#1
Hi Guys. I'm a guitar player who suffers from tendonitis. I home record and I'm looking to add bass to my stuff. I've sending it off to a friend who lays down the bass but this wont continue any longer. I'm considering buying a bass but wonder if it would be a lot more taxing on the fingers and wrist. I would use a pick and wont be doing anything too tricky on it but I'm talking about simple fretting of notes and stretches of the fingers.

If you have played both guitar and bass over time can you do a comparison?

I cant get to a shop to try without a 140 mile round trip which I will make when I can but I'm not sure if a short trial in store will answer my question. I'd be grateful for some advice.

Thanks for your help
#2
bass probably is a bit harder on your hands, but i don't have tendonitis (sorry to hear you do ) so I don't know whether it's harder in a way that makes that worse...
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

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The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#3
Couple of things come to mind.
I've had a tendency to make a chord shape of everything when I see a close pattern such as a root fifth octave. And using fingertips like a guitar. It's easier to play this way, but it does cramp my hands up. Money is a good example of that. Flat fretting is easier on the fret hand, and it helps control the muting for note length. Watching videos,even Roger Waters flat frets on Money.
Also, a bass has a longer neck, which can be a strain if you spend most of your time on the first few frets. I'm learning to play more from the 5th fret area. The notes there are A E D C, with a e d being the same octave as the open strings.
#4
Its a bit more strain on the hands, but if you get something like an Ibanez SR, with a slimmer neck profile, it could be doable. Or look to get short scale bass, which would be closer to a guitar body size
#5
its alot hard to play man. alot more fun than guitar to me. but i mostly play the punk style haha.
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#6
What about some hand stretches? Unless you have a doctor's advice not to, might be a really good idea with your situation to do a little stretching. Hate to pass the buck, but check YouTube for some videos.
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#7
Quote by anarkee
Its a bit more strain on the hands, but if you get something like an Ibanez SR, with a slimmer neck profile, it could be doable. Or look to get short scale bass, which would be closer to a guitar body size


That's a good point, now you mention it i've only played long scale (34") basses with the more precision-style neck (42mm at the nut). So what I said above only applies to basses like that.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#8
depends on what you're doing with it. you need to put more strength into your fretting, but since you're presumably not playing chords with it and not plucking or thumping, the only potential areas of strain will be jumping into different positions, which shouldn't be too bad

that being said, if you get into playing chords and double thumping, it can be veeeery painful until you get used to making weird stretches and develop callouses

you should be fine, though, as long as you use proper technique. always use your thumb as a "pinch point" but don't stress it, always play perfectly perpendicular to the fretboard, pick with your wrist utilizing economy of motion, etc.
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#9
Thank you all for your helpful comments and advice. Much appreciated.

It's one of these areas I know little about and I hadn't even considered a short scale bass which sounds like an excellent idea.

I really will only be using it for the simplest of bass lines and have no intention of trying anything too strenuous and I hoped by only using it for very short times it would eliminate a lot of the issues but I also might get some lessons to eliminate bad technique and unnecessary stresses and strains. I've never played a bass apart from plunking around on one years ago so I'm not familiar with techniques.
#11
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Get a teacher. Poor technique will exasperate your condition.


and take notes. a good teacher should be able to point out all your technique issues very quickly, but then the burden is on you to practice good habits. you don't have to splurge and take a class every week if it's hard for you to schedule or afford.
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Hail killed MT

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I want to be Hail when I grow up.
#12
Thanks guys. I'm going to take some lessons to iron out the worst flaws in my technique and also look at SS basses
#13
I think when people start to play bass, they invariably press way too hard on the strings and use way too much muscle. You only have to press them down hard enough so they touch the frets, but it really takes some experience playing before you can relax and actually do that. Once you've developed a light touch, I don't think bass is any more taxing than guitar.

Also, on guitar you usually sustain one note until the next one begins, but on bass it's very common that you end the note you're playing before the next one begins. When you end the note is almost as important as when you start it. So you'll usually have time to reposition your hand before you need to play the next note or whatever, so a lot of weird stretching can be avoided. Of course that's not ALWAYS the case, but as a guitar player who also plays bass, it's something you'll need to listen closely for if you want your songs to sound like the original version.
Last edited by Jack Strat at Nov 6, 2016,
#14
Great comparison, Jack and very helpful. Makes sense what you say and it's more encouragement to look into the SS bass. Thank you
#15
All righty guys. I've orderd a Squier Jaguar SS bass. It arrives tomorrow. I live a fair distance from any store so I've relied on reviews. I have a 14 day return period and I've bought loads of stuff from this shop so they'll be fine and I wont' feel guitly if it transpires I don't like it.

I've read a bit here and there online and it seems I might have issues with overtones. Is this pretty common with SS basses and am I likely to find it an issue?

Also what strings would you recommend I use to combat this possible issue while still feeling and sounding good?

I read a set specifically for SS bass would be good but according to the blurb this bass is supplied with Fender SS strings 0.40"-0.95".
Thanks again. Sorry to be basic but I'm completely new to the bass
Last edited by willie45 at Nov 10, 2016,
#16
resonant frequencies are just part of bass playing. you'll learn really quickly how to mute with both hands on every string you're not playing, though. eventually you won't have problems

i use DR Hi Beam mediums on all my 4 strings, .45-.105. that tends to be about the standard gauge, and you'll definitely see and feel a difference if you make the switch up to a .105 or .110 for the low E. the .95 might help for getting used to the new thickness of strings, but the tone will probably feel fairly "thin" to you after a while.
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Hail killed MT

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I want to be Hail when I grow up.
#17
Thanks, Hail.

From what I was reading I had the impression there was some other thing going on so that if you fret some notes on a SS bass it gives off out of tune enharmonics at the same time as the correct note?

Maybe I picked this up wrong and you can probably tell I'm not sure what I'm talking about.
#18
I've got a bass (Status Graphite) with a very low action and .30 top G; it's quite easy to play.

Thinking practically, another option would be a guitar with an octave divider - I have an Aguilar Octamizer, which is rather good.