fingers slap the strings down, no fingers going between strings. Maybe it will spark a light bulb moment.
    Did you post video of you playing? That might help us help you. Not giving up on this.
     
  12. wishface

    wishface

    Jan 27, 2012
    Hmm, not sure how that might work, but I'll give anything a try.

    I did post a video way back when, but I'm not sure how helpful it is given that i'm playing quickly to show how it happens.

    I appreciate all the responses.

    My feeling now is that I've just had bad luck with strings. I don't really see what else it can be. If it's some quality with my fingers then short of plastic surgery (!) I'm out of luck. If it's a question of adaptation then I'll just have to see it through. It could be the shape of the neck, but it's not so different to any bass I've played in the past and, while my memory could certainly be in error, I don't remember this happening before. So that just leaves the strings. 've used this make before, they are cheap but again i don't recall any issues. Perhaps I've just had bad luck with these sets. Perhaps I need a different guage altogether. They are rounds so maybe, if I can fford it, I should try flats.
     
  13. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass

    Nov 22, 2017
    I'm not really sure how it is that you don't yet understand that changing the relative height of the strings at the saddles in relation to each other could affect how things work on your plucking hand. I'm just going to wish you well and hope that you get this sorted out.
     
    SteveCS likes this.
  14. wishface

    wishface

    Jan 27, 2012
    I understand it full well, and have adjusted the action. However if you are referring to having the height of the strings relative to the curve of the fretboard then no, obviously I haven't. That requires a measurement tool I don't have that isn't generally available
     
  15. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass

    Nov 22, 2017
    The saddles should have been set up with a curve that is relative to the fingerboard radius (9.5" or 11" or whatever that fingerboard has) when you first got it, or when you first had it set up, if you took it to someone. Ideally, each string should be the same distance from the fingerboard so that you're not having to press one string through a greater distance than any other, so that's why this is done. You might be able to fix that kind of problem by changing the string heights at the saddle to something that's more comfortable to you but that could cause problems with the left hand, depending on how high your action is.
     
  16. wishface

    wishface

    Jan 27, 2012
    Yes, that's what I thought you meant, but I don't have the correct toll for that and have done my best with a standard ruler. String height of the pups is about 2.5-3mm. Any higher and its uncomfortable, any lower and I get buzz
     
    LBS-bass likes this.
  17. bbh

    bbh Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    I just press the string down and then see if adjacent string feels like it’s the same height. Of course fatter strings will require a bit more height. Point being I measure by feel rather than measuring which is certainly more accurate. My starting string is the one that is where I want it. Then I work back and forth using my ear and feel.
     
    SLO Surfer and LBS-bass like this.
  18. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    You don't need a tool. The best tool for this job is your fingers - they will soon tell you if something is wrong or off.
     
    LBS-bass likes this.
  19. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass

    Nov 22, 2017
    Agree. This is the standard practice and the usual starting point. but if it doesn't feel right, there's no reason not to make changes.
     
  20. Your videos don't work for me and many others have commented they share the same experience with them. When I click on it I get a message that says it's set to private and that the owner (you) needs to change the privacy settings.

    same here. I set up and adjust all my own instruments (Truss, string height, intonation) and have never used a measuring tool.
     
    gebass6 likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 31, 2021

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