Basses with thinner necks?

When I started learning a year ago, I bought a Fender Squier P bass kit (the bass, amp, crappy gig bag etc). It’s been fine for learning but despite practicing and taking Josh et al advice, playing the E and A strings on higher frets with my ring and pinky (which is very short) really is a literal pain. I’m going to start lessons with a teacher next week so hopefully I’ll get some corrections if I’m getting it wrong. But I’m also thinking about switching to a bass with a thinner neck, assuming that will help.

I’ve done a bit of googling and Spectors are often mentioned. I have been drooling over the Spectors at the local bass store but they’re obviously very expensive. I’ve also seen people mention Fender jazz bases and Ibanez.

Any recommendations and/or advice? I’m still a noob in terms of gear and have been actively avoiding GAS…

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The Sire Marcus Miller M series and Yamaha TRBX 504 both have thin necks, much thinner than the Fender Jazz.

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Hi there,

For me, technique was the solution. I need to shift around a lot, my hands won’t stretch 1st to 4th fret. Ever. They do not grow beyond a certain point, you know. :slight_smile: The funny thing is, you can still play. You can do it! :hugs:

Since you mention that it’s painful to play, you should really wait for the lessons. Set up your strap height (probably higher), try a higher chair or playing standing up more, …

Badass tip: lead with your pinky finger, i.e. position the pinky parallel to the fret wire(s) and then the rest of the hand. That should help with the base position. :muscle:

If you want to switch, here’s a few options:

I think Fender/Squier basses measure 38.1 mm at the nut, which is the thinnest I know of for 34" scale.

You can also try Yamaha BB’s, TRBX’s at 40 mm. I find that comfortable.

Ibanez has the GIO GSR200 at 41 mm. Regardless of the width, the profile is important - so go try it at a store, if you can. Have fun window shopping and trying them all. You’ll notice that you will get better at feeling out instruments the more you play. And you can only play one at a time, so forget about the GAS…

Cheers,
Antonio

PS: I play a Yamaha RBX260 ($150), it has a 40 mm neck.

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I’ve had an Ibanez SR , couple of Warwicks , a Schecter and currently a Fender Jazz all with different profiles but around 38mm neck.
They’ve all been great to play and if I had a never ending bass fund I’d have kept them all to be honest.
I’m loving the Fender I’ve got now and see it as being a keeper ( famous last words) but I would say that I’ve found as time has gone on things like neck width don’t matter as much as they seemed to.
Just my thoughts but my biggest “tip” would be buy something that really appeals to you and feels right

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Have you seen this video? It’s an old one from Adam Neely but it helped a lot of others here. Including me.

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thanks @eric.kiser , yes I’ve seen it but certainly worth a re-watch.

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From my time at the limited number of guitar stores in my area, I’ve found that the Music Man basses seem to have a very thin feeling neck. I don’t know what it is but, to me, they almost feel like a short-ish scale bass even though they’re not. It’s almost disconcerting.

If money is no object then Specter’s seem to have an almost 6-string guitar like feel to them.

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The only other thing I recommend is going to a music store and try out as many as you can. Even the ones you think you wouldn’t want. Sometimes they will surprise you. I had zero interest in a Fender Jazz bass, till I finally tried one. Now, I’m not really interested in any other basses. When you find the one that fits you, you’ll know.

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Absolutely! The nut width on a Sire M is 1.5 inches, like a Jazz, but the thickness is much less. I love the neck on my M5. Super-fast and slinky.

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I recently bought the M7 and I am seling the Jazz and the Yamaha. It is a really superb bass, in fact it was bought after I read a post by you talking them up. I bought it on trial as there was nobody near had it in stock. The quality for the money is unbelievable, instantly fell in love with it and it has it’s forever home

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For super thin necks, Ibanez and Charvel come to mind. Charvel is a Fender brand like Squier and Jackson, and have the most sublime necks. Ibanez also have very thin necks, and after that I would say ESP.

Although if the distance between the frets is an issue, you might try a short scale at a shop and see how that feels. Or micro shift.

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Congrats, man! The Sire M7 is and M5 have identical specs, with the exception of a gorgeous top wood and stunning finish on the M7. The value of the M Series fit, finish, hardware and electronics is amazing. Have tons of fun with your new baby! :+1:

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Sires are an exceptional value

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I agree. I just got a Sire MM P5 and, quality wise, it punches way above its weight.

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Massive +1 on this!

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You may want to consider Tobias, MTD or Toby/ Toby pro.

The Toby is the cheapest one out of the line up I mention which can be had for less than $200 the pro is neck through and usually up for sales for less than $500.

They have excellent asymmetrical neck design that’s thinner on the G string side which makes the neck deliciously comfortable to play I know both my Killer B and Renegade have pretty thin profiles as well.

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Yamaha has thin necks, I own two. FWI, I have a hard time getting above the 12th fret on any bass.

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Yeah. The usual Yamaha 38mm neck on their modern lines is more or less perfect for beginners. FWIW the BB line has chunkier necks than the TRBX (and feel better to me these days).

Ibanez is similar with the SR’s, they feel very similar to the TRBX in general, except usually lighter.

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I am not too particular on the width of a 4 string bass, but in my reading Spector and Ibanez are the two that are always brought up for thin necks. I have an Ibanez SR with a 38mm nut, and it is phenomenal. If you are having to bend your wrist in an unnatural way in order to fret the E and A, a thinner neck might be worth a try. I wouldn’t say that it is any easier for me than playing my MM Stingray (42.86mm), but I can play faster without as much real estate to cover.

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I agree. Nutwidth at the nut is an indicator of how wide and spacious you’d have. I like wider and beefier necks as they feel awesome and spacious but every time I switch to Jazz profile necks I just love the speed. I also love the Warwick profile, it feels flatter both fingerboard radius and at the back of the neck and they are super comfortable.

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