Which bass guitar has the thinnest neck and what are its benefits for novices and masters of the low-end? It is a known fact that when it comes to size specifications, not all basses are built the same due to the fact that we bass players all have different body types and stylistic needs.
Whether you are a young beginner who needs an instrument that will provide you comfort in your learning process, or a professional musician who wishes to delve deeper into faster, more challenging genres, it is vital to consider making the necessary adjustments by obtaining a setup that will perfectly fit your age, build and skill level.
Time and time again, you will see children struggle learning an instrument that was designed for full-grown adults. The same goes for aging masters who are now experiencing difficulties playing the bass guitars that they were accustomed to in their earlier days.
Wrist problems can emerge if you are forcing yourself to play music on a bass guitar neck that is too wide for your fingers. Although it is true that in music, pain equals gain, too much discomfort should be addressed to avoid health issues that can prevent you from making progress in your chosen instrument.
Any kind of inconvenience that you are feeling whenever you are practicing or performing should be eliminated, for a more productive and enjoyable experience inside the jam room or onstage.
Here’s a vide o of one of the thinnest necks on a bass guitar:
Pros and Cons of bass guitars with thinner necks
Pros of Thin neck bass guitars
- Easier note access
Because thinner necks will allow you to jump from note to note much more conveniently, you can execute more difficult bass lines and licks without stretching your fingers too much.
There is a reason the Precision bass was made in a way that the neck was thicker and why the succeeding bass models tried to change that. After the invention of electric instruments, music rapidly evolved and soon required innovations to accommodate fresh concepts that musicians would like to explore and sharpen further.
If you look back into modern music history, you will notice that songs during the Motown era thrived on steady, pulsating bass lines that provided a solid foundation. After bass guitars with thinner necks were introduced, the role of the bass became more unlimited, even turning it into an instrument that works well for soloing.
- More comfort and less pain
The bass guitar is one of the most physically-challenging instruments starting with its predecessor the double bass. Back in the day, it was common for contrabass players to be more mature than most of their contemporaries, due to the demanding requisites of learning a very big and heavy instrument.
The introduction of the electric bass changed things especially when versions with shorter scales, smaller bodies and thinner necks surfaced to allow much younger and smaller budding bassists to take part in the art of groove creation.
Cons of thin neck bass guitars
- Less spacing
While thinner bass necks can provide relief for people with smaller hands, it could get difficult to get accustomed to for taller people with bigger hands and longer fingers. There will be too little space to maneuver and for bassists above 6 feet tall, smaller necks could feel like toys. It will take time for them to get used to this setup, causing some to revert back to their old ways.
- Less sustain
While the theoretical correlation between tone and wood in electric guitars has been debunked by some, sustain may also be affected by the smaller presence of wood in an instrument. However, this can be compensated for by other factors such as an instrument’s pickups and preamps.
Do Jazz basses have thinner necks?
Fender Jazz basses do have thinner necks than a Precision bass’ 43mm nut area. The J-basses were the first to introduce a 38mm nut width that encouraged faster playing styles. Unlike later bass models that are actually smaller scale basses, the Jazz bass is only narrowed down near the nut area. The spacing of strings around the pickups are still similar to the P-bass to allow ample space for employing slapping and fingerstyle techniques
What bass guitars have thin necks?
Let’s take a look at some of the neck width of some of the thinnest popular bass guitar necks available in the market today:
- Ibanez GSR200TR (40.64 mm)
- ESP LTD Surveyor ’87 Bass (40.64 mm)
- Squier by Fender Affinity Series Jazz Bass (38.1 mm)
- Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray4 (38.1 mm)
- Ibanez GSRM20BS (37.85 mm)
- Dean Edge 1 PJ Bass Guitar (35.56 mm)
These are only a few examples of bass guitars with the thinnest necks as there are surely hundreds of other unknown models and custom builds possessing similar attributes. The ones mentioned above however, are among the most common on the line-up and can help you make a smart decision in obtaining a bass guitar with the thinnest neck.