Should I be getting more sustain on high notes

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mr. Chuffey, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. First off, full disclosure. I'm a newbie bass player, been playing only for a year. But I'm a pretty good guitarist. I've got a pretty nice Fender Jazz Hiway One. Love the instrument. I'm in my first band on bass, playing Surf. This is the first time I've really gotten to play out, and at reasonable volumes. I love the way the bass sounds in the low and mid registers. But I'm not getting the sustain I expected up in the high register, on the high strings. I'm not going much above the fifth fret or so on the D and G strings, but I'm not getting the sound I expected. I'd rather play on those strings than on the lower strings at higher frets. Is it the bass I got, or is that just how it's supposed to be, that those strings plunk, and sound loud, but don't sustain.
  2. nandj


    Mar 29, 2007
    Essex, UK.
    Probably duff strings.

    Are they stock/cheap strings?

    Try changing for a new set, possibly steels as I find them a bit brighter.
  3. Strings. Bad Setup. Hitting some deadspots?
  4. Bassflute


    Jun 24, 2006
    Endorsing Artist: MTD basses and strings; Bergantino Amps & Cabs
    could be the strings, as the last poster suggested, or it could be that your action is set WAY too high, and are badly in need of both a truss rod adjustment and an action/intonation adjustment. If that is the case, you won't physically have the strength to push the strings down as hard as they need to be in order for them to sustain properly. Also, even if you do, if the action is really bad, the strings themselves won't be able to respond because they are under too much tension.

    Don't be worried, it ain't rocket science; go here and study, then do it yourself:

    Good luck,
  5. Also maybe your action is too low. Are you getting buzz at all above the 12th fret?

  6. jschwalls


    Sep 4, 2007
    Savannah GA
    also check pickup height...
  7. Make sure the bass is not cursed as well.

  8. Yeah and make sure the neck is straight and not warped, which is the same as above.

  9. So how often are you going to want to hold a note for 5 seconds on a bass? What kind of bass playing are you doing where you need more sustain? Some bassists (and some of the greatest) put mutes on their strings to *reduce* that pesky sustain.

  10. fullrangebass


    May 7, 2005
    Have the bass properly set up and it will make you smile

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