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String width preference

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by arsie, May 22, 2011.

Which string width do you prefer?

Poll closed May 21, 2012.
  1. I will only play basses with a wide string width

  2. I prefer a wide string width

  3. I am perfectly comfortable with both string widths

  4. I prefer a narrow string width

  5. I will only play basses with a narrow string width

  1. arsie


    Jan 19, 2011
    It seems that many people say that they play faster with narrower string width neck, but I am not having that same experience.

    I seem to be able to play faster with a wider string width bass than a narrower one. For example, I can play that fast bit in RHCP's Hump de Bump, and that bit in Rush's Anthem on my Stingray, but I can't seem to be able to do it on my Squier with a Jazz neck. Of course, I am by no means an accomplished bass player. Just recreational.

    Which do you prefer? Wider or narrower? Are you perfectly comfortable with both?
  2. Aspidites


    Oct 20, 2009
    Berkeley CA
    I have gotten to the point that I am comfortable with both. I typically practice two hours each day and split that time between different basses so that I can increase my versatility.
  3. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    anything from 17-20 is ok with me. :)
  4. arsie


    Jan 19, 2011
    So far, it does appear that the TB crowd is rather versatile. :D
  5. funk generator

    funk generator Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2009
    Johnson City, TN
    I normally just play 19mm, but ive never spent anytime with less or more. Id like the check out a Q5 though :)
  6. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    Aren't there other variables (such as neck width) that play a very important role so that string size per se' is too restrictive a criteria for isolation?
  7. Aspidites


    Oct 20, 2009
    Berkeley CA
    He is not talking about the size of the string itself but about neck width as it pertains to string spacing.
  8. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    I think he was pointing out that everyone seems to be talking about bridge width, Tabdog
  9. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    I am not as concerned with bridge width as I am about
    nut width. I used to like the wider P type neck. Most
    jazz and P's use 20mm spacing. The nut width does not
    in it self make the string width. But string width follows
    nut width.

    Now that I'm old, my hand can not play in the normal
    position for very long. I can not reach more than two
    frets any more without pain. My hand will swell and it
    is very painful. Then I can not play at all maybe for

    I use a Peavey Fury. It has a narrower neck than a
    Jazz bass. I don't really like Ibanez that much, so I
    like the Fury most.

    I still play P type necks for short periods, but prefer
    a narrower neck.

  10. sidez81


    Mar 16, 2011
    QLD, Australia
    I got fairly small hands but playin many styles over the years on a range of bass's I just got used to pickin up the first thing I see and liked (thats within budget).
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I can play wide and narrow. I kinda like the narrow. Wide necks are ok if they are a shallow D profile.
  12. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    I get owned trying to slap with narrow width...
    But I'm not very good at it anyways.

    I can do either with regular playing pretty well.
  13. jay tay

    jay tay

    Aug 12, 2009
    Manchester UK
    I prefer wide spacing, but then again I love my fender urge, and that is really narrow, but I couldn't play it all night, my hand starts to cramp, but for the odd song, its fantastic!
  14. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I like the 20mm on my bass but get along with narrower string spacing also.
  15. I won't buy anything with over 17mm spacing. I play a lot of chordal stuff and do a lot of tapping. Playing what I play on wider spacing just plain hurts!
  16. I feel perfectly comfortable with both. I can't notice a difference between them so it doesn't really matter for me.
  17. arsie


    Jan 19, 2011
    Interestingly, the poll percentage was the same when there was 14 respondents as when there was 145 respondents.

    Thanks for the insight. Besides a narrower width, do you find short scale less painful to play? Every one of us are going to have to go through this eventually (assuming we don't live fast and die young like a real rock star), so its something to think about.

    Good point about playing techniques. I just play regularly, few chords or taps. My suspicion is that the wider string width allows me a greater margin for error (so to speak), which means I can muddle through faster stuff better. :rollno:
  18. dj5


    Sep 17, 2009
    If you've got big fingers it's very hard to play on anything less than 19mm (for me anyway). I've got an ATK which sounds great, but I just can't play the damn thing!

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