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hifiguy
Advanced Member
Username: hifiguy

Post Number: 265
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 7:57 am:   Edit Post

A few weeks ago I bought my first 5-string, a Schecter Stiletto 5 Elite (from the Club's dannobasso). Can't afford an Alembic 5 at this time, but the Schecter is neck-through and a really nice bass.

I have been practicing only on that bass for the last three weeks. It's a 35" scale instrument with through-body string loading, so the string tension is quite high, which makes for a nice, solid low B with no flappiness or floppiness.

Last night at rehearsal I played my regular Alembic Stanley Standard and found, much to my surprise, that my hand speed had somehow greatly increased after substantial hours on the higher-tension Schecter. Is this a question of slightly getting acclimated to a high-tension bass and then moving to a lower-tension one?

I am NOT complaining, and plan on continuing that practice regimen, but was wondering if anyone has thoughts or has had a similar sort of thing happen.

Cheers!
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 898
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 8:06 am:   Edit Post

I would think that the difference in scale length would be a major factor - you're going from 35" which is longer than the normal 34", down to close to 30" - that's about as extreme as you can get! (Without switching from bass to guitar or upright bass to electric bass)
hifiguy
Advanced Member
Username: hifiguy

Post Number: 266
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 8:12 am:   Edit Post

That's what I initially thought, but my right (plucking) hand speed also ramped up. Weird, but cool!
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 899
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 8:20 am:   Edit Post

Aha, good call on the right hand! That's cool that you are that aware.
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1528
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 8:32 am:   Edit Post

Muscle memory...it's all to do with the autonomic nervous system and the special mechano receptors,touch and pressure nerve endings in the fingers.
You have memorised in your brain the speed and positions on the 5 string and your nervous system has learnt this so you can play the 5'er without having to think about how much pressure and position of the fingers and hands.
When you go to a different instrument configuration, although you know it is different your nervouse system doesn't catch on straight away so it it is working in 5 string mode.
I have a Honda Fireblade which I know very well but when I ride my friends Blade it seems different even though they are the same model.
It would be the same from the short scale to the longer scale except it would seem harder to play(obviously)

(Message edited by TerryC on March 17, 2011)
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1704
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 9:09 am:   Edit Post

Terry, Yes I agree; "Muscle Memory" . When I still played Upright Bass (Double Bass) I would encounter this quite a bit.

Wolf
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 2554
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 9:20 am:   Edit Post

Scale length changes can make a big difference in speed. Imagine how fast you could be on one of them 25" gee-tar things...
dannobasso
Senior Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 1355
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 9:37 am:   Edit Post

I have 31 to 35 scale basses from 4 to 7 regular string and the new 10 string and a Hamer 12. Each one requires a different approach, touch and even attitude. Since the 10 arrived when I go to another bass like a 32 or my 31 it seems so much easier. The same experience would occur when I moved from the wide 6 and 7 to a narrow 6 32 scale.

Some folk really like the consistency of using the same bass all the time. I have become attached to playing anything that comes along. It keeps me on my toes. I must confess the 10 is a fairly demanding mistress. Glad the schecter is working out for you. Pretty good bass for the price.
hifiguy
Advanced Member
Username: hifiguy

Post Number: 267
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 9:37 am:   Edit Post

LOL! Too many skinny little strings too close together, Bob! :-)
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1705
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 9:51 am:   Edit Post

Bob__ I fool around on them "gee-tar things" but I don't consider my self to be any kind of gee-tar player ! I have a custom" Stratocaster like " that I keep around for visiting guitar players for jams . I have decided to express my musical energies to Electric Bass ; fretted & fretless and various Brass instruments.
Wolf
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1706
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 9:56 am:   Edit Post

YES , strings to close together !
alembic76407
Senior Member
Username: alembic76407

Post Number: 661
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 10:09 am:   Edit Post

When I go from my Alembic's to my Hofner it gets weird, i think the Hofner is a 30.5 scale and the Alembic's are not !!!!

Sir David T
hydrargyrum
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 928
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 10:11 am:   Edit Post

Have you guys ever tried a classical guitar? Nice string spacing there. Still skinny though. :-)
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1707
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 10:29 am:   Edit Post

Yes , I had a classical Guitar for a while and actually have tried to use thumb & 3 or 4 finger picking technique on 4 string Bass . I like do that on an Alembic Bass as it works out well with the extended frequency response. I gave my Classical Guitar to a friend who's daughter had expressed an interest in learning how to play. It was a good cause as he is one the the most sincere folks that you would ever meet and he is also my plumber ! No regrets.
hydrargyrum
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 929
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 11:02 am:   Edit Post

It's always wise to stay on a Plumber's good side, and furthering the cause of music is always a noble endeavor.
hifiguy
Advanced Member
Username: hifiguy

Post Number: 268
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 11:14 am:   Edit Post

A bit of research on the strings I use (D'Addario ProSteels) shows that the individual string tensions for 5-string long-scale set is a little less than 20% higher (on average) than the 4-string medium scale set.

Interesting. Taken together with the scale-length differences, that would logically account for what I felt, speedwise.
thumbsup
Advanced Member
Username: thumbsup

Post Number: 313
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 6:47 pm:   Edit Post

String set up can also affect speed of play as can the neck style. When I first got my MK 5 a few monhts ago I was amazed of the speed.
It was setup totaly different from my Rouge 5. Both are 34" scale.

(Message edited by thumbsup on March 17, 2011)
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 2555
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 8:24 pm:   Edit Post

Depending on if/how you anchor your plucking hand, a different bass can really affect that aspect of your playing as well. When I play the five, I rarely use the B string as anything other than an anchor. I might use actual notes there on one song in five, but it provides a nice anchor spot. For obvious reasons, it's a different place than where I anchor while playing a four...

I would also suspect that playing across a variety of instruments on a regular basis would make you less dependent on a particular scale or spacing. If you put a billion hours in on a shorty, though, it might be less comfortable to play a 34 or 35 inch neck. I know I wouldn't want to play a long scale fretless after the SC. I can feel the cringes from anyone out there with a great sense of pitch just thinking about it.

-bob

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