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Total Noobie Question

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by scottyg11, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. scottyg11


    Mar 12, 2006
    Hi all my name is Scott and I am a total noobie to DB. I have played an electric bass for years. I made the switch to fretless last year and that has devoloped into a desire to explore playing a DB. I have been lurking here for months reading all I can about what you all seem to refer as " The Dark Side " (love that phrase). I have read and reread all the noobie links about getting a DB. With that in mind I found a place locally called Hammond Ashley. Last week I went down there and inquired about renting a DB. They were very helpfull and answered all the questions I had. My list of questions I got from the noobie links. Even after telling them that I had never so much as touched a DB they still let me try (key word here try) and play one. After about ten or fifteen minutes I was totally gassing for one. They did not have one for rent at the time and explained that it might be a couple of weeks before one was available. I was fine with that figuring it would give me some time to find an instuctor. Well they called me on friday and I picked up a Strunel saturday morning. Which brings me to my question. After I got home with this Bass I noticed that the finger board is planed at a different angle for the E string. The finger board underneath the G D & A strings has a nice arc to it then when it gets to the E it for lack of the proper term it falls away. Is this a normal set up or is it this way because??? I am totally loving the tone from this bass but this finger board is kind of throwing me off. Is this just one more thing I need to get used to? I am thinking of calling the shop and asking about it but I don't want to come off like a total idiot with these people. They have been very nice about this whole deal and I dont want to annoy them. Thank you for your time.
  2. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Search this forum for "rhomberg bevel".
  3. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    It is a fairly normal thing, but most builders don't use a bevel these days. Strunal is fond of it, but the other big brands (quality ones) that do aren't coming ot my mind. Strunal makes a quality instrument, and it should work well for you, but there are conflicted opinions over the rhomberg bevel. A lot of guys around here do not like them and would replace the board with a standard fb if they were buying the bass (not renting.. of course, haha). I am on fond of the bevel myself and feel it makes it harder to play instead of easier.
  4. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    You'll also find a lot of folks around here indifferent to the issue. Bevel, no bevel. I've gone from bevel to no bevel back to bevel and I'm not crying in my beer. I don't think about it.

    If I could have my druthers I'd probably choose no bevel but I'm not thinking at all about changing out my bevelled board.
  5. I'm relatively new to DB and mine is bevelled...I like it, although don't have alot to compare it too, and it wasnt bad at all going from (obviously) non-bevelled EB to this.
  6. Scotty, it's supposed to give the E string more room to vibrate, that's all. The E has the largest excursions of the four, so some makers bevel the fingerboard to allow for it.

    As Damon says, you can switch basses and barely notice the difference. Congrats on joining the Dark Side. May the Force be with you....
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I second the opinions about the bevel. My Upton has a big bevel and I like it. It actually makes it easier for me now. I end up banging the E into the neck when I play unbeveled necks.
  8. sonicthepunk

    sonicthepunk Sound of Music salesman/jr. tech

    Mar 22, 2006
    Kokomo, IN
    I work at a music shop and have played a beveled 4/4 and it seemed to make it a little easier to play on such a large instrument, however I don't like it on 3/4. That may be totally insane to most of you, but my fingers are like the length of drumsticks so they are anything but normal.
  9. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    My Shen has a beveled fb. At first I didn't like it, but I have come to appreciate very much.

    It does seem make it easier to really yank the E string without it rattling on the fb. I also think it is more natural to stop the E using the big muscles on the beveled fb. That may just be me.

    That being said, I'll add that any differences are pretty modest. It truth, once you get the basic approach to playing down, you'll be able to tool around on either with no worries.

    Congrats on the Strunal. I think they make pretty decent basses for the money.
  10. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I almost bought a bass with a bevel once, but didn't. I liked it. Don't know if I would have if I had owned it, but I wouldn't worry about it.

    If you want opinions about teachers in Seattle, send me a PM and I'll be happy to share my experiences with you. I tried going it alone for a while (bad idea, almost quit). Got a nice, but kind of unmotivated teacher who prefered to play EBG. He helped me a bit, then I went out on my own again, hit a plateau pretty quickly and finally found a good teacher who I've been with for several years. I wish I had not wasted that initial time. Depending on your goals, it really doesn't make sense to try to make that transition without some help.

    I know several local people and would be happy to banter with you about it if it would save you time floundering.

  11. jfv


    May 5, 2003
    Portland, OR
    My Christopher 403 was beveled, never really had a complaint,
    now my Hungarian is not beveled, and although I'm bow'ing
    about 90% of the time right now, I've also done some pizz
    practice, and I dont notice a problem at all.

    I wouldnt worry about it unless you feel its impacting
    your playing in some way, and when just starting out
    thats pretty hard to judge anyway :)

    Its a rental anyway, right? Have your teacher check it
    out when you get one, and then its something to keep
    in mind for when you buy one of your own.

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