(Originally posted on Mar 11, 2016 as /archives/10854)
Scott Devine from Scott’s Bass Lessons created a video lesson about why you shouldn’t always use one finger per fret. He gives us some advice on when to use it, and alternatives, for when you shouldn’t.
Here’s the video:
Here are my thoughts:
For myself, on a short scale bass, one finger per fret is fine.
There is an optimal amount of tension that the strings should have. If the neck is too short, then they will flop around when the bass is tuned correctly. Even with that in mind, the 34″ scale neck is longer than it needs to be.
I suspect that Leo Fender measured the scale length of a standup bass, and that was that. (Standup bass necks, and bass guitar necks, are the same length. The standup bass neck only looks larger, because it’s bridge is in the center of the body, and a bass guitar’s bridge is at the end.)
I had a professor that insisted that I push with the ends of my finger bones, use one finger per fret, and not slide my hand at all. He believed that this would help me avoid tendonitis. He was incorrect. My hand’s bones aren’t even long enough to do that at full stretch. A full scale bass isn’t a plastic-stringed classical guitar, and different techniques are needed. Which are discussed in Scott’s video above, and other videos by Scott.
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