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ricobasso

Correct fingerboard scoop?

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I'd like to get a consensus of where the deepest part of the scoop should be in a double bass fingerboard.
I have a Roumania(sic) 3/4 Double Bass which I am happy with playing slap "old timey" or "rock 'n roll" with EP slaps. Using the strings as a straight edge, I'm measuring 0.117" under the E string and 0.106" under the G string max at around the neck heel.

I have also made a 41" string length EUB which has currently got Dominant strings and a completely straight fingerboard, i.e. no gap under the strings at all when used as a straight edge. I'm not happy with this because it often sounds like a fretless bass guitar, which I don't want. So before I get the plane out and tackle the fingerboard, should I copy my double bass re amount of scoop and location of the maximum?

Having seen this YT video 


, Yuri pretty much confirmed my thoughts. A large scoop only works when you are playing in the first positions. Anywhere higher up and the max amplitude part of the vibrating part of the string no longer matches the maximum scoop position on the fb. So you are better off with a small to zero scoop to be able to setup for good playability over the whole length fingerboard.

I've now actually taken a plane and scraper to my DB (still thinking about the EUB) fingerboard and improved the playability of my bass enormously. I was always happy with it when slapping gut strings and a high-ish action but not with bowing in the higher positions. The scoop used to be around 1/8" (as per the Chuck Traeger book) but I always thought it was too much. It is now around 1/16" or (<2mm) This allowed me to reduce the action a significant amount in the thumb regions

Any one have any thoughts about this. (I got very little response from the Talk Bass forum in the USA)

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If you're talking about fingerboard radius, a quick search discovers this article, which seems to go into great detail. I may even read it when I have a moment. 😎

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Posted (edited)

My bass was set up specifically for jazz pizz (Malcolm Healey did it many many years back), but I manage bowed classical stuff too ( amateur orchestra, NOT solo!). The max scoop is about where you'd play an E on the G string and it's a little more than 1mm maybe 2mm on the E.

Bass tech at Tim Toft violins thought they could improve the sound and playability by fitting a higher bridge and re- angling the fingerboard with a bigger wedge, but didn't mention changing the scoop.

However us "modern" jazz people are trying for lots of mwah sound, hence the low action ... Is that what you really want if the eub sounds too " fretless bass"?

 

 

Edited by NickA

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I think Yuri's right. My bass is set up about the same as yours @ricobasso with around 2mm relief under the E and 1 under the G. I use it mainly for pizz but with a bit of arco - it's strung with Spirocores at the moment and it works fine for both. The rule of thumb used to be about the thickness of the string in relief but that always seemed excessive to me.

Talking about your EUB Gollihur (as mentioned by @Silvia Bluejay) has an interesting article on making NS uprights sound more like a 'proper' double bass. He doesn't mention carving relief into the fingerboard.

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