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tight string spacing on my esp205

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by ampegloud, Jun 8, 2003.


  1. ampegloud

    ampegloud Guest

    Oct 14, 2002
    kansas city mo
    i just got this bass the string spacing is kinda tight compared to my 4 string ,can you suggest som exercises to get used to it,my left hand seem s like im just starting to play bass,
     
  2. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    I was waiting for Steve or Michael to come by, but, rather than have you wonder why you're not getting any help:

    I am almost positive this is in the wrong forum. I would wager that neither Steve nor Michael has any significant experience with an F205. You can delete this thread (click the "edit/delete" icon above your post, check the delete box and click "Delete now!") and post it elsewhere, but my guess is that you will be told that, with practice, you'll get used to it. Or, you'll never get used to it, and you'll sell it. Hope that helps.
     
  3. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Hi

    As Conical points out, questions relating to specific pieces of gear, unless they are things that Michael or I actually own, are probably better placed in the correct general forum - I sadly don't get anywhere near as much time as I'd like to try out all the basses out there (used to do it a lot more when I was writing for Bassist ?Magazine, but these days playing and recording takes precedence)...

    As for what to do with close spacing - practice is the only way. I can't think of anything that's totally specific to a narrow spacing other than it just being more difficult to get your fingers between the strings. As a general rule, unless you're using the basses for wildly different applications, it makes sense to have a similar spacing on each of your basses to make the transition easier. However, if like say Dave Pomeroy you're looking to use each bass in a very different way, then the think to do is to play to the strengths of the instruments. Dave's CD 'Tomorrow Never Knows' is a brilliant example of someone really knowing what each of his basses does best, and using that to get an incredibly wide range of sounds from just basses...

    cheers

    Steve
    www.stevelawson.net
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think it depends on the person in question a lot - so when I was having lessons with Franc 'O Shea, I noticed that his hands were much smaller than mine - about half the width. So he had actually customised his bass(es) to a narrower string spacing for greater speed.

    Whereas for me, my thick fingers mean that some basses are just unplayable, because of narrow spacing - like most of the Ibanez Soungear range.

    So I know that I would never buy a bass without trying out first to test out issues like this and am always trying out basses in shops to see how they feel, as it is something you cannot get an idea of from photos or testimonies on TB! ;)

    Having tried hundreds of basses, I am always surprised how different they can feel and how much a really comfortable bass can inspire your playing to new heights and soem are just complete non-starters!

    But I am alway astounded that people seem to buy basses without trying them extensively first...... :confused:
     
  5. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    My five has a narrow(er) spacing. I tend to rotate basses so I get comfortable with one. Ok I could get a wider 5 but this bass doesnt have that option and I like the sound.

    RE buying basses without trying them, America is a very big place and not everyone has easy access to shops like the Gallery and Basscentre.
     
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I know what you mean - but the US has a lot more bass shops than us and surely it is worth paying for a bus trip and taking the time to try - rather than wasting a lot of your money on a bass you can't play?
     
  7. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    It must be said that in those moment when I wonder why on earth I live in London when the cost of living here is so high, The Gallery and The Bass Centre are definitely factors on the plus side... ;)

    Steve
    www.stevelawson.net
     
  8. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    String spacing is, IMO, an important metric in the design of a bass. When I was looking for a dream six string last year, one of my requirements was spacing wider than the 15mm I had on my Washburn XB-600 because, despite a fair amount of practise, I found the narrow spacing limiting for some of the techniques I wanted to work on, like double thumbing. I ended up with a (very nice) Sei Flamboyant 6 with 18mm spacing and am convinced that this is a good spacing for the way I play (I was actually looking for 19mm but got to play this bass and was happy with it).

    However, there was a happy end for the Washburn. It sat gathering dust for about a year, but then I took it up to The Gallery to be defretted - as a fretless bass, fitted with flatwound strings, it works very well and the narrow spacing is not a problem.

    Understand how you work with different spacings - but also look for effective ways to use what you've got rather than falling into the trap of just longing for more gear as if it would make you a better musician.

    Wulf
     
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I "borrowed" a Washburn 6-string from a fellow bassist at Jazz Summerschool one year, when my Yamaha TRB6P died on me and I was due to play on stage at the Jazz club - what a shock!! :eek:

    The difference in string spacing made the Washburn almost unplayable for me and it was a huge difference from the Yamaha - I just about managed to play it, but was struggling the whole time.

    We talked about it afterwards and the guy said he only played it with a pick and just used very dead strings to get the sound he wanted - I suppose if you only play with a plectrum, then string spacing is not really an issue. But for me, I really want to get my fingers/thumb between the strings and undeneath for popping, artificial harmonics etc.
     
  10. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    The Yamaha basses are quite wide spacing, as I recall? 19mm? If I hadn't decided to go for a custom instrument (the much less well know Synergy was going to be my first choice until I made the mistake of visiting The Gallery and playing a bass that matched all my needs) Yamaha would have been at the top of my list of manufacturers to check out, with string spacing as one of the main determining factors.

    I'd even have given up headlessness for the sake of wide spacing... ;)

    Wulf
     
  11. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    You're preaching to the converted I've been to Basscentral and Bass Alone and I dont even live in America ;)