#1
I've been playing guitar for 2.5 years now, I only play for myself due to serious anxiety that will keep me off stage forever. For a long time I've been thinking about playing either drums or bass. My lack of space and a sound sensitive living area eliminates to possibility of playing drums in the near future. I enjoy guitar but I don't love it, I want to find an instrument I fall in love with as corny as that sounds. I am absolutely not giving up guitar just considering adding another instrument on as well. When I listen to songs I find myself first listening to the beat and the groove before anything else. Does this indicate that a bass would be good for me? I am a shorter girl with small hands I was wondering if anyone could tell me if I could play bass with this type of body. I am of course willing to put in practice and hard work to improve at playing. Thanks for taking the time to read this post, have a nice day.
#2
Yes. Yes you should.

Seriously though it sounds like a good fit. I'm also female, and fairly short with small hands and I've never had a problem. There are exercises that will help your hands to stretch, and if it's still uncomfortable for you to play a full sized bass after that, there's always the option of trying a short scale.
Quote by FatalGear41
Bassists don't hover on the forum day and night like guitarists. We've got lives to lead, music to play and whiskey to drink.

Quote by Ziphoblat
I'd rather go at my hands with a hacksaw than play lead guitar, and I'm only slightly exaggerating.
#3
Yes. Also I personally have had pretty bad problems with anxiety, but not so much anything to do with stage fright. Weird.
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
#4
Don't worry about the size of your hands. I'm 5'4 and I have small hands, even for my height. Don't think I've ever met another adult with smaller hands. You shouldn't need to consider a short-scale for that reason, I've always played full scale basses and been fine. Neck shape/size/dimensions are more significant. I struggled a touch with my old Stingray and Warwicks with baseball bat necks are hellish for me. However my Fender J is nice qnd comfy, and the neck on my 09 Warwick Corvette is amazing.
Spare a Cow
Eat a Vegan
#5
Quote by Ziphoblat
Don't think I've ever met another adult with smaller hands.

Now I'm gonna have to fly all the way out there just to compare hands, bigger hands buys the beer.

TS, yes you should play bass. Bass is awesome and it makes people awesome-r so you should play bass and come join the awesome. There are no prerequisites for playing, other than a desire to learn and make booty's shake. Many of us here are of smaller stature and/or have teeny tiny hands and manage perfectly fine on full-scale instruments. As long as you're willing to practice and learn you shouldn't have any reason to worry.
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Spector and Markbass
#6
Just play whatever kind of bass is more comfortable. I'm pretty tall (about 6ft2) and prefer short scales....

Also, by definition of being a bass player, you are an automatic badass.
Quote by Karl Marx
Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.
#7
I am female, 5'4" and have hands that are small. I play full size basses and upright. Its all in the technique:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=986625

What you play is up to you (short vs long scale). I have several full size basses (and an upright) but I am also in the process of purchasing another short scale. And I give you Suzi Quattro.



Note the Precision bass. Note the fact that this awesome bad ass woman is only 5 feet tall.
Enough said.
#8
Quote by Tostitos
Now I'm gonna have to fly all the way out there just to compare hands, bigger hands buys the beer.


I believe the most scientific way to settle this dispute is to measure . My longest finger (middle of course) measured from the base to the tip (this could be heavily misconstrued) on the inside of my hand comes in at 7.6cm or 3 inches.
Spare a Cow
Eat a Vegan
#9
Mine are more or less the same size as yours. 7.55-ish. And I'm also about 5'4".

Quote by anarkee
And I give you Suzi Quattro.



Note the Precision bass. Note the fact that this awesome bad ass woman is only 5 feet tall.
Enough said.


Suzi didn't just play, either. She sang and (sort of) danced at the same time as playing.
Quote by FatalGear41
Bassists don't hover on the forum day and night like guitarists. We've got lives to lead, music to play and whiskey to drink.

Quote by Ziphoblat
I'd rather go at my hands with a hacksaw than play lead guitar, and I'm only slightly exaggerating.
Last edited by GAPendragon at Jul 22, 2013,
#10
Quote by Ziphoblat
I believe the most scientific way to settle this dispute is to measure . My longest finger (middle of course) measured from the base to the tip (this could be heavily misconstrued) on the inside of my hand comes in at 7.6cm or 3 inches.

From base to tip, my middle finger (longest of course) is exactly the same size . My entire hand comes just shy of 7 inches long.

Now I don't have an excuse to visit England.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
#11
Now I don't have an excuse to visit England.


A chilled pint served in an English pub? :P Not that there's many more of those about anymore.
Spare a Cow
Eat a Vegan
#12
Quote by Tostitos

Now I don't have an excuse to visit England.


It's not exactly as if you have an excuse not to visit England
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
#13
Most people hear the beat first when they hear music, even guitarists. I've been playing guitar for close to 10 years and I thought about switching to bass (still thinking). I wanted to switch after playing a bass through a great sounding amp. For me, enjoyment of either instrument lies in liking how I sound. I didn't realize that until after trying the basses. When I got home, I was pretty unsatisfied with guitar until I spent time shaping my guitar tone to sound more enjoyable to play. Now I love it again. The #1 thing that's stopping me from playing bass is that I can't find any modern amp that's as fun to play as the one I demoed. It was an Ampeg V4B but it's simply too big. I don't think there's a simple answer to your question about whether you should switch to bass. You may not be immediately happy with bass and there could be things you can do to enjoy guitar more. I think you need to find what you like most about playing music and which instrument satisfies you in that respect more.
#14
definitely learn to play bass. it helps more than you think it would in the creative process.
Quote by JackWhiteIsButts
I saw Pantera live once, Dime changed into a body bag right there on stage.


#15
I think you should play bass because I had a similar dilemma (if we are calling it a dilemma.) I played drums for the longest time (since elementary school.) I had a pearl drum set with Sabien or whatever cymbals but I didn't really LOVE it. So I was about to quit band in high school and picked up a bass from like the eighties and began playing. Soon after that I bought a bass and switched to that for band. I play an electric bass in band and play the tuba parts, its pretty awesome. I mean, band music isn't the most interesting, but playing things like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dream Theater, its crazy fun. Everyone knows a guitar player, everyone IS a guitar player, but bassists are more scarce.
#16
I've never noticed that people with smaller hands have a hard time playing guitar or bass. Quite the opposite in fact.

After playing guitar for 10+ years i just bought my first bass rig last month. It has not only been a real blast figuring out all the songs and techniques but my guitar playing has improved dramatically because of the greater left hand strength and dexterity. Also, the radically different mental approach to bass makes the cross-over between bass and guitar minimal so playing one never tires me of the other. I just can't say enough good things... GET ONE!
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#17
Quote by crabstampede
I've never noticed that people with smaller hands have a hard time playing guitar or bass. Quite the opposite in fact.


Depends what you're trying to play really. I've been working on Victor Wootens's You Can't Hold No Groove again recently and the stretch from the G on the E string to the D on the G string is killer for me. Some of the chords are just unplayable too, I've hard to work out other inversions that are passable but don't quite sound the same.
Spare a Cow
Eat a Vegan
#18
I can honestly tell you I will never be able to play Jaco's "Portrait of Tracy".
#19
I play both acoustic guitar and bass guitar. I love them both for different reasons. With the acoustic, I like to pick it up when writing music, or singing and playing - mostly just solo acoustic sets or with one other person. However, if it weren't for the singing/songwriting advantage of the acoustic guitar (given MY skillset...not saying you can't sing and play bass. Prince and Sting can attest to that), I would probably not play guitar nearly as much as a stand alone instrument. I absolutely LOVE playing the bass, and prefer not to sing much aside from backup vocals when I'm on the low end, so I can give my full concentration to creating bass lines when playing with a band. I think this may have been said on this thread already, but guitarists are abundant. GOOD guitarists are also abundant. Bassists are a little more scarce, and GOOD bassists are even harder to find. If you're a solid bassist, and you become somewhat known on the local music scene for being a good bassist, you will find yourself with all kinds of opportunities to play live and record with bands.

I don't pretend to know your own personal struggle with anxiety, so maybe the idea of playing in front of people does not appeal to you at all. I can only somewhat relate in that I was an incredibly shy and unconfident kid growing up. Playing bass and forcing myself to get up on stage and perform really helped me come out of my shell. Although I crashed and burned publicly many times, and it took years to be comfortable doing it, in the long run it was worth venturing out of my comfort zone and learning to perform for people. I'm probably still a bit socially awkward, but I have yet to meet any musician that isn't a little bit weird. Either way, on stage or alone in your room, bass can be a very fun instrument. Plus you get to be connected to the helpful folks on internet bass forums! Good luck!
Last edited by matthewzarder at Aug 5, 2013,
#20
Bass is brilliant. Play it. And +1000000000000000 for Suzi Quattro!
"I didn't mean to kill nobody ... I just meant to shoot the sonofabitch in the head. Him dying was between him and the Lord." RL Burnside.

"I won't waste my love on a nation" BRMC
#21
Quote by GAPendragon



Suzi didn't just play, either. She sang and (sort of) danced at the same time as playing.


I have Suzi Stories.
#22
Never too late to switch! I started on bass, then I played lead guitar for 10 years and just recently switched back. I always played both, but found that I always had much more fun on bass. It's just that way for some people. Plus, the community is better, I think.
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