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Short fingers vs. Long fingers

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by weeding, Mar 20, 2006.


  1. weeding

    weeding

    May 17, 2005
    Just wondering how you guys deal with having different finger lengths. Personally I have short fingers, and therefore wonder if I'm limited in my playing due to this?
     
  2. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    I have relatively large hands and long fingers, and I'd personally say that any advantage or disadvantage I'd have over anyone else is marginal at best. Very generally speaking, I'd say that someone with long fingers would have a more efficient fretting hand while someone with short fingers would have a more efficient plucking hand, but again, that's a rough guestimate.


    The best thing I could offer you though is to simply not worry about it. Sean Malone and John Myung are two bass giants both with hands drastically smaller than mine, and either could outplay me in a heartbeat. It's really pretty inconsequential to the big picture if you ask me. How tall was the guy who won the NBA dunk contest this year?
     
  3. paintballjunkie

    paintballjunkie

    Jul 27, 2005
    Indiana
    I don't think so. My fingers aren't all that long either, and I play a six string. Just wear your bass up high and keep your thumb in the middle of the neck.
    This thread gave me a topic idea.
     
  4. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    I have long, slender (i.e. girly) fingers. I suck, but that's because I am a new player. I think finger length can only limit you if it is very extreme, otherwise it is just something to adapt to.
     
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Let's look at the facts...Dave LaRue, Beaver Felton, and Victor Wooten all have relatively small hands. Doesn't seem to slow them down.
     
  6. fr0me0

    fr0me0

    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    I have some really long fingers and sometimes I trip over them like a gangly teenager trips over his own two feet. I kidna wish I they were a little shorter and my hands were "meatier" if ya know what I mean.
     
  7. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    It is an advantage to have longer fingers, but it doesn't stop people who have short fingers from playing as good.
     
  8. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    I have long digits and use them the best way I know how. I guess we all adapt to what we have been equiped with. Think of it like that. Also, there are many basses now days for players of all hand sizes. For example, I have a hard time with the Fender jazz neck, it is so slim. I like more of a Warwick or Musicman neck or... hey, I actually have one of these, a Modulus neck.
     
  9. zazz

    zazz

    Feb 27, 2004
    Cebu
    jaco was described as "ET" on account of his gangly long fingers ....and that guy was all over the place both on the fretboard and especially at the bridge....long fingers help!!

    i myself have short fat fingers ...which i find is a bit of a letdown but what can you do.....i make up for it in other ways!!.....
     
    Going Mental likes this.
  10. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Sweden
    What?! I thought john myungs hands are really big..
     
  11. ebe9

    ebe9

    Feb 26, 2006
    South Africa
    I have medium/short fingerts and initially I thought it might be a problem and it was at first, but mainly because my hands/fingers were not used to stretching. Once that got better through practice, no longer a problem.

    Somethimes though I would like longer fingers, as I play fairly high up on my chest and streching over 1-4 frets can be a little difficult especially with maintain correct intonation on my fretless.
     
  12. Shearstown

    Shearstown

    Oct 15, 2005
    I have really long fingers, and I've found it's helped me especially fretting. And I play lefty so I can also play a friends right handed guitar upside down and still have no trouble with chords.
     
  13. i have short fingers but i can reach farther than my long fingered guitar friend. he cant even reach 3 frets a best and i can do five a the first fret.
     
  14. new_west

    new_west

    Dec 28, 2005
    San Diego
    Mani from Stone Roses has really small fingers ..

    i have really small hands.. still growing.. haha.. i'm really curious if a small scale bass would do me good.
     
  15. zazz

    zazz

    Feb 27, 2004
    Cebu
    not so short!!
     
  16. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest


    I may be a poor judge indeed. His fingers looked relatively short when I saw them (not the shortest in the world though), but his hands also appeared fairly wide, which may do something else. Either way, I don't think the difference would make much of a difference, whatever that syntax could be brought to life.
     
  17. juancho

    juancho

    Mar 22, 2006
    Argentina
    well, I think that many people will say Im crazy, but I don´t see jaco´s huge hands...I mean, they look quite large, but I don´t think they were huge....nothing unusual.
    So I think it depends on the ability, coordination, etc more than finger lenght.
     
  18. Definitely try out different basses and see what feels right to your hands. It doesn't stop at neck thickness, also check out the differences in fingerboard radii. Some Fender Jazz necks use a pronounced 7.25" radius fingerboard that feels very uncomfortable to me. The 9.5" radius fingerboard feels better, but I really perfer the flatter fingerboards like on Spector basses, which have a 16" radius.

    Paul Mac
     
  19. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    My hands are by no means large - and my fingers are actually rather short. I often wish I had larger hands, with long, nimble fingers...

    Because I don't, I've been compelled to compensate by developing relatively good technique. At least partially for this reason, my technique may actually be better than it would have been if my larger hands had allowed for more margin of error...

    MM
     
  20. ras1983

    ras1983

    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    now THATs a good post.
     

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