Am I a T-Rex? (Cannot find good plucking position with Ibanez EHB1005SMS)

With my new short scale Ibanez EHB1005SMS, I cannot seem to find the right plucking position. Usually I’m somewhere at the middle of neck and bridge and can move freely, but with my new bass I am very close to the neck. Everything else feels very uncomfortable.

I play sitting down, mostly!

This is how I feel:

This is how I play now (bass on right knee). It feel OK-ish, but not as comfortable as with my ESP. While playing I move closer to the neck, in fact. That s#cks!

This is when I try to pluck closer to the bridge. Bass is also on the right knee. It feels very uncomfortable, as I have to pull my ellbow back and get neck/shoulder tension. Also I feel my wrist hurting for the first time ever after playing some songs.

This is the “Cotton Eye Joe” classic position, bass on my left knee. In fact this is the position I use for my little Blackstar too.

It feels great with the Blackstar, but on the Ibanez the fretting is not optimal - I feel it unpleasantly in my left shoulder (which is destroyed anyway by martial arts and falling of my bike). I can move around my plucking hand freely in this position - in this case I’m very much near the bridge to demonstrate it.

Sorry, that was the wrong picture. This is it:

What can I do?

I asked the same question on the German Bassic Forum, and even managed NOT to mention the war!

So, one guy said, that this bass is constructed for people that are smaller, not the “particularly large-built Dutch” ^^

Anybody who owns the Ibanez and likes it: could it be that you are great at playing, but possibly not great at size?

I am 1.87 metric meters!

I do the left leg but one of the reasons I don’t play sitting on something like a sofa is that I find the right leg the pushes the base too far to the left. You really want a sitting position in which the base sits in the same position across your body as when standing. I’ll try and post a couple of photos.

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Sitting (on guitar stool)

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Being Scottish, I assume that you are also large? Like the guy next to Mel Gibson?


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Well I live in Scotland but yes I am on the large side (though mostly in height still!!!) at 1.93m

The angle is about the same as me on the sofa. My shoulder issue prevents me to go up the neck without screaming. This is the first time that my shoulder issues have effect on my life, d@mn!

First of all: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

With 1,93m you should have the same issues as I have (except for shoulders), if that bass was build for smaller (non-Dutch & non-Scottish) people…

Do you have the same position with all your basses?

I only have two; that one and an acoustic. Not got the acoustic one with me now, but essentially the same position, and they’re both medium scales. However with the acoustic I do tend to end up with my right hand a bit closer to the neck as acoustic bridges tend to be much further to the left on the body of the guitar.

To be fair we should be comfortable plucking anywhere from the bridge to the neck. When playing a classical or jazz line I go closer to the bridge for that shorter jazz tone, when playing a rock line I go closer to the neck.

But this is the reason I want to try an EHB before I buy. Or some of the online stores have guaranteed free 30 day return policies but I’m generally reluctant to use those.

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That’s exactly my thought about it!

That dropped right leg allows the bass to come a little further to my right so not quite such a big a stretch for the left arm.

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Well I’ll point out the obvious, it takes time to get used to. Each bass unless it’s Jazz or P bass, would feel a bit foreign at first. Then you get used to it. It’s what happen when you own multiple basses. The good thing is soon you’ll find a unique position that you can play on this bass that will produce a tone that your other basses can not produce.

If it helps spend 30 minutes playing on the neck pickup or even above it right under the heel. Then the next in the middle between the pickups and the last 30 by the stiff end over the bridge. Notice how your forearm feel as well as your wrist.

As you know plugging and playing the bass is a dynamic part and sometimes if not all the time you’d be moving your plugging hand from one end to another, just have to get comfortable with it and find the sweet spot on that bass. For me, I like to play in between as I install the infamous finger ramp, but find myself loving the over the bridge pickup plugging produce the iconic Ibanez nasally mid tone.

What’s your signature Van Hoven tone?


Can’t decide if it’s a moose or a yak :slight_smile:

Will follow your instructions to the point., as always!

But that will be in about a week as I’m flying to the sunny south tomorrow and spend my days playing bass on the beach, while other tourist will be fleeing my music, as if I were Godzilla himself!


If you still feel that you have issue with that bass, I guess I’ll make the time to check it out for you. Just PM me for the address you can ship it to me and I’ll thoroughly check it out for you. I don’t make it a habit of doing this for anyone but I’m gladly do it for you, :joy:


Oooooooooooooooooooor - you could come to Hamburg!

My appartment is empty for a week, you have two (!!!) basses, a bass ukulele, a little guitar and a triangle to play. I might find my old harmonica, if you come over!
I live about 500m from the Reeperbahn, which is the red light district. People come for the “entertainment” but stay for the music :slight_smile:

Hamburg tends to be good for musicians in general. I don’t know if you heard of the Beatles, they were a small english band with weird hair. They started over here and later became quite famous locally, at least in Europe!

EDIT the sound I play most currently would be Hole and everything Mark Lanegan. It’s straight, no nonsense bass that is easy to play for musically challenged guys like me! So, that might be my “signature tone” for the time being…

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I agree with @Al1885 , not much more to say but if you play it you’ll figure it out. The body is smaller, and it’s chambered but that’s not because it’s for smaller people, it’s how it comes in at ~7 pounds/3.2 kilos. Ergonomics.

It’s not that the bass is uncomfortable, it’s not what your used to. Your body’s muscle memory is what’s in the way, but you can retrain that.


Maybe you are holding it a bit to perpendicular to your body?
Try the following: Hold your bass like you want to shoot somebody with it. Try plucking. Move it back gradually to a more reasonable position.


Kind of like this?


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That position looks great but it comes at the cost of comfort as the left wrist has lots of tension especially when standing. The most comfortable position is about 45 degree-ish. Many of my hero plays almost flat so I like to be in that position, it’s a personal choice

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So, you are my hero, which means I must play like you :wink:

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OK, two hours before I have to go to the airport.


  • from my discussion from zzeee zzergamnn forum “” I gather, that the “bridge” position on the EHB might be the issue. It is very far back, which - in addition to the body shape & size - moves the plucking hand forward, especially if your body looks like this (which it does in my case):