Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Matt Bowen, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. Matt Bowen

    Matt Bowen

    Feb 22, 2016
    When I started on bass I had the same hand soreness that every new player does. I'm a small guy and I soon realized that my small stature was the reason for my difficulty with the instrument. What I want to ask is: Is there any way I can increase my hand size? Preferably natural methods. I've tried pills and pumps and everything but nothing seems to work. I feel like my performance is lacking now and I'm self conscious of my small hands when I'm around other bass players. Please help. I'm willing to try anything.
    Bassbeater and stigbeve like this.
  2. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    GregC, mikewalker, Fat Freddy and 9 others like this.
  3. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Sorry, but there's no replacement for displacement.
  4. Hi,

    Most guys just buy a bigger amp to compensate.


    Thank you for your indulgence,

  5. Qlanq


    Jul 9, 2007
    Try a short-scale bass.
    Works great for me now.
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  6. viper4000


    Aug 17, 2010
    After playing for over 20 years, my left hand is actually bigger than my right. It's about 5MM at the middle finger. And my left hand has a much wider spread. So, just wait 20 years.

    Unless your hands are, dare I say without insult, abnormally small, like really small, I don't buy the whole "my hands are too small" argument. Will there be challenges, maybe, but with good technique, you should not have any limitations in the long run. Not sure how long you have been playing, but I would suggest a short-scale bass. You can gain the confidence you need to find the technique that works best for you. That can and will translate to longer scale instruments.

    Good luck!
    JRA likes this.
  7. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    I have small hands and play upright bass.

    Actually, when I play electric bass I still finger it Simandl style, because I don't want to learn a second fingering system for the once in a blue moon when I play electric. Does anyone else do that? could it be an option for you, OP? (You know, 1-2-4 rather than 1-2-3-4)
    JRA likes this.
  8. viper4000


    Aug 17, 2010
    Agreed. I play with a healthy dose of 124, even with normal to large hands.
    Bassbeater likes this.
  9. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I’ve seen plenty of youngsters with small hands killin’ it on bass (just go to YouTube). I guess if you’re not a child prodigy, you have to practice your a$$ off. ;)
    Joedog likes this.
  10. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

  11. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
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  12. BusyFingers

    BusyFingers Guest

    Nov 26, 2016
    You may be able to manage medium scale. Fender Japan put out a bunch of medium scale P and J basses over the years.
    mikewalker likes this.
  13. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    It's a multi-purpose personal improvement device.
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  14. Hi,

    My fat fingers are too big to use the third and fourth together on the same fret. I don't play upright that much. Even when I do I use 1-2-3-4 but I'm a lousy upright player.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    Gaolee likes this.
  15. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Wipe your tears with your little hands and get back to bass practice!
    mikewalker likes this.
  16. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    Just shorten your strap.
    4 decades of selling basses, and 99% of people who told me their fingers were too short were playing with their bass slung too low.
  17. TuneSalad666

    TuneSalad666 Inactive

    Mar 1, 2018
    Ha, ha!

    Seriously though, plenty of people with relatively small hands handled a normal 34" scale bass sufficiently well to become professionals.

    Also if it really is that much of a problem to you why not just buy a short scale 30" bass?

    Lots of really good 30" scale basses around these days, that really shouldn't be considered a compromise to 34" scaled basses.

    Even some 28,6" scale basses like the Ibanez GSRM20 or GSRM20B Mikro bass or the Jackson Minion bass.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
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  18. I play a 5 string to move most songs up the fretboard. Shorter stretches for my stubby fingers
    mikewalker likes this.
  19. screefer


    Nov 7, 2017
    The Island
    IMG_0911.JPG = Mikro....:)
  20. wideload


    Apr 15, 2004
    Salinas, CA
    Crush a Viagra into a cup of water and soak your hand before a gig. And don’t worry if you forgot your strap... :)
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