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What is it about your bass that makes it difficult to play?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Apr 10, 2021.


  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I am just curious about a genuine limitation anyone feels there bass has that keeps them from doing something they would otherwise? Personally, I am happy with all of the basses I currently outside of several of them being pretty heavy and full sized. My Sterling is slipping into my number one four string spot because it is so compact.
     
  2. ajkula66

    ajkula66

    Sep 23, 2016
    NEPA
    My '92 Peavey Dyna 5 - bought sight unseen and I've never played one before - simply has a neck profile that I'll never be able to adjust to. There's nothing wrong with the bass per se and it sounds great, but like so many others it's not a good fit for me. My left hand screams after 5 minutes of playing it, so I deem that to be a "genuine limitation"...:)
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
  3. No frets. :)

    Just kidding. All that does is keep other bass players from asking to borrow my bass.
     
  4. electricGstring

    electricGstring Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2021
    Atlanta Ga
    Since I only currently have 1 bass, I have to live with the limitations it has, but other than a dead spot on the G string around the 4th fret and a boomy section on the E, it’s perfectly serviceable for my needs right now as a beginner. The action is spot on as is the intonation. I know I’m already on the lookout for the next bass but so far my Squier CV 60’s model does all I could (or should) expect a sub $400 instrument to do.
     
  5. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Nothing or I wouldn’t own it.
     
    mouthmw, _Obra_, Winton and 19 others like this.
  6. ShawnG

    ShawnG Supporting Member

    May 2, 2020
    Ft Worth, TX
    Lack of practice...
     
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Back in the early Eighties, when Marcus Miller was a young phenom, I remember him saying he was so used to his bass that when he played another bass without that dead spot, it was like it was feeding back!:smug:

    I guess he learned to work through his bass’ limitations.
     
  8. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    My favorite bass is my parts fretless PJ, with Warmoth's 21 "fret" overhang at the end of the fingerboard. The P body lower cutaway is very restrictive when playing in the upper positions. I've adapted by altering my fingering approach when soloing up high, treating it a little like thumb position on a double bass. But my Ibanez and Pedulla fretlesses have no restrictions there. They also have 24 "fret" fingerboards, and I find myself sometimes hitting the high G and D harmonics on my PJ where I would be fingering the notes on my other basses, for example.

    But there's just something about my PJ that keeps me using her as my main bass. There's a feel and a tone that she captures that makes those other limitations worth the compromise, for me. I do play the others ... but the PJ is the queen.
     
    PsyDocHill, red_bassist, DTRN and 3 others like this.
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    It is funny how often the “perfect” bass is not perfect.
     
  10. Tosh

    Tosh

    Jul 12, 2020
    Salem, Oregon
    Firstly - I like all of my basses
    Secondly - I'm primarily a piano player, who had time to *start* learning bass during lock-down

    that said -
    The body of my AEB is very deep, and I have a hard time seeing the fretboard. waah. I still love it.
    My hollowbody, with a bolt-on neck, has dead spots on the fretboard - g string, about the 19th fret; d string, about the 17th fret. waaah. I still love it.
    The electronics in my Peavey Unity Dyna (1991) are anemic. waaaah. I still love it.
    The other Peavey - a Unity (non-Dyna, 1991) is painted on the back of the neck, and my hand drags a bit, going up and down. waaaaah. I still love it.

    My other bass isn't a guitar at all - it's a "key-tar". Sort of heavy, and a total dead-stick when the batteries die.
    You guessed correctly - I love it!
     
    El_Charro, ajkula66 and Dr. Cheese like this.
  11. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Germany
    Through many years of playing, pondering and possibly overthinking things, I carefully maneuvered myself into a spot where this simply does not apply.
    I have one 4 string (Fender P), one 5 string (custom fanned frets) and one very luxurious 6 string (LeFay).
    Each bass is special in its own way and each is doing perfectly what I wished for. I'm as happy as could be.
     
    Obese Chess and Dr. Cheese like this.
  12. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Australia
    The too horizontal position many basses want to naturally hand at. I prefer mine much more vertical which gives a better fretting hand wrist angle and allows easier movement. And this isn't just because I'm an old fart now, I've much preferred this since I got my XL2 in late 86 and have modified other basses to get what I want ergonomically.
     
  13. Tim Craig

    Tim Craig Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Lack of practice.
     
    bobyoung53, JRA, MHeardOnBass and 5 others like this.
  14. bolophonic

    bolophonic

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Most of my limitations are about me and not the bass itself. But I have a couple that need a better setup. I am not good about setups with my limited time and attention these days.
     
    nateh415 likes this.
  15. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    The only thing about my bass/basses that make them difficult to play is...........ME! I'm the problem. Not the bass.
     
    JRA, jamro217, rockinrayduke and 5 others like this.
  16. I guess the main limitation I feel right now is not having a fretless. With my Dingwall which is the first and only multiscale bass I’ve owned it was initially difficult to play high up the neck where the fan changes directions. But a strap adjustment so the bass was hanging at a level where I could look down and see space between the frets and a little bit of practice took care of that.
     
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  17. cmcbass

    cmcbass Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2018
    Minneapolis
    All of my basses are 5 strings with narrow string spacing which seems to make slap playing a bit more difficult for me. It's something I could overcome with more practice, but I don't really strive to be a great slap player, so I just don't bother with it.
     
    Dbass35, PsyDocHill and son_of_mogh like this.
  18. Jeff Hughes

    Jeff Hughes

    May 3, 2020
    I have a P bass with a vintage style one piece neck with really thin frets and a thick gloss finish. I was trying to learn the bass line to Sir Duke (original version), and it was very difficult. After switching to a modern P with much bigger frets, it was much easier.
     
  19. redstrand

    redstrand Supporting Member

    May 18, 2007
    Saint Louis, MO
    Fool For Four Strings
    Nothing. My playing only suffers from lack of practice and focus. I switch basses daily so it doesn’t matter on that front
     
    Winton, Wisebass, cdef and 1 other person like this.
  20. Riverrunsred

    Riverrunsred

    Jan 20, 2010
    Central FL
    My fingers.
     
    Evil_Druid, andruca, jamro217 and 5 others like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 6, 2021

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