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rhythmbug

upper register on a P bass

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Does anyone else find the frets 12 - 15 on the E string sound rather quiet and muted compared to the other strings?

I'm wondering if this is something inherent in other P basses, or could it be just mine (has an aftermarket neck).

Cheers

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Never got that far up the neck. Only being playing 40 years though, hoping to venture up there in a decade or two.

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If you want to go that far up the neck you probably haven't got the right bass ;)

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[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1393027421' post='2375514']
...I love the higher notes on the E string! They always seem very powerful to me.
[/quote]

Me too. I go sliding around there like a rat up a drainpipe. Boom!

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i have the opposite problem, high notes on the lower strings are way more full than on the same notes on the high strings, its difficult to get a consistent tone.

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You're probably into dead spot territory there - many basses suffer with a couple of places on the neck where a note will sound weaker and sustain for a shorter time. What's happening is that the neck will have a resonant frequency similar to the dead spot notes and that's sapping energy from the string vibration. You might be able to 'move' the dead spot slightly to a frequency not corresponding to a played note by tweaking the truss rod a little (changing the neck stiffness) but that obviously compromises your action. You can buy a gadget that is essentially just a metal weight to clamp to the headstock which increases the mass of the neck - again an attempt to change the resonant frequency, but that might induce neck dive. You're not alone in having a bass with a few weak notes and generally, the stiffer the neck the better it will be in having few or no dead spots at all (which is why I think Fender put graphite rods in new instrument necks).

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IMO the upper register of a Precision is where the real beautiful tone is to be had, at least if, like me, you prefer a driven vintage vibe. If you're having problems up there it's your bass, your strings, your setup or your amp, it's nothing to do with Precisions per se. In fact I'd say a good Precision is one of the few basses that really sounds equally if not more meaty at the dusty end (of course some heavy flats and 50kg of Ampeg tubes help).

C

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Maybe it's just your neck - my p bass has no dead or quiet notes. The brass plates do work and I don't think they make much diff to dive

Edit: used them before on other instruments, not this p bass

Edited by Geek99

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Have to admit if playing higher notes - as in above a regular D - I prefer to play them further up the E or A strings, you get a really nice thick sound up there.

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[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1393102758' post='2376305']
Have to admit if playing higher notes - as in above a regular D - I prefer to play them further up the E or A strings, you get a really nice thick sound up there.
[/quote]

Yup - couldn't agree more. I reckon the best tones to be had out of a Precision are between the 5th and 12th frets. Having a nice time currently learning the opening bits from Sabbath's Fairies Wear Boots which is largely played in that territory. Strike the strings at the base of the neck and - vwahlah - sounds lovely! :)

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why you playing sup so high?

the sound is far better lower down on a higher string

don't get into all that Nathan eastish crossing strings crap - it makes for a lazy technique :)

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[quote name='gareth' timestamp='1393175955' post='2377000']
why you playing sup so high?

the sound is far better lower down on a higher string

don't get into all that Nathan eastish crossing strings crap - it makes for a lazy technique :)
[/quote]

Entirely subjective. Although judging from the number of posters stating that they like the sound of the low strings played high up your opinion is most definitely in the minority. Personally I choose depending on what sounds best for the song at that moment in time in the arrangement. Most of the time I will favour playing high up on the lower strings but there are moments when playing near the nut on the higher ones gives a more appropriate sound. It's all about using your ears to decide what sounds best and not being lazy and doing what your fingers find easiest.

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Thanks for the input all. I will qualify my statement by saying the other strings sound fantastic in said region. Very warm and powerful. Ben Shepherd and Nick Olivieri are two players that spring to mind. Its nothing about virtuosity bur rather the timbre and presence. The neck I believe might be a jazz neck...it messures about 34mm at the nut. I love this bass but the lack of guts on the upper end of the E is limiting for my playing style, the frets have been levelled and polished and the action is spot on all the way up.

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If youve got a woodworking clamp handy, you could try clamping it to your headstock. Use a couple of cauls of soft wood to stop the clamp denting the laquer.

The extra mass should (may?) reduce your dead spot, or at least move it elsewhere.

It will make your bass neckdive like crazy, so its only a diagnostic tool. But if you like the sound of your bass with extra mass on the head, you can get specially made lumps of brass that fix permanently to your bass for just that purpose.

Edited by Mikey R

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Is the upper register the spacer between the body and the fretting area ?

I do the occasional slide up on the A string to hit a higher octave and use the upper D and G for various runs and fills , but I have to confess never been much past 12 or 13 on the E

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1393179785' post='2377047']
Entirely subjective. Although judging from the number of posters stating that they like the sound of the low strings played high up your opinion is most definitely in the minority. Personally I choose depending on what sounds best for the song at that moment in time in the arrangement. Most of the time I will favour playing high up on the lower strings but there are moments when playing near the nut on the higher ones gives a more appropriate sound. It's all about using your ears to decide what sounds best and not being lazy and doing what your fingers find easiest.
[/quote]

+1.

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You can use a compressor to help even things out plus bump the fundamental and/or secondary harmonic frequencies a bit, say 60hz or so up to around the 180hz range.

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While dead spots are a possibility, a dead spot all the way from 12 to 15 is unlikely, they tend to be localised to just 1 or at worst 2 adjacent frets. My first thought is dead string, try replacing it. BTW I love the fat tones from playing high on the E and A.

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Early on I learnt the two octave scales from "Bass Guitar for Dummies" which require quite a trip up the neck and back down again on a four string bass. On my six string bass (*) I practice three octave scales up the neck and down again. I've not yet really found a use for such a wide range yet, but I think the practice has helped me be able to change hand position better and more smoothly. For a two octave major scale in G, I start on the third fret of the low E string and the highest note is the twelfth fret on the G string. Certainly helps me get used to going all over the neck.

(*) and on my six string guitars since I have them tuned in all fourths tuning now.

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