#1
so here's the story: my friend and I went to GC a few days ago to check out some instruments (he plays classical guitar), so i went to the bass section and i started checking stuff out. it was my first time going to GC to try stuff, so i picked up a fender MIM and started playing, and went well, which I expected because of all the great things people say about them around here. In fact, playing it was a LOT easier than playing the bass i have now, a Peavey Cirrus BXP that I bought used from the same GC (as my first bass). Next, i picked up a Ocean (haven't heard of it before but it was on the wall so whatever) bass and that too was a lot easier to play.

I've decided that the reason for that was their 34" scale..and it was making a huge difference..i've been having trouble playing Higher Ground on my bass, which really frustrated me since it's supposed to be one of the first slap songs most people learn. When i tried it on the basses at GC the song just came out no problem. so now I have this instrument that, as far as i can tell, is holding me back from being able to play.

what can i do? keep trying with my current bass and hope I can get used to it (despite it being almost a year already), try to find someone willing to trade, or maybe sell mine and start trying anything i can get my hands on now that i have an idea what to look for?
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#2
i played on a bass with a horrible neck/action for over 2 years at first. When I got my schecter suddenly i could play much faster and more fluidly. I think, at first a crappy instrument makes you try harder and harder to be better so you progress more quickly, at least in relation to how you would play on a better instrument. This does have a cutoff point though. If it's been over a year with your current bass and you feel it's holding you back it's time for a new bass. Start saving, and try every different kind of bass you see 'til you find the perfect one for you.
dean edge one 5 string
Schecter studio-4
Samick fairlane-6
Ibanez sb900
Ibanez btb775
Fender p bass special deluxe

Dean Del Sol
Ibanez prestige rg2610

Peavey TKO 65
Peavey vb-2
Quote by the_perdestrian
listen to revelation, for he is wise in the way of bass-fu
#3
Go back in time and not get a Peavey....On a serious note, you get what you pay for dude, save up and get a new bass. Perhaps trade in your Peavey for a discount on a new bass if GC does that (I've never been to one).
#5
ok, thanks guys

For now, school's taking up my time, but i guess I can go to GC sometime over spring break or summer to see if they'll take it for a discount on another bass.
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#6
Wait....the MIM played better than a Cirrus? The Cirrus is an awesome bass, man. When was the last time you had it set up?
Nope, no sig here.
#7
eh..i guess the action on the cirrus is kinda high. but even still, i heard that some people prefer higher action for slapping (?)

i can't slap well on my bass...i think the strings are just too taut for me, so i either don't go fast enough or it doesn't make a good sound
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#8
I'm currently using a 'battered bass' at the moment. The truss rod is damaged, the pots don't work, there are dead spots all over the fretboard, there appears to be BB gun pellets lodged in the body, the tuners don't hold well, the nut rattles (yes..the nut..?!), it makes a high pitched squeel at random moments (Thank God I dont have a tweeter) and the action is high. I can go out tomorrow and buy a newer Ibanez SR505 or something like my current bass, but I really don't want to. I feel it's my duty to make this thing work. The odd thing is, I like it. I've tried many different basses recently. Of course they sound better, but they don't feel right when i'm holding them.

I say stick with your Peavey. Maybe even for a year, just to mentality challenge yourself into saying "I CAN play the intro to Higher Ground on this god damn bass!", it can only serve you well. I know for a fact that the action on my Ibanez has helped build my hand strength. I think a poorer quality bass can improve strength, mentality and desire to 'get better'.

This is all my opinion, if you feel the Fender will help you find your sound, or help your playing develop ; Go for it. I just like defending the old battered bass, because one is currently helping me.

To quote the teacher in Beavis and Butthead (lawl..) "Sometimes restriction can open your mind more".
#9
^ he could deal with it like that, or he could set the thing up and get some lighter strings and have a much better instrument.
Nope, no sig here.
#10
Quote by Mutant Corn
^ he could deal with it like that, or he could set the thing up and get some lighter strings and have a much better instrument.


I'm glad I wasn't the only one thinking this same thing.
#11
Quote by Mutant Corn
^ he could deal with it like that, or he could set the thing up and get some lighter strings and have a much better instrument.


Oh I agree, my post wasn't really meant to sound like "Be the martyr for the cheapo bass", even though it kinda came across that way. Make the most with what you've got, was my message.

Edit : I'll elaborate a little. I just think that buying a new bass (which costs a lot of money) is an extreme reaction for something which can be remedied with ease. Stick by the cheaper bass, find ways to work round the problems (and remove the problems) and enjoy the benefits from doing so. For a simple example, my Ibanez is way too trebley, I could 1) Buy a Fender P bass, 2)Install a new preamp 3) Buy flatwound strings, spend a couple of extra minutes EQing and understand that where my right hand is situatated can affect the tone (Rest over the neck pickup instead of the bridge pup).
Last edited by Micehorns at Feb 2, 2009,
#12
I would definately get your current bass set-up before you try a new one. If your action's high, drop it, and you'll be amazed at the difference. Im not sure who prefers a higher action when slapping, but traditionally action is set low for thumbplay...

As far as the scale length goes, by all means try a short-scale bass (Gibson SG, Fender Mustang, Hofner 500/1 ) but try first. Bear in mind that they're not known for being great slapping basses. Though Stanley Clarke seems to do fine. But then again Alembics are about six grand in sterling. Mike Watt (Iggy and the Stooges) plays a SG precisely because he has small hands. But he really modifies them...
#13
Several things came to mind reading your post. One is that like everyone has said, you need a good setup on the bass.

On the scale length. By any chance, do you wear you bass low? Try shortening the strap a bit and pointing the neck up a bit.
#14
Quote by anarkee
Several things came to mind reading your post. One is that like everyone has said, you need a good setup on the bass.

On the scale length. By any chance, do you wear you bass low? Try shortening the strap a bit and pointing the neck up a bit.

this. the higher, the easier. for me anyways.
Quote by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#15
hrm. i don't just don't feel that the action is the problem, because my fingering hand isn't having any trouble. but anyway, my saddles are as low as they go already, and i don't think my neck is that bowed..i can fit like 4 index cards at the 12th fret when i'm fretting the 1st and 24th (or rather my friend is fretting the 1st); if it turns out that's actually a huge amount, then i guess i should start looking for some allen wrenches. lighter strings might work, when i can get a hold of some.

and as for my strap, i almost always play sitting down, so i don't really know how long it is right now
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#16
One of the best pieces of advice my second bass teacher ever gave me was to always use a strap (even when sitting down) and keep the neck pointed high. If you are of a smaller build it helps greatly and your fretting hand is freed to fret and not support the neck AND fret.
#17
Quote by anarkee
One of the best pieces of advice my second bass teacher ever gave me was to always use a strap (even when sitting down) and keep the neck pointed high. If you are of a smaller build it helps greatly and your fretting hand is freed to fret and not support the neck AND fret.

+1, with little UG support I started doing this, it was very beneficial to my playing, and made that same song easy to play for me. Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones also did this.
Quote by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#18
but the problem still isn't with my left hand, which can manage octaves just fine..my right hand keeps crapping out after a few measures

I guess i just have to practice more, and i'll keep your strap advice in mind
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Yay fibonacci!
#19
it's easier to fingerpick with your hand in a cup holding position as opposed to a gripping a bike handle position. the very easiest is somewhere in the middle.
Quote by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#20
Quote by the humanity
it's easier to fingerpick with your hand in a cup holding position as opposed to a gripping a bike handle position. the very easiest is somewhere in the middle.


gary ftw.


and imo i prefer 35 scales, and my first slap song was my sherona
try getting a setup
#23
I can GUARANTEE it's your neck bow. The amount of neck bow has a huge impact on action. Fret the first and 15th fret at the same time. Mike Tobais makes sure there's "a thin Fender pick's worth" of relief between the 8th fret and the string.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..