Picked the wrong bass or my hands need more training?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by villarddefender, Dec 1, 2017.


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  1. villarddefender

    villarddefender

    Nov 21, 2017
    I'm 5'11" and got to move my hand a bit when my index is on the 1st fret and I want to play a note on the 4th fret with my pinky. The scale length of my bass is 34"

    I know a popular bassist named Tetsuya Ogawa from japanese group l'Arc-en-ciel who's 5'6" and the scale length of his bass is 35"...

    This makes me wonder if I should go for a small/medium scale bass OR if I just need more "stretch training" lol
     
    Gilsdorf likes this.
  2. Gilsdorf

    Gilsdorf

    Feb 14, 2012
    Prolly just need some "stretch training" as u called it but also be sure to only stretch as much is comfortable. It shouldn't be uncomfortable, and FWIW I'm 3 inches taller than u and I'll still typically kinda move my hand up from moving from 1st to 4th
     
  3. villarddefender

    villarddefender

    Nov 21, 2017
    :oops: so we could say it's kinda normal then
     
  4. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    Generally, when my index is on the 1st fret, my pinky is on the 3rd fret. If I want to play a note on the 4th fret, I move my entire hand. Some of the names for this technique include "1-2-4 fingering," "upright bass technique," "Simandl method," or "shift; don't stretch!"

    That said, there certainly are players who stretch all the way from the 1st to the 4th fret. I'm not saying they are "wrong" by any means, but if you can't make that stretch comfortably, my advice is, don't force it or hurt yourself. :)
     
  5. villarddefender

    villarddefender

    Nov 21, 2017
    Thanks for the advice I'll take it! Thanks for making me discover the "shift; don't stretch" technique: I'm learning bass by myself and haven't heard of that technique before. Thanks as well for making me feel more "normal" by mentioning that your pinky is on the 3rd fret!
     
    LowActionHero and Oddly like this.
  6. Paulabass

    Paulabass

    Sep 18, 2017
    I'm a woman who plays a 36" scale 5 string. All you need to do is practice. You're allowed to move your hand, even playing 'one finger per fret' (which is not a rule, by any means)
     
  7. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    Lompoc, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Best thing would be to find a good teacher to get some of the basics down. Bad habits are hard to break.

    1-2-4 vs. one-finger-per-fret is somewhat of a religious battle. I use both techniques depending on where I am on the neck and what I'm trying to accomplish.
     
    bassomane, dbsfgyd1, Mili and 10 others like this.
  8. villarddefender

    villarddefender

    Nov 21, 2017
    I'm impressed & what a relief to hear that
     
  9. chris_b

    chris_b

    Jun 2, 2007
    Never stretch. . . . . ever!

    Move your hand to place your fingers over the note you want to play, every time.
     
  10. villarddefender

    villarddefender

    Nov 21, 2017
    Know any good teachers in Montreal?
     
  11. villarddefender

    villarddefender

    Nov 21, 2017
    Noted :D

    If we should never stretch then the people who get medium/small scale basses simply don't like to shift?
     
  12. MordBass

    MordBass

    Nov 1, 2017
    Midwest
    Like others have said, just keep working on it and it'll get more comfortable to stretch. A big factor is how you hold the bass though.... try adjusting your strap up or down... when sitting try placing it on your other thigh (classical style). It tends to make for a more natural hand position.
     
    Loring likes this.
  13. I still shift (thumb pivot?) on medium/short scale basses :laugh: Moving my whole hand >>>>> pinky injury.
     
    CalBuzz51 likes this.
  14. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    Lompoc, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    No, but you could do skype lessons with Ant Wellington. He's awesome. Bassology - Anthony Wellington
     
    gregouille23 likes this.
  15. villarddefender

    villarddefender

    Nov 21, 2017
    if I can stretch comfortably between the 1st and 4th fret I win then: that's where the biggest gap is + I don't think anyone would stretch from the 1st to 5th fret haha

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh isn't Ant Wellington Victor Wooten's friend? Must be expensive to have him as a teacher
     
    MordBass likes this.
  16. MordBass

    MordBass

    Nov 1, 2017
    Midwest
    agreed. I have a bass player friend that never played with a finger per fret... said he didnt see the point when you can just move your arm. Yea, that was like 20 years ago and he's still stuck on it. Makes larger necks and erb's almost unplayable for him, not to mention any complicated runs or chords. all he had to do was work on it for like 15 minutes each night and he's have corrected it in like a month.
     
  17. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Rocco Prestia didn’t stretch. He just moved his hand up and down the fretboard, and he played some pretty busy bass lines.

    Sometimes top achievers have unconventional methods.

    Try to find and develop a style that works for you. Just don’t disregard advice or instruction that may help you avoid discomfort or injury.
     
    NOVAX, jamro217 and MordBass like this.
  18. villarddefender

    villarddefender

    Nov 21, 2017
    I like that 15 mins a night for a month good thing we're december 1st! I'll try it and if on January 1st 2018 it's not comfortable to have a finger on each fret from the 1st to the 4th I'll give up stretching and shift instead!

    interesting so even a smaller bass wouldn't necessarily fix everything
     
    MordBass likes this.
  19. MordBass

    MordBass

    Nov 1, 2017
    Midwest
    another piece of advice is to start at frets 8-12. I do that running a few scales/patterns up and down the strings... after I get back down to the B string, I move the whole deal down a fret... then repeat till Im at frets 1-4.
    Sometimes its easier to learn it on the smaller frets, then adjust to the bigger ones rather than trying the biggest stretch right away.
     
  20. villarddefender

    villarddefender

    Nov 21, 2017
    I love how you start from frets 8-12: that's my limit! I try not to mess around too much with frets above 12 for now...even to play a simple melody just for fun I'll play it with low notes
     
    MordBass likes this.
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