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Fingerboard hand stretch


Davo-London

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Folks, grab a ruler and stretch your fingerboard hand just before it gets painful and measure the distance between the outside of the little finger to the outside of the index finger. Vote your length to the nearest half inch.
"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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Interesting to a novice like myself, having just done that, I then got my bass to see how it relates in real life; Well if I lift my thumb from the back of the neck and fret the G string with the outside edge of my index finger behind the first fret, I can just about contort the rest of my ham-fist to reach the fifth fret (also on the G string, I'm not a show off) :freak:;) .

Like everything else it's going to take some practice to get up any speed. :thu:

Of everything I've ever lost it's my mind I miss the most.
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Interesting that the early leader is 7", as is my hand.

 

But I'm not sure how useful for bass playing this is.

 

Can you maintain 7" with your fingers curved in a bass position? And how often is stretching to the maximum actually involved in playing. (It is useful to maintain legato lines as you shift.)

 

On the URB, the most important stretch is between 1 and 2, by the way.

 

Still, it is interesting. What if the survey demonstrated that guitar players stretched an inch smaller than bassists? Could we explain our muse by something as simple as body type?

Yep. I'm the other voice in the head of davebrownbass.
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Dave

 

I was curious following my post of yesterday about the scale length of basses and why short scale basses are so rare. Presumably the standard 34" long scale was selected by Leo Fender. Nowadays, the tendancy seems to be for ever increasing scale lengths.

 

I wondered what the hand span range was amongst fellow bassists to see where I came in the distribution. i.e. I have a nagging suspicion that I should be playing a shorter scale length than 34".

 

Davo

"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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Originally posted by Dave Brown:

Interesting that the early leader is 7", as is my hand.

 

But I'm not sure how useful for bass playing this is.

 

Can you maintain 7" with your fingers curved in a bass position? And how often is stretching to the maximum actually involved in playing. (It is useful to maintain legato lines as you shift.)

Dave, I measured 7" also (which ironically matches another portion of my anatomy, so I guess one of those old wives' tales are true :D ) but in normal play mode I usually stay around 4-5" even when I'm playing 5 or 6 string. Even working on two-handed hammer-ons I'm not going beyond 5", so maybe the poll should be amended to see what the average person's normal stretching range is.

:wave:

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I am aware that stretching one's hand over a ruler isn't ideal but I figured if we all did the same then this would be an indication of the range of hand sizes rather than an indication of the achievable span on the bass.
"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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7". And I've strectched that wide before playing some stuff....and it hurt....

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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My peeps are trying to contact fellow Tulsa bassed bassist Waymon Tisdale. If we get lunch scheduled, I'll take a yardstick. ;)

 

BTW, I'm in there at 5.5". I took that "before it gets painful" part seriously.

- Matt W.
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Originally posted by ClarkW:

^^^ I do not envy NUTT the difficulties he probably has in finding a well-fitting pair of gloves.

That is indeed true. I actually did find 1 pair of ski gloves that fit perfectly though. Now that I'm living in Texas I don't have much use for gloves though!

 

My picking hand only stretches to 7.5" though. Any body else find a similar comparison?

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Originally posted by NUTT:

8.5" on my fretting hand.

I was wondering who the 8.5 was. I'm 8.0.

 

Just how tall are you?

 

Anyway, like has been said, It doesn't mean I can cover any more fingerboard area than the 6 or 7 inchers. At least on an electric. Wonder if it holds true for URB players?

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Originally posted by Cozmicslop:

Just how tall are you?

6'2"

 

Large hands definitely run in my family. My grandfather (who was only 5'7") had absolutely huge hands.

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Fred, I did not really need to know how big your foot is, but I don't envy your shoe hunt.

 

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Originally posted by NUTT:

My picking hand only stretches to 7.5" though. Any body else find a similar comparison?

I'm pretty close to that, NUTT: 8.5/8.0. But as Dave Brown points out, sometimes it's better to have a good stretch between pointer and index fingers (mostly URB). On the other hand, pointer to pinky is good for tap stuff.

 

I'm only 5'10", but my hands are wide (not long). I can't do things like palm a basketball. My feet are wide, too, at least double E; it's harder to find shoes than gloves for me.

 

From another thread, I bet Stanley Clarke would make us all look small in this measurement.

 

For keyboard players the stretch is pinky to thumb; you need to at least span an octave of keys.

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OK, so there was a point to this poll.

 

My span was between 6" and 6.5". I voted for 6.5". If I play the first 4 semitones from the nut on a 34" scale bass (measures about 5"), I can only do so with a small movement of the hand. So really a shorter scale would be more comfortable for me. If all the other 6.5" hand-spanners and less are the similar to me, then 9 out of 26 bassists would be probably more comfortable playing shorter scale basses.

 

So why, for example, do Fender (MIA) only produce one short scale bass (which if I'm honest doesn't look too cool) out of a product list of a zillion basses?

"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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Well, they are not really building instruments to be comfortable. They are building them to sound good. Builders have been experimenting with scale length. Not many have decided to go shorter....but some are deciding to go longer....because of the sound.

 

And some of the reason for scale length is...."it's always been like that."

 

Meanwhile I think that the thumb to little finger measurement is important.

 

If you keep your thumb in one place, you can pivot to reach more notes.

 

Hey, guitars, mandolins, violins, banjos, all have too small a spacing for me! Why don't they make longer ones? :D

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ya know.....someone could easily turn this thread into a very, very dirty conversation with one "finger length" comment.

 

 

.....good thing it's not me. ;)

-BGO

 

5 words you should live by...

 

Music is its own reward

 

---------------

My Band: www.Myspace.com/audreyisanarcissist

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