#1
Hello.

I've been playing bass for a couple of weeks, and have been finding it hard to fret properly. I have short fingers-my pinky can't reach any strings except the D and G strings, and my first finger is about 2/3 of my middle finger- and when i try to fret the notes with the fingerper-fret, I can just about manage 3 frets, buts only if all the fingers are pushing down. If I just place my fingers on the frets they all bend into the middle, and I get lots of fret buzz. Any advice?
#3
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#4
make sure to keep your thumb on the back of the neck and make sure to press directly down on the strings, this should also give you a greater range of motion and help you reach the A and E stings. It might be a little awkward at first but you should get used to this posture. Also, make sure that you're plucking the strings as perpendicular to the floor as you can so the vibrations are less likely to cause buzz against the frets. If all else fails have someone at a shop look at it to see if its the bass or just you.
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#5
Practise is the key. Just keep at it. You may have small hands, but that will not stop your pinkie reaching all strings at one finger per fret.

On of the bass forum mods goes by the name of anarkee. She is about 5'2" and plays a fretless stingray with no problems at all.
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#6
Practice more. or you could try and trade your bass in and get a short scale bass. there better for people with Tiny hands syndrome.
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#7
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Practice more. or you could try and trade your bass in and get a short scale bass. there better for people with Tiny hands syndrome.


The trouble is that a lot of short scales have other flaws. The two regular women in the bass forum (anarkee and Miss G) both have tiny hands, and they manage full size basses fine. The stretch and strength comes with practise. My fretting hand can stretch about 2cm further than my plucking hand. Practice warps bodies!
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#8
Thanks, I can do 3 fingers 3 frets from around the 3rd fret, so I'll just practise from there. I can't really reach with my pinky to any frets, so... :P
#9
Quote by Virtual_Falcon
Thanks, I can do 3 fingers 3 frets from around the 3rd fret, so I'll just practise from there. I can't really reach with my pinky to any frets, so... :P


How are you fretting? Your thumb should be in the middle of the back of the neck, and acting as a pivot. You shouldn't be gripping the neck as such.
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#10
I have my thumb in the middle of the neck, and my fingers are around 1/2 inch off the fretboard, and the finger using fretting is around 3/4 the way along the fret.
#11
Quote by Virtual_Falcon
I have my thumb in the middle of the neck, and my fingers are around 1/2 inch off the fretboard, and the finger using fretting is around 3/4 the way along the fret.


Then you should have no reason why you shouldn't be able to fret with your little finger on your lowest strings. It may not have the strength or flexibility to do it easily at the moment, but if you ever want to be able to do it, you have to use it constantly.
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#12
Quote by gm jack
Then you should have no reason why you shouldn't be able to fret with your little finger on your lowest strings. It may not have the strength or flexibility to do it easily at the moment, but if you ever want to be able to do it, you have to use it constantly.


I think the reason is that my little finger doesn't have the length, if I get it to reach the E string, my other fingers are struggling to bend enough to stay on the string. With my 'normal' finger-per fret with 3 fingers, on the E string, my little finger can just reach the D string straight. Unless you're meant to have your hand bending out a lot?
#13
I tend to keep my little finger curled less than my others when fretting, as it is short enough so that it can't be curled a lot and still fret.

Do you think you could possibly take a picture of your fretting hand while fretting. It might show us where you are messing up. Nobody has a little finger that is gong to have it as easy as the rest of the fingers. However, I suspect your little finger is longer then your fretboard is wide, at least near the nut. You should be able to reach.
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#14
Measuring my little finger to the fretboard, it reaches between the E and A strings. If I place it on the fretboard at the knuckle bit, It reaches the A string. I'll see if I can dig out my camera as well...
EDIT: Here's a close up pic, taken by my brother...

Last edited by Virtual_Falcon at Dec 13, 2008,
#15
Have you tried keeping your fingers more parallel to the frets? As you have it, you are slanting your smallest finger away from the strings.
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#16
I try and keep my fingers as parallel as possible, but keeping them totally parallel really hurts my wrist-my hands are really odd. About 6 of my fingers are bent in some way. Even if I keep my hand parallel, my little finger still doesn't reach.

Btw, thanks a lot for helping me.
Last edited by Virtual_Falcon at Dec 13, 2008,
#17
It may hurt now, but you get used to it quickly. It just requires more hand strength.

And it's weird that you can't reach. You hands definitely look bigger than mine. I'm sure it will reach, but it may require a bit of manipulation to get your position. Try getting all 4 fingers down on the E string, and then work out the best way to hold the neck and position your hand. If you want to play music with any degree of technicality in it, you need that 4 fret stretch as natural. If it hurts a bit, don't worry. Guitarists complain that their hands hurt and can't make 4 fret stretches in the beginning.

Keep practising when trying to keep all your finger parallel to a frets, and curved in such a way that your little finger can reach.
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