Playing up near the 12th....

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by peaveybassamp88, Aug 8, 2003.

  1. How many if you guys play up near the 12th fret. I know I'm being vague and sounding stupid, but you know what I mean.... Playing a G at 10 on the A string, rather than 3 on the E or a 5 on the D string...... My Ibanez (Boo! Hiss! Yeah yeah, but it plays great...) has a high action in the 12 area, and it makes it sound awesome, still loaded with low-end although I'm playing an octave or two higher. The frets are closer together so it's easier to play faster. I really like the sound I get from it, and I was just curious how many people out there play the same way, and (if so) what kind of music do you play with it. It sounds great with Led Zeppelin stuff...
  2. Ziggy


    May 9, 2001
    Orange County, CA
    Personally, I prefer to play in the I, II & III position... the 'upper' register is okay for part of your solo, or; if the piece calls for those 'high' notes. Otherwise, well... as Tony Levin has written; .."play the low notes."

    -One time ago, during a two-week run of a live, rock n' roll stage show I played in, it took the first two nights of playing and adjusting to get my bass out of the piano and lower end of the guitar range... I like it 'fat and punchy'.

    BTW: perhaps it was part of the "we know what you mean".. lack of putting the thoughts into magnetic ink, but just in case: 'G', at the first octave / 10th fret 'a' string, is indeed alike to the 5th fret on the 'd' string. The 'e' string, 3rd fret however, one of those nasty "low notes", is not...

    If it feels good and is working for you, have at it and enjoy... michael s.
  3. Lol, those "nasty low notes..." I probably made py post sound like ALL I did was play 1/2 way down the fretboard. I love playin that deep bass all the time. For me, ANY kind of playing is fun.
  4. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I usually dont play at frets 10+ unless you have to, because it contains the G string, ie: metallica - Anesthesia
  5. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    I personally like to play as low as possible. that may be me, but my guitarist doesnt have alot of low end, even in his overdrive channel. everything he plays is pretty much one octave higher than where basic rock beats are palyed, so its not that hard, especially with my low B :)

    On the odd occasion i might go up and play a g on the a with my overdrive, it gives it balls, but still has alot of clear deifnition.

    Im in the same boat as ziggy. I like it 'fat and punchy'. :D
  6. Just for fun, anyone want me to post an mp3 of what I'm talking about? :bassist: It'll only take a few minutes to do, no prob.... but I'll have to get it tomorrow night sometime.
  7. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I play my whole bass.
  8. A)The only stupid question is a question never asked.
    B)Ibanez makes great basses, Ive owned two in my life and noone here will put you down for owning one because many other people here play Ibanez.

    and finally, I use my entire fretboard. If a song calls for a certain set of notes, Ill find which place I can play all the notes comfortably without jumping up and down the fretboard too much.
  9. I like playing up to maybe the 9th or 10th fret. If it calls for it, I'll play a lot higher, but I don't like the muffled sound of the upper frets (I like the growl of the first position).
  10. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Yep, I gotta say I'm with you there... or at least I try to use the whole range of the beast when I think it's appropriate... and sometimes when I know it's not :D

    This 'don't play above the octave(10th fret, whatddeva)' thing - that has been mentioned in some circles before, is, InMyOpinion, complete and utter nonsense! The bass is a musical instrument, it has the range and variations in tone for a reason. Use them!!!

    Personally and in general, I like the fatter sounding notes. So I'll tend to C up at the 8th rather than down in first position, unless I specifically want that 'thinner string' sound.

    Stick with peaveybassamp88 high notes rule.
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's right - we have all that fretboard for tonal variation.

    So a D at the 10th fret on the E string sounds very different to the same note on an open D and is very useful for a really rounded upright-like tone.

    Whereas, pulling under the G string can give you a really abrasive tone that cuts through anything.

    So - you don't need to mess about with EQ or pedals - if you use all of the instrument, you can control the tone with your hands, without having to stop playing to adjust a knob.

    I think anybody who ignores part of the fretboard is just limiting their potential for tonal variation.
  12. How true! But if everybody knew this, Boss and DOD would sell no more gizmos...

    Two words sum it all up: good taste. Your job is to make the song sound right. Do what sounds good to your ears, even if that means playing the simplest bassline.
  13. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Well I dunno about that!

    I just cant get that Q-Tron envelope sound down with my finger technique... and my pick technique cant quite muster up a decent Boss Chorus... :D
  14. D'oh! I got owned once again!

    You should have read: Boss and DOD would sell less gizmos! :bag:
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well you just need to improve your techique!! ;)

    Funnily enough, I have had people ask me if I was using effects. So I was on-stage at Jazz Summerschool and playing something we had written spontaneously round a simple funk bass line I had come up with (on Tobias Clasic 5). So - I was throwing in ghost notes, muted notes, some slapped and pulled; and when I finished - one of the other bass players who was in the audience at the time, came up and asked me after, what effect I had used to get that 'funk sound' - he assumed something like a Mutron/QTron -and was most surprised when I told him it was absolutley clean!!

    I have also had people say to me when playing fretless and getting that mwah - like Jaco - and that sort of nasal singing sound, with a lot of sustain - what chorus were you using? ;)
  16. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    I usually dont like to play my G string. It doesn't sound as lively as the other strings. So to answer your question, yes I do play up that high.
  17. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    I like using my whole fingerboard, from banging away on the low notes of the B and E strings to playing around the 22nd fret on the D and G strings... In 1 song I generally utilize most of the fingerboard for diversity's sake... :bassist:
  18. cwbassist


    Aug 23, 2003
    I pefer to stay pretty low but on occasion I will play up around the 10-12th fret range if I need to but that's only with an overdrive though. play how it feels right to you thats the only "right way to play" :bassist:
  19. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Right on! I paid for the whole bass, so I'm gonna use the whole bass.
  20. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Well, for me, it's always the choice of either: Thinner sounding note is faster and easier to get to, VS Thicker sounding note can sound better, but hard to get to.

    Depends on how fast I'm moving.