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Evil Undead

Help me Basschat people, you're my only hope...

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I have no idea how it would compare soundwise to the Warwick but the Reverend Wattplower looks like a nice short scale. Might be tricky getting to test one but Merchant City Music in Glasgow can order them.

[url="https://www.guitar.co.uk/reverend-mike-watt-signature-wattplower-rock-orange"]https://www.guitar.c...wer-rock-orange[/url]

http://www.bassplayer.com/basses/1165/review-reverend-guitars-mike-watt-wattplower/63690

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnVyH-tZ9Ac

Edited by fftc

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This week I found I had a bass that had a dead G-string. The set-up seemed ok, but the notes on the G simply didn't ring like the rest.

I took another look at the set-up and the pup was slightly lower at the G end and the action on the G string was slightly higher. I adjusted it and it all seems good now. Maybe you should take another look at the setup? Or get someone else to take a look at yours?

In any case, Mel, I hope you do get it sorted. You sound like you're really frustrated, which is totally understandable.

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If you have some wrist problems, in 99% of the cases, it's a bad playing position and has nothing to do with the scale... For your bad sound, in 99% of the issues, it's a bad setup.

Before going any further, go see the two specialists who will really help you : a physiotherapist and a luthier. It's worth going this way than spending money in the wrong direction...

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[quote name='Grangur' timestamp='1507480778' post='3385752']
This week I found I had a bass that had a dead G-string. The set-up seemed ok, but the notes on the G simply didn't ring like the rest.

I took another look at the set-up and the pup was slightly lower at the G end and the action on the G string was slightly higher. I adjusted it and it all seems good now. Maybe you should take another look at the setup? Or get someone else to take a look at yours?

In any case, Mel, I hope you do get it sorted. You sound like you're really frustrated, which is totally understandable.
[/quote]

Yeah, I am kinda frustrated! I've spent some time with it today checking the setup etc, and all ok but I think I've found the problem - I wrapped the E string so the break angle was as hard as possible over the nut, but it's not enough, if I push the string down behind the nut, the overtones go away. Perhaps resolving that (string retainer?) and different pickups/preamp would solve the problem - I know the best guy possible for that :) so I'll drop him a message I think

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Excellent result, Mel.

Silly question: I take it the E string is wound from top to bottom on the post?

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[quote name='Grangur' timestamp='1507485948' post='3385809']
Excellent result, Mel.

Silly question: I take it the E string is wound from top to bottom on the post?
[/quote]

Not a silly question at all, but yes it is. As far down as I could get it.

Yes I've dropped the wonderful Andy Rogers a message, if anyone can sort this bass out and make it perfect, it's him

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[quote name='Evil Undead' timestamp='1507403342' post='3385301']
I've found that I hardly play bass any more, and wondered why, so I picked up my only bass, plugged in, and found the reason straight away. It sounds like crap.[/quote]

You're not playing it very often? Are you in a band?

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Just a thought; you've had hand/wrist problems a long time. I don't know if you've seen a Doc, or if you have lessons etc. But maybe if you share a video of you playing a teacher here might be able to see if there's something in your technique that causes your pain. Could it be a matter of playing height or something?

Even if you don't want to share publicly, Ped or another teacher might be able to put a finger on it.

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[quote name='Hellzero' timestamp='1507481631' post='3385758']
If you have some wrist problems, in 99% of the cases, it's a bad playing position and has nothing to do with the scale... For your bad sound, in 99% of the issues, it's a bad setup.

Before going any further, go see the two specialists who will really help you : a physiotherapist and a luthier. It's worth going this way than spending money in the wrong direction...
[/quote]
[quote name='Grangur' timestamp='1507537312' post='3386054']
Just a thought; you've had hand/wrist problems a long time. I don't know if you've seen a Doc, or if you have lessons etc. But maybe if you share a video of you playing a teacher here might be able to see if there's something in your technique that causes your pain. Could it be a matter of playing height or something?

Even if you don't want to share publicly, Ped or another teacher might be able to put a finger on it.
[/quote]

I've had lessons, and he really helped with my technique, which I think is pretty much ok (EDIT: it is now anyway, wasn't before!), and I've seen physios and specialists in the past, especially following a wrist injury in about 2009-2010. I think most of the issue with my hands is my day job, it's very keyboard/mouse heavy, but I love my job so I'm not willing to change that.

I'm not a good bassist so a video might be embarrassing haha, but I'll see what I can do :)

Edited by Evil Undead

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[quote name='alyctes' timestamp='1507507187' post='3385981']
If you damped the string behind the nut, does that make a difference?
[/quote]

I seem to have to press quite hard but yes, the overtones disappear

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[quote name='Evil Undead' timestamp='1507549106' post='3386204']
I've had lessons, and he really helped with my technique, which I think is pretty much ok (EDIT: it is now anyway, wasn't before!), and I've seen physios and specialists in the past, especially following a wrist injury in about 2009-2010. I think most of the issue with my hands is my day job, it's very keyboard/mouse heavy, but I love my job so I'm not willing to change that.

I'm not a good bassist so a video might be embarrassing, haha, but I'll see what I can do :)
[/quote]

Maybe your chair/posture at work is wrong?

A lot of us here aren't great; myself included. If you post a vid of you playing, just playing scales and stuff will give an idea of how you play.

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[quote name='Evil Undead' timestamp='1507549106' post='3386204']

I've had lessons, and he really helped with my technique, which I think is pretty much ok (EDIT: it is now anyway, wasn't before!), and I've seen physios and specialists in the past, especially following a wrist injury in about 2009-2010. I think most of the issue with my hands is my day job, it's very keyboard/mouse heavy, but I love my job so I'm not willing to change that.

I'm not a good bassist so a video might be embarrassing haha, but I'll see what I can do :)
[/quote]

I had some RSI in my right forearm some years back, when I was using Excel a lot. I worked out that it was because I was using my right arm far more than the left - number keys, mouse, etc. I taught myself to use the mouse left handed and it helped a lot. It's a bit of a brain scramble at first, but you soon get the hang of it.

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Before retirement I was in IT, and, despite my innate laziness began to have carpal tunnel symptoms, mainly from mouse use. I had the cortisone shots, and that helped a lot, but I also adopted a Logitech Trackball, like this...

[url="https://www.amazon.fr/Logitech-Souris-laser-trackball-Boutons/dp/B0042BBR2S/ref=sr_1_19?ie=UTF8&qid=1507572644&sr=8-19&keywords=logitech+trackball"]Amazon: Logitech Trackball ...[/url]

In the years left, I had no further wrist problems; I now use that same Trackball at home; no more carpal tunnel issues. Worth a thought, maybe..?

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[quote name='Evil Undead' timestamp='1507549666' post='3386215']
I seem to have to press quite hard but yes, the overtones disappear
[/quote]

That wasn't quite what I meant. If you damp the string behind the nut with something stuffed under the string (sponge? bit of balsa? cigarette filter?), what happens then?

Edited by alyctes

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[quote name='alyctes' timestamp='1507671876' post='3387222']


That wasn't quite what I meant. If you damp the string behind the nut with something stuffed under the string (sponge? bit of balsa? cigarette filter?), what happens then?
[/quote]

Ah, I got you. I'll give it a try tonight

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Guest bassman7755

[quote name='Evil Undead' timestamp='1507483377' post='3385776']
if I push the string down behind the nut, the overtones go away.
[/quote]

A quick solution might be to damp the string behind the nut by wrapping some cloth around it and the other strings behind the nut. It should not be necessary to have a high break angle.
[edit: ninja'd by alyctes]

Edited by bassman7755

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Hi Evil Undead

I'm a great believer in trying the quick fixes while one of us tries to help you sort a more permanent fix.

Ref the overtones/dead spots - as above or your own thoughts, it could be nut related, break angle related or 'harp' vibration. It could also be related to the harmonics in the room you're practicing in or a number of other factors. So things you could quickly and easily try are:[list]
[*]Try playing it in another room. Particularly with bass guitars, the natural frequency vibrations in a small room can make a huge difference to the 'apparent' sound. If it's pretty much the same in a different room, then it is more likely to be the bass.
[*]As already suggested, to stop any vibration between nut and the post, just shove a bit of foam plastic or tissue paper under the string behind the nut and see if it reduces it. 6 string electrics are notorious for this issue. My 'permanent' fix on my own is sometimes as sophisticated as a velcro cable tie :lol: :
[/list]
[list]
[*]To see if it is break angle related , before getting a retainer fitted (which bring their own foibles with them) try a heavy duty one-way cable tie, pulled tight just behind the nut:
[/list]



Slacken the strings first, pull it hand tight, then tighten the strings back to pitch. If it makes no difference, then it is unlikely to be nut, stray vibrations or break angle that's the problem and just snip it off. If it does cure it, then temporarily just snip off the excess and carry on playing with it while you work out the more permanent fix. I can pop a couple of the above heavy duty ties in the post if you want to try it...just pm me :)

The above should at least pin down if it is headstock related or not and are fully reversible and quick and easy to check.

Ref the playing issue, I think Dad3353 raises an important point. As well as the tracker ball mice, there a lot of conventionally working but ergonomically designed mice that are held almost at 90 degrees to a standard one. This is one example, but there are loads coming onto the market (including smaller ones!):


They make a BIG difference! To the point that I suspect they will eventually become part of the 'workstation assessment' required by EHS legislation.

But from a bass point of view, there are also other things that can be done. As a sufferer of progressive and erosive arthritis in both of my hands (wrists and fingers), I've been doing a lot of experiments with bass and guitar positioning, particularly things you can achieve with simple strap button changes. This particular one has made the biggest difference to me:


By simply moving the strap button to the other side of the heel (many acoustics have this arrangment), it has turned guitars that had become literally unplayble for me fully and comfortably playable again.

What does it do?

Depending exactly where you put the button, it does two things:[list]
[*]It can make the instrument swing slightly to the player's right - effectively shortening the apparent scale length
[*]Probably more importantly for wrist issues, [i]it tilts the instrument more upright[/i]. For the wrist - a bit like the ergonomic mouse - this makes an [b]enormous [/b]difference.
[/list]
The great thing is that you just add a button so anyone else can play it just as they normally would.

I've added this to every one of my 6-string electrics and am planning to do the same with all of my basses.

Hope this helps ;)

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Thanks Andy! I'll definitely try the foam and the cable tie fixes tonight to see what that does! Pressing on the string behind the nut does seem to solve the issue so I'm fairly confident that the cable tie (and therefore the bar) will sort it. I think I have some hardcore cable ties at home, will give it a whirl tonight.

Just out of interest - you mention that the bar comes with it's own foibles - what sort of issues crop up with those?

Regarding the strap button, that's interesting. I might have a mess around with some playing positions later - when I played long scale basses I used to have them quite upright, but that's mainly because I couldn't reach the lower frets otherwise haha! I've never had that issue with the shorties so play them more at a 45 degree angle.

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[quote name='Evil Undead' timestamp='1507722618' post='3387433']
Regarding the strap button, that's interesting. I might have a mess around with some playing positions later - when I played long scale basses I used to have them quite upright, but that's mainly because I couldn't reach the lower frets otherwise haha! I've never had that issue with the shorties so play them more at a 45 degree angle.
[/quote]

No - I'm talking about the vertical angle of the front face of the bass. With most normal strap positions, the top edge of the bass is usually angled slightly towards the player - think how it would have to be angled for you to see the fretboard fret dots...

Changing the button position can make the front face pretty much vertical. Downside is that you can only see the side of the fretboard now (thank heavens for side-dots) but you would find your wrist in a much more natural position.

I'll try to do a photoshop of what I mean!

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See how the top horn button pulls the top of the guitar in towards him? I'm talking about changing that playing angle in the direction of the arrow to make the face of the instrument pretty much vertical.

When your bass is on the strap, try pushing the bass vertical with your right hand while loosely fretting with the left and just see what it does to your wrist.... Edited by Andyjr1515

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