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good bass for smaller hands

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by discosammy, Sep 11, 2003.


  1. I currently have a 5-string Fender Jazz Bass (made in Mexico) but the neck is a little wide for my hands, which are small.

    I'm looking for a 4-string that'll be kinder to my reduced finger-span, priced in the $500 range (I can't spend more the $100 +trade-in value).

    From reading through posts, I see Fender The Urge or Kubicki X-Factor mentioned.

    Any other suggestions?

    Thanks in advance

    S

    ps, i'm looking for something that works well with multiple styles of music...
     
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    I have small hands as well. I endorse MTD basses and find them very easy to play. The neck profile is shaped like an airplane wing. If you have decent technique and keep your thumb in the center of the back of the neck, the bass will reap you tons of rewards. If you are the type of player that puts the thumb over then neck, it is not the best shape for you. Korean made MTD's such as the Kingston and the Heir can be gotten in your price range

    Mike
     
  3. Dondi

    Dondi

    May 3, 2003
    NYC
    In my experience, the basses that work best for kids or people with small hands are the Dan Armstrong bass, the Gibson "EB" basses, and the Fender Mustang Bass. You will have to search, but it will be worth it.
     
  4. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    That IS if you want a bass that sounds like crap. Short scale basses (except for the Alembics) usually don't have much tone to them. The Gibson EB basses are notorius for their crappy sound.

    Mike
     
  5. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I think good technique is much more valuable than spending $$$ to get a specific bass (eg. thumb not waving over the top of the neck).

    Out of interest, discosammy, what are the dimensions of your hands. Small is a relative term, but if we have some measurements we can start to get a better grasp on what we're talking about.

    Wulf
     
  6. Dondi

    Dondi

    May 3, 2003
    NYC
    I was replying to a specific question about a specific problem when I reccommended the basses that I mentioned. I don't know of any $500.00 Alembics. I'm aware of the quality of the basses that I talked about (the Dan Armstrongs don't sound bad at all, and everybody has a different notion of good tone anyway. Personally I avoided mentioning Hofner's because I think they are inferior, construction-wise), but whats the point of talking about instruments that are out of price range by a thousand dollars or more? The goal is to get the player to be able to practice and get their skills together, not to scare them away from playing becuase of budget reasons.
     
  7. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Read what I wrote. I've had Gibson EB series basses - there is a reason that VERY few people play them. There is a reason that the Fender Mustang is not played very much. Short scale basses just do not have a good sound, except for a noted few. I have small hands, Victor Wooten has small hands. I just did a gig with Bill Dickens - guess what - he does not have huge hands either. It is about the technique. If you can get a great bass like the Korean made MTD's - a bass that will last a lifetime, then there is absolutely no reason to even consider a dated, poor sounding, obsolete bass like a Gibson EB or a Fender Mustang.

    That being said, please note that this is my forum and the opinions presented here are mine

    Mike
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree again - there was a great local Jazz bass guitar player who I had lessons with - incredible technique and he could play anything. But his hands were much smaller than mine. He played a Mike Tobias-made bass as well.

    I think neck width doesn't matter - as everybody has said if you use correct technique. In fact the only way I can imagine it being a problem (having seen great players with small hands) is if, as wulf says, you are trying to hook your thumb over the top of the neck at the same time as you are plying the G string with your fingers.
     
  9. grinx

    grinx

    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    i have small hands and have found that carvin 4 strings and ibanez 4strings are very accommodating...
     
  10. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    I don't know the CArvin's too well. I do know that the Ibanez necks are very playable. I just thing that the QC and the sound of the lower end stuff is not up to the qulaity of a lot of other manufacturers

    Mike