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New kid

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DJOSEON, Sep 20, 2005.



    Sep 20, 2005
    Hey guys I just bummed around these forums, and decided why not join up...Well I'm 17 and I started playing bass for like 2-3 months...I use a blue ibanez gsr-200 and I mainly play for church, and I pick up things from one of the guys who majored in bass ( There's four guys in the college praise department who all majored in music; one bass, percussion, vocals, and another vocal ). Anyway, just thought I'd introduce myself...

    I also have a question, and I did search around quite a bit. I'm like five foot 7 and my hands aren't very huge, and I been looking into the SX short scale jazz bass...Would it be a good investment in your honest opinion? I'm buying it with my own money so I'd love to know from if any of you shortscalers recommend it. It just hurts like hell to play a medium size.
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Why does it hurt? You are 17, one would think you are large enough. Something tells me you arent playing correctly.
  3. Red701


    Aug 5, 2005
    it hurt me alot when i started playing too. ive grown since then and they tell me i have bigger tha average hands (you know what that means) but i think the more you play the less it hurts. that goes for learning new, faster songsw ith more complex fingering too. itll hurt the first few times you play it but itll get better
  4. clanner

    clanner Token Black Guy.

    Apr 27, 2005
    ummmmm, marietta GA
    mother nature's trying to make up for something? j/k

    ask the bassist of he can give you any tips first. it may simply be technique. how far down is the bass hanging? what is hurting and what kind of bass you are learning would be helpful.


    Sep 20, 2005
    It seems to be a lot to do with my pinky finger, whenever I try to get a note in with that particular finger, I have to press down with almost everything I got. Then string makes this ungodly fret noise, its mostly gone away, but it still happens time to time.

    I'm learning on a Ibanez GSR-200 by the way, I believe its a 34"
  6. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001

    I bought a short scale Essex for my kids to play around with. I don't recal the model number - it's a sunburst P type with maple board. I also bought myself a full size SX P clone. Of the two, the short scale is of noticably better build quality and playablity. I'm not sure if that's a usefull comparison, that just may be the variance in quality that one would expect to see in any two basses at this price point. But, with that said - I do find the short scale Essex to be a nice playing and nice sounding little bass. I'm 6'6" and have a nice bass of my own, but sometimes I pick up that little Essex shorty and don't want to put it down. Very playable, nice neck, good frets, good string tension, big sound, nice finish over nice wood. The only complaint with that bass is that knobs fall off and won't stay on. One of these days I'm going to spring for new knobs for it and it'll be quite a little player.
  7. That "ungodly fret noise" should go away soon, once your fingers/hands have built up some strength. Until then, just make sure your using correct left hand technique and you should be good to go.

    I know it doesnt look all that cool compared to having a low-slung bass, but Ive found that the higher, the better when it comes to relieving hand fatigue and improving your ability to play stuff. Try raising your bass up some. Start with the bottom of the body being around waist high, and try that. It really works wonders.

    Sadly enough, I used to do the low slung thing, and let me tell you, you can play so much quicker with so much more accuarcy and infinitely less hand fatigue. I suspect that therein lies your problem with having fatigue, as well as you still building the muscles in your fingers.
  8. I suspect it is a simple technique issue that you need to get some help with. Bass should be easier on your fretting fingers than guitar. This is easy for me to say because I've been playing fretted stringed instruments for 51 years and don't remember much about when I started. But things like fretting hand position, fretting finger position, picking hand position, where you hold the bass, etc. are much more important for this instrument than they are for a guitar.

    I would encourage you not to go to a short scale bass, but again that is easy for me to say because I am 6'2". I have a 5'2" female friend my age who plays a short scale Gibson that she got when she graduated college and started touring military bases during the Vietnam war. She has great tone. Of course she is still playing through her original Sunn 200S amp and 2x15 Sunn cab.

    Anyway, get some bass lessons from someone knowlegeable, not a kid who has 2 months more experience than you. This is a fun instrument to play and it shouldn't be painful.


    Sep 20, 2005
    well here's the situation exactly: on the e-string if i was to do 1-2-3-4 my pinky only goes like 3/4 of the way of the fret no matter how hard I stretch or pivot my thumb. Then you hear that nasty buzz.
  10. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001

    In your example, are your 1, 2, and 3 fingers still on frets 1, 2, and 3 when your pinky can't reach? Because, that's not necessary.
  11. DJOSEON,
    Welcome to the board! I'm 18 and I've been playing bass for a while. I've got lots of church experience too so just ask if you have questions.

    Anyways, about the bass fatigue, it's probably just that you aren't used to it yet. Almost everyone that plays bass started out with this problem. You have to get your hand to stretch out a bit. It's just like singing or dancing. You're not going to be able to hit the high notes or nail the big extensions right away. However, the fact that you have already been playing for 2-3 months tells me that there's something you're doing wrong with your technique. It also may be that your bass's action is set too high. Have one of your experienced bassist friends take a look at it.

    I'm currently teaching a girl how to play bass and she's 5'1 with tiny hands but she handles my 34" scale just fine. I've been giving her some stretching excercises to get her hands worked out, and she's doing great. However, she's also playing fretless so accuracy and stretching are necessisary. I've also been teaching her to move her thumb around quite a bit while she plays so she doesn't feel locked into any position. This is a technique I learned from my classical guitar days way way back. I also learned to curve my fingers up and over the board, which helps your wrist stay in a natural position as well as get more pressure on the strings due to a natural pinch between thumb and fingers in this position. Maybe you could benefit from something like this.

    Anyways, welcome and I hope what I said helped you out a bit.


    Sep 20, 2005
    okay now that helps :scowl: stupid me. I kept my fingers on the previous frets
  13. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    You've been playing bass 3 months. Give yourself some time to get used to the instrument before deciding. There is really no reason why you HAVE to play a short scale instrument. You may decide you want to but right now you've only begun building up the muscle memory, strength adn dexterity needed to play bass.

    For reference, I have smaller than normal hands, play a 35" (extra long) scale bass, and am restricted to using only my first 3 fingers because my pinky is paralyzed at the first knuckle. I still manage to play everything from classical to technical death metal.

    It can be done. :)


    Sep 20, 2005
    Thanks a bunch, I think as soon as my fingers aren't sore I'll get right back to it :bassist: