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spacing and scale and muscle memory

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wrench45us, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    I've been playing for almost 2 years now. I started out playing a Steinberger Spirit 5 string. I have small hands and the narrower than 'standard' spacing suits me.

    At some point I realized I could get a higher quality instrument, but by that time I'd also had the XT-25 set up nicely with Status Graphite half-wounds and I'd upgraded my practice anp and fooled with it enough to get a tone I really liked.

    Well now when I try and play a 5 string with more standard 19 mm spacing, it feels awkward. The quality of some of these instrumenst is a step up from what I have, but when I reach across strings I'm off.

    Is different spacing something that one adapts to quickly or would it be better to confine my potential intrument searches to the more narrowly spaced basses?

    I realize this a personal matter, but I would like to hear how others in a similar situation have managed.

    re: scala, I'm not one of those that can switch from 34 to 35 inch scale asily. A friendly sales person to teach me about quality had me play a Lakland for 20 minutes and that was almost painful on the lowe positions.
  2. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    Not all of us adapt to different scale/spacing easily. Ibanez make some fine mid and upscale basses in their SR line. They have narrow spacing and are 34 inch so you might try them.
  3. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
    There are many top quality instruments with narrow spacing. You don't have to change to 19mm to get high quality..
  4. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    it took me quite a while to go from 17mm to 20mm on my fivestring. My hand tired quickly and i wasn't as fast in the beginning. After a couple of weeks that adjusted. I'm as fast as on the smaller scale now and can play much cleaner.
  5. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Play whatever you want. There are tons of 5-strings at a variety of spacings, so there is no need to force yourself to play something you don't prefer. I personally prefer 19mm, and I would never buy a 5-string with spacing narrower than I was comfortable with just because it was supposed to be a higher quality bass.
  6. cdj383

    cdj383 Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2013
    I think the best thing you can do is fool around a bit and see if it works. For me, it didn't. I have to stick to smaller spacing. But I'm also a girl with small hands. I have an Ibanez SR505 and for the price the quality and tone are excellent and the narrow neck is the closest thing to a Jazz style neck in a 5 string that I could find. I still have some troubles playing as cleanly on the 5 string than on a 4. So I usually play the 4 when working out/ learning new songs and switch back to my 5 for practice/ shows (if you can call playing at friend's parties shows, but I digress...).