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I have small hands; which bass should i buy??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by zycro, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. zycro


    Jul 28, 2004
    Please recommend a suitable bass for small hands. I heard the Mustang would work for me. What about other basses that would make my small hands happy?

  2. De Teng

    De Teng

    Oct 27, 2003
    Utrecht, Holland
    I don't think small hands are really a point. Although Victor Bailey had small hands too and he started (when he was a kid) on a shortscale Fender Mustang (if I remind it well) but Richard Bona has small hands too and he's one of the greatest bassplayers on the planet. So don't let that be a border..
  3. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    You might consider a short scale bass. I started on a Dan Armstrong short scale, one of those lucite body jobs like Geezer Butler used to play. Alembic makes some very nice short scale basses, They're proably easier to navigate if you have smallish hands. Also if you're used to playing a guitar, that would seem to be helpful in making the transition.
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    A short-scale might, MIGHT be more comfortable. However, it quite simply may not be necessary. Way too many people think "I've got small hands, so I need a smaller bass". Poo poo to that, I say! I've got small hands too, and I play a full size manly bass with a hemy and all wheel drive and...and...whatever, Mustangs are cool. Go to a store or two and check out the regular size basses to see if you can move around on 'em. Keep in mind that your hands will stretch! When I stretch my fingers out, the distance from pinky tip-thumb tip on my left hand is about an inch and a half bigger than on my right hand. :bassist:
  5. I also have small hands and I have a MusicMan Sterling, I find their string spacing perfect for me. Also check out the Fender Geddy Lee. :bassist: :bassist: :bassist:
  6. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    I too have small hands. I find for myself that, all other factors being equal, a shorter scale bass is easier to play. The other factors, though, can make a big difference. I find that a 34" scale bass with a thin neck on the narrow side is no trouble to play. My main bass is 32" scale, but my fretless has a Jazzish neck and the neck on my Tobias 5 just fits the hand so perfectly it took no time at all to adjust. I hardly ever slap, so a narrow neck with narrow string spacing is very nice for me.

    I have played a Musicmaster, and it played great, nice feeling neck easy to navigate. You might like to try one, but also a Jazz to compare the two. It seems with a short scale bass you're mostly going to find cheap basses like the Hamer Slammer, old basses and their reissues, or very expensive customs like Alembics.
  7. De Teng

    De Teng

    Oct 27, 2003
    Utrecht, Holland
    I've been playing for 14 years now, but I never noticed that my hands stretch. I would say it is a genetical predispositioned thing with you, cause I never heard of anything like that before. And I'm studying medicine. (veterinairy, but lots of human-stuff too)
  8. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    My hands have also stretched approximately 1.5 inches.

    Zycro, I have small hands as well. I don't think you need a small scale bass. I started on a standard 34" scale. I think thats where to start as it gives way more choices in the form of neck profiles and just basses in general.

    I personally still like really thin necks with tight string spacing. My BC Rich Innovator has one of the best necks I have ever felt. Its super easy to play. My Schecter is another easy to play bass with a thin neck. The string spacing is just a hair wider but the smaller fret size and nice profile of the neck makes it easy to switch between the two. Just my .02!
  9. zycro


    Jul 28, 2004
    Hey thanks for the tips! I have a regular scale Charvin currently, but i find the stretch difficult at times. I have been playing guitar for over ten years and when i switched to bass i found i couldnt move around the neck nearly as well. Especially when a song calls for an F, G, A on the E string to be played fast. Of course i know you can always play the open A but i dont want to have to do that just b/c it seems somewhat awkward to play on the E.

    I am looking for a higher quality bass so i dont think the Hammer would do. Also, i dont want to spend a ton of money for some custom jobby. I am also very picky about asthetics and the Mustang just doesnt appeal to me. I know a short scale really limits my selection, but i want both! :D

    Please keep the short scale bass suggestions coming!
  10. zazz


    Feb 27, 2004
    musicmaster bass ...now thats one cool bass..i started on one of these from te 70s and regret ever selling it...and now they are back in vouge...a sort of precision mini me.
  11. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I have big hands. I play a warwick and a rickenbacker.. This will provide no help. Thanks.
  12. zazz


    Feb 27, 2004
    ive got a stingray and fat hands
  13. 6-3-2


    Sep 20, 2003
    I dunno, some women have bigger hands then me, but I can easily play a 5-string, your hands adjust, unless you have really tiny hands, I don't see that as a problem. If people with tiny hands can play a Double Bass, I don't see why people with tiny hands can't play a 34" scale bass. It's only hard because guitars have a much shorter scale, I think if you stick it out you'll adjust. Good way maybe to adjust would be try playing a classical guitar, they had much wider necks they regular guitars, so maybe that could be middle ground, or at least I think that's true they feel bass wide to me.
  14. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sarcasm: Just ONE of the many services I offer! Gold Supporting Member

    Check out Carol Kaye's site and info on using a thumb pivot - she doesn't have huge hands and you should hear HER play (not me!)..

    Dan K.
  15. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    do u have short arms too? otherwise just get a normal scale bass with a slim neck and no more than 4 strings.
  16. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    My teacher played a Hammer Slammer that he grabbed from the store floor one time during a lesson and it sounded fantastic, I wouldn't rule that one out. I've also seen a Gretch (sp?) single cut short scale (almost Les paul looking - I think it was a hallow body too)
    Although, I think that anybod can play a regular scale bass. I wouldn't think that a short scale is required unless you can't reach the first fret on a full scale bass.
  17. I don't have this problem but i think if you pick up any bass that dosn't have a gillion strings or super spacing you'll get used to it and do fine. I'd say its all just in the learning curve. Basses in general will feel better in your hands as time goes on. I can't play guitar any more.. their just too damn small.
  18. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I also think it makes a difference what you mean by small hands. I have fairly large palms and short, moderatly fat, fingers. While I find my short scale Musicmaster easier to play in terms of fret to fret movement, my main bass is a '62 reissue P with the thick neck and wide string spacing. I just have to move my hands alot. :bassist:
  19. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I agree that you try out as many brands of 34" scales basses as possible before you buy a short-scale bass. IMO your hands will adjust. I find the Jazz and MM Sterling have very comfortable necks. After the try-outs, if you're convinced nothing but a short-scale will work, my choice would be the Fender Mustang.

    FWIW my hands are medium-sized. I've switched to a 35" scale 4 string, I'll have a 35" scale 6 sometime this week.

    Best wishes, A.P.
  20. Word! It may take a while, but you'll manage if you get a regular scale length. How many people with average sized hands play 36" scales? Plenty!