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How I set up my bass (and the “rasp” secret)

  • Published on Jul 13, 2018 veröffentlicht
  • People often ask me how I get that "raspy" sound when I play.
    And, I've got a confession...
    A lot of it (as in, a HUGE amount) is in the way I actually set up my basses.
    That's why in my earlier videos I didn't have "that rasp" and in my newer videos over the last few years, I have bucket loads of rasp.
    I changed the way I was setting up my basses!
    So... I thought it's was about time I show you how I set up my basses...
    As in, the EXACT measurements.
    And even cooler - you can do it with only a few tools that you'll likely have lying around your house.
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Comments • 1 042

  • Nicster1604
    Nicster1604 2 years ago +126

    I am new to playing bass and it was pretty scary to lower those strings on my own! I was sweating blood and water, worried about me ruining my bass but actually I really managed to lower them to a good distance thanks to your clip.. woohoo!

    • Popo Gejo
      Popo Gejo Year ago

      Joe Walch has a great vid on YT I think sponsored by Reverb, or Fender or someone, where he does a quick simple set up on an out of the box guitar. It's a strat, but the basic idea is there, stringed instruments are stringed instruments no matter how many strings are on it.

    • Popo Gejo
      Popo Gejo Year ago +3

      We have a little style here that we have found most helpful! When we get a new student we don't even teach em how to play, UNTIL they have been thru set up school.
      Now that new guitar isn't a big hunk of wood and steel setting in their lap. It's their friend that they've gotten to know and understand. The frets are correct, not "guerilla" frets, (an action so high it would take a guerilla to play it, because the frets were never leveled) they know how and why the intonation is set, they can actually tune the thing themselves. They're confidence level goes through the roof and they are playing in no time!

    • Jaime Estonactoc
      Jaime Estonactoc Year ago +1

      I’m in this situation now. I’m a little confused though, are the strings supposed to be the same height at every fret?

    • Surge LaChance
      Surge LaChance 2 years ago +1

      You're on the right path. Do yourself a favor and watch some "Dave's World of Fun Stuff" videos as well.
      It's very easy to setup your own instruments once you do it a few times. I prefer to do it by the numbers, as that removes a lot if variables. You can get the tools for pretty cheap.

    • Hooded Bassplayer
      Hooded Bassplayer 2 years ago +3

      Same here, just got my bass a few weeks ago and came across this video. Wish me luck!!

  • Richard Milligan
    Richard Milligan 3 years ago +14

    Been using the "rasp" for years. I love the low action. It's not about strength for me, it's about technique.

  • Admar Hermans
    Admar Hermans 4 years ago +90

    There's one more issue important for a great set-up: the nut height (mostly an issue on cheaper basses).

    • Notorious F.A.T
      Notorious F.A.T Year ago +3

      @Dat Boi massively late response but just in the off chance you still care: it's a combination of a good setup being subjective and people's differing DIY skills changing what some see as an easy thing to fix (in this case, nut height, an issue that I've fixed in the past but I know people who see it as nigh-impossible)

    • Dat Boi
      Dat Boi 3 years ago +5

      Why is setup so unagreeable most of the time?

    • LowMan Josh
      LowMan Josh 3 years ago +2

      Yep first fret action can deter alot of people from playing an instrument.

    • Arrgh2112
      Arrgh2112 4 years ago +6

      Not really. You can pull them out and use a fine grit sandpaper to slowly get it where it needs to be. Just take it slow so you don't go too far.

    • Malcolm Goldie
      Malcolm Goldie 4 years ago +1

      Agreed ! Much more difficult to adjust though.

  • Terry Miller
    Terry Miller 4 years ago +9

    I have been playing for 38 years. You are the ONLY bass channel I subscribe to on Clip-Share. You are the only person who consistently provides information I could trust any students with.

  • dphidt
    dphidt 4 years ago +18

    “Orange Sprague” refers to the manufacturer and model type of the tone capacitor. Once manufactured by Sprague, then Vishay/Sprague(1993), the “Orange Drop” line is now manufactured by Cornell Dubilier. The “Orange Drop” caps are a radial leaded Mylar capacitor. They’re called “Orange Drop” caps because they’re dipped in an orange plastic coating. The main point is that they are a high quality Mylar capacitor, and not a ceramic disc capacitor. The “Orange Drop” cap has attained a level of fame in the amplifier world. That reputation has spilled over into tone circuits for guitars.

    • felderup
      felderup 5 months ago

      @Brian Lynn as a loser that's charmed a bunch of women with knowledge, though i was far too unaware to take advantage, i have to say knowing things does work but be aware you're getting the interest or you'll remain unlaid.

    • Brian Lynn
      Brian Lynn 5 months ago +1

      @Gorilla UMP Knowledge is power. You'll learn that as you grow up.

    • Gorilla UMP
      Gorilla UMP 9 months ago

      I bet women turn into the Sahara desert down there around you.

  • stewbass1
    stewbass1 4 years ago

    Satin neck finishes seem to feel so much smoother to me at least...Thanks Scott for your contributions to the bass community...You are truly appreciated!

  • O5V01
    O5V01 4 years ago +5

    Glad to see you with Czech brand.
    I am proud that my country can make somethinh usefull and enjoyable.
    Keep bassing, may your strings entertain as many people as possible!

  • Tom Cheek
    Tom Cheek 4 years ago +1

    Wow Scott - what an awesome difference that makes to my sound - i got that rasp back on my Fender Jazz just by lowering the action a snadge - the rasp has been missing for a while - and it's actually making me want to play this bass again!

  • Randall Clark
    Randall Clark 3 years ago +1

    Totally love your videos man. I just started playing again after a 20 year hiatus. You've been a true help and inspiration my friend.

  • 9thchild
    9thchild 4 years ago

    As a new bass player, this was hugely helpful. Thank you. Also, have you thought about also posting your podcast to Clip-Share? I think you should. It would get you more listeners would almost mean you are uploading more.

  • MustDote
    MustDote 4 years ago +2

    Great video thanks Scott, would have been nice to see some of their basses up close. One thing maybe worth mentioning is the intonation check.i.e. explain the truss and action change - check the 12th fret harmonic is the same as it frettted and also which way to adjust the bridge pieces. Cheers again.

  • The Stealth
    The Stealth 4 years ago +22

    Killer tips on setting up on bass especially that elbow thing. Many thanks Scott!

    • Chris Carlton
      Chris Carlton 3 years ago

      Saw Gary Willis do it first.

    • U2dva
      U2dva 3 years ago

      It's handy just in case you don't have a capodaster for the first fret.

  • Danny Phillips
    Danny Phillips 4 years ago +6

    Scotty , another winner! Loving the “Bow wah bab” sound . I’ve always been a bit afraid of fiddling with my instruments but now I’m going to give it ago. See your always inspirational.

    • Bruce McDonald
      Bruce McDonald Year ago +1

      Whatever adjustment you make, you can un do.

  • AlexVeramuse
    AlexVeramuse 2 years ago

    Thanks for the help Scott. I set up my bass by following this video. My measurements are different, only slightly higher than yours, but it feels great for both finger and pick playing. Very comfortable and still gets that raspiness. No buzzing in my mixes either so really stoked about that. Great video. Thanks again!

  • Gareth Englebert
    Gareth Englebert 3 years ago +11

    Action is a personal thing. Some people like their action a little on the high side some people like a really low action (like the strings have been painted on the fretboard). It's a matter of choice I suppose.

  • Ansil P. Hinson
    Ansil P. Hinson 4 years ago

    Love that bass. I know this is after the fact and you won't see this, but I just have to say that I love your style. You passion and enthusiasm is infectious. Just what the doctor has ordered for me. Keep up the great work, my friend.

  • Karlosss
    Karlosss 4 years ago +1

    Great advise Scott... thx. Just one note your viewers may be interested in is that if you regularly play using the 18th to 24 frets, you will definitely pick up some fret buzz by lowering the bridge adjustments to that level unless your frets have been ground with a slight "Fade-Away" from the 18th to 24th which in most cases is unlikely. It's certainly an art setting up a bass guitar. I've found the truss rod adjustment impacts on string feel & if set too low, the strings buzz more when lifting your fingers after playing a note.
    Great Vid..... I often wondered about your "G" string height (action) as you seem easily able to twang the string when playing Slap.

  • Anthony Maimer
    Anthony Maimer 4 years ago +3

    For checking neck relief, I think it is more consistent to fret at first (maybe capo) and the twelfth fret to see how much relief there is. This would be more consistent since basses may have 19, 20, 21 or 24 frets which means the relief of the neck would show up different.

  • David Bonner
    David Bonner 4 years ago +7

    I've been playing bass for 20+ years and thought the "rasp" sound I love so much was inherent in individual instruments, not the configuration. THANK YOU so much for sharing this "secret" tweak. I just gave my fretless a free upgrade to the sound I've always wanted it to have. I can't thank you enough!
    Question: I lowered my bridge to give my bass a conservative amount of "rasp", and it gives me a clean sound with just a hint of rasp color for casual playing. Perfect. I was messing around and discovered that if I pull back on the neck slightly and pull back on the body with my chest as the fulcrum, I can crank up the amount of rasp as needed. Will this damage the instrument in any way? Is there an established technique to do this more effectively without losing agility?

    • LowMan Josh
      LowMan Josh 3 years ago

      As long as your not doing it for extended periods of time and or hearing the neck creek a bunch you should be fine. There is potential to possible assist in a twist in the neck to develope so i would be cautious (this would only happen if its really humid where you or your bass are kept.

  • samatza
    samatza 4 years ago

    Satin finish is great, mine tend to get slightly shiny after a while. Your setup is very similar to mine Scott, we do long sets and it’s less tiring on your hand with that setup.

  • dorjeslacker
    dorjeslacker 4 years ago

    Probably the most lucid explanation of Bass setup I have seen. Good geekspeek::plainspeak ratio. The part about the ability to access the rasp at will is the critical bit. It took me three years of casual fiddling to figure that out on my own. It all came together for me when you demo-ed and gave it a name. Thanks Scott&friends

  • Sean Oxton
    Sean Oxton 4 years ago +2

    That is the coolest bass I have seen in a while. Must be nice to be gifted stuff like that.

  • Jambar Returns
    Jambar Returns Year ago

    I started playing the Bass around 51 years ago (badly) and to be honest, we never ever knew how to adjust the Bass’s. But thanks to The Bass God Scott and You Tube, everything is possible. I wish to God I could live my life again and really enjoy my various Bass Guitars over the years. All you young players out there, hark to Scott’s words and the Music World is yours. Thank you Scott. 🇬🇧🇦🇺🇺🇸🇳🇿🇨🇦

  • Justin Kline
    Justin Kline 10 months ago

    Orange drop caps are the best. On a p bass. I think. Rolls off the highs and maybe even some mids (depending on cap size) so it sounds punchier, even downright snappy. Don't understand the physics of it all, but they are tone magic in the two p's that I got mine in.

  • Simone Caneparo
    Simone Caneparo 3 years ago +7

    Great stuff, to check the action it's more accurate to use feeler gauges

  • Donald Randolph
    Donald Randolph 2 years ago

    Hey Scott,
    The Sprague orange drop capacitor you were not certain about is the small device that is soldered to the side or top of your
    tone pot, sprague orange drop are the standard used by most Luthiers who modify and enhance
    basses for a more fatter deep tone.

  • Space Daddy
    Space Daddy Month ago

    Dude I just gave my Warwick that raspy sounds, thanks you Scott's bass lessons. I got 2.5 mm action, I had 3.5mm before.

  • Reda Chraibi
    Reda Chraibi 3 years ago

    Didn’t know you could do that. Always looked for strings closer to the neck for easier and faster play...
    The additional rasp was a great bonus. Significantly changed the way I sound and I’m more comfortable playing!!

  • mujari
    mujari 4 years ago +1

    i've always preferred glossy basses, they just clean up nice and easier for me and my sweat lol. on top of that i go back and forth on string height, i found that rasp secret when i just wanted to see what happened, but i play upright bass too so i was used to the strings being high so i still dont know which is better for me. i have a really hard attack and dont always want the rasp but who knows my boy

  • gforce152
    gforce152 4 years ago

    Hey Scott - GForce here - the orange sprague capacitor was used for many years in many basses ( Fender in particular) in the vintage tone circuits of passive basses. Part of the reason for that awesome vintage tone.

  • Declan McTiernan
    Declan McTiernan 4 years ago +8

    I agree satin necks feel much better. Gonna give the action a tweak lower on my 5string this weekend. It's good to have bit of rasp when u dig in a little.

  • Joseph Rogers
    Joseph Rogers Year ago

    I am officially going to use the word snudge when i tune my bass from now on. 👍

  • Nate Fuller
    Nate Fuller 3 years ago

    This is the video I've been looking for since I got my new P bass. THANK YOU. Going to give a setup another go tonight with this knowledge. Thanks!

  • Virgilio Venditti
    Virgilio Venditti 2 months ago

    Scott, remember: the best way to adjust the neck relief would be bending the neck FIRST and only after, with the neck bent, tighten the truss rod (a quarter or half round, whatever). This because the truss rod is a tiny tool after all, and it has to contrast a massive amount of wood! Good chanches are that the truss rod coils, I mean where the bolt is tighten, could be ruined by the effort and consequently invalidate the rod function. In other words, it could not work/hold anymore. :)

  • Jakub Baranowski
    Jakub Baranowski 4 years ago

    That's how my basses are setup :) About 3.2 mm on E/B and about 2.4 on G. I mostly play fingers, pick and slap (In that order but fingers are 80-90% of my playing). Neck relief is about a thick of piece of paper so just a little bit. IMO the neck can't be all straight because it didn't sound good and there might be some tuning issues too. So for me the tone is full, I can get that "growl" when I dig in and I also can slap (maby not like Wojtek Pilichowski but still enough for my slapping needs ;) ).

  • Matteo Mantovani
    Matteo Mantovani 4 years ago

    Heya Scott, do you use a chorus pedal? If yes, which one is? and if not, can you make a video in which you explain what type of chorus to look for ? (I mean which knobs the pedal should have) thanks, great channel btw

  • kwikwi l'amour
    kwikwi l'amour 4 years ago +29

    Hey everybody! Don't forget to loosen the strings before you tighten that truss rod. Its probably OK if your loosening for more relief. When tightening though the little threads on the truss rod have to move all that wood and added the string tension you can strip out the nut. cheers:)

    • Mickey3finger
      Mickey3finger 4 years ago

      I've always been taught to adjust them with tension. Works super well on all the super cheap and very nice guitars I have repaired/set up. Just my opinion/experience

    • Joonas Vuomajoki
      Joonas Vuomajoki 4 years ago +4

      kwikwi l'amour thank you very much 😄 look at that... A conversation on the internet that did not turn into an argument 😂

    • kwikwi l'amour
      kwikwi l'amour 4 years ago +2

      Finally! A divergent point of view from my own that actually makes sense. thanks for the input.

    • Joonas Vuomajoki
      Joonas Vuomajoki 4 years ago +2

      kwikwi l'amour well... Some sources say that if you don't detune the strings there's a chance, that the trussrod will bend or break or shoot through the fretboard etc. But in my experience (almost 15 years of playing and doing my own setup.) trussrod adjustment is already a strain for the neck... It's after all a wood and adjusting the trussrod will force it to set into a different position and wood is very moody. So the detuning, adjusting, tuning, detuning, adjusting more, tuning puts too much of a strain to the neck. So what I do is while tightening the trussrod I just grab the neck and bend it manually to the position it's supposed to go and immediately tune the strings, because they are now a bit too sharp. When loosening I just loosen it. Wait for a while for it to settle and then tune it up, because it is now a bit too flat.

    • kwikwi l'amour
      kwikwi l'amour 4 years ago

      What's your source of info? Just curious.

  • Johnny V Online
    Johnny V Online Year ago

    Im a member at SBLA...I've been exploring True Temperment Frets, Scalloped fingerboards, Taylor tuning, String types and their manufacturing techniques, as well as Tone-woods and Hardward and the way they affect the (bass) Guitar. The bass community would love a one stop video going over the "finer points" of bass instrumentation.

  • Tsu Meri Studio
    Tsu Meri Studio Year ago

    The reason you get the rasp when you dig in is because plucking harder makes the string rebound further, and it vibrates across a wider area. When the string is vibrating it's effectively thicker so it touches the fret. You'll notice as the note dies out, the rasp will go away toward the end.

  • Hugo
    Hugo 4 years ago

    Hi Scott, I have something to ask and I'm pretty sure many more feel the same way...
    Sometimes I feel like there isn't anything left to learn, besides transcribing and practicing, but it can't be, I mean, there must be something else... So, may I request (suggest) a video where you point everything a musician has to learn (and maybe the best order to do so)? Thank you a lot 😜

  • Rob Mods.
    Rob Mods. 4 years ago

    Nice vid. Good explanation. For older instruments I'd recommend (if possible) remove the truss rod nut altogether and put grease on the threads and the flat surface of the nut.
    As for Sprague caps, well these are used in valve amps because they have high voltage ratings. They are completely overkill for a guitar. But hey, if it gives your bass some mojo, go for it!

  • Justin Case
    Justin Case 4 years ago +2

    Definitely prefer satin over gloss finish. I kind of found your set-up preferences accidentally when I was tweaking my roundwound strung j-bass. It's not such a good sound with tapewound strings.

  • 9ball07
    9ball07 4 years ago +10

    Finally, my bass doesn't feel like a military assault course for the fingers. Cheers Scott!

    • lordoftheelements
      lordoftheelements Year ago +1

      😂🤣 A military assault course? That’s funny because that’s exactly how mine felt as well!

  • Antonio Meres
    Antonio Meres 2 years ago

    The Fender Jazz Bass was over 4mm from factory and now barely over 2mm. Such a difference on action and just a bit in tone. Thank you so much! Cheers from Chile! :D

  • Book Davies
    Book Davies 4 months ago

    I like my action a bit on the high side. I've always tended to play pretty hard through the string, sort of like Geddy Lee or Geezer Butler.
    I still have a good balance between that and speed, and intonation doesn't stretch out of tune. 👍

  • m 335
    m 335 4 years ago +1

    Wow, thank you for the tip for that raspy sound! I always wondered how to get this. Would you also recommend this setup for a pbass with flatwounds?

  • Frode Haugsgjerd
    Frode Haugsgjerd 4 years ago

    Good quick setup guide. Very simmilar to how I do it when the initial setup is reasonable. But I take the time to check intonation, I also do that when I change strings, important if you change gauge or brand.

  • zmrolmen
    zmrolmen Year ago

    I always loosen strings before adjusting truss rod as advised by other guys here. Take into account total tension on 5 string bass when it's in tune can exceed 200kg, so it's worth it and it takes just 5 minutes more.

  • no
    no 4 years ago +40

    I have a bass with a sanded neck and great action. Then I've recently bought a fender dimension bass with high action and the glossiest neck i have ever seen. Never played gloss before. The transition is still in progress but i think i like it. After a while of playing, your hands become sweaty and the neck becomes silk to play.

    • candle_eatist
      candle_eatist 3 years ago

      I remember playing a Yamaha BB with a neck that was disgustingly glossy.
      It felt like clear spray paint that didn't fully dry.
      It was half - sticky. Every time I tried to move my thumb around it would get stuck, yucky.
      Not a good experience

    • Thorneyed
      Thorneyed 4 years ago +3

      Urethane gloss and Nitro gloss are two really different glosses. Urethane feels like hardened rubber while Nitro feels much more natural.

  • Matthew Stachler
    Matthew Stachler 3 years ago

    It would be nice to talk more about which direction to turn in order to change feet board. Some basses have tried up high

  • Tim Fowlie
    Tim Fowlie 4 years ago

    ‘Orange sprag’ capacitors are referring to the the capacitors that block the bass frequencies and let the treble through the put this on the potentiometers so when you pull them back the signal goes through the capacitors and the treble goes through to ground and the bass frequencies go to hot.

  • Honky Tonkinson
    Honky Tonkinson 2 years ago

    I've noticed that sometimes, with a new bass, I have to adjust the truss rod every 3 to 4 weeks until everything settles in. And even then sometimes the season changes will throw it out. Eventually you've got it dialed in, and then you know how to setup your own guitar

  • b289gg
    b289gg 4 years ago +1

    Great video as always, Scott! By the way, that beautiful AV bass is made by luthier Aleš Vychodil here in Czech Republic. Damn, I'd love to get one AV bass myself. Not anytime soon though as I don't need another bass - I need to work on my playing.
    Also, I too prefer satin necks. Never felt right to play glossy, even though they look great.

  • Virgil Reichert
    Virgil Reichert 4 years ago

    Sprague is the company that makes the capacitor. Their orange drop series (comes in various values) is a polypropylene cap, which is one of the best for audio (often used in audio amps) for its low dissipation and stability.

  • Grant Koeller
    Grant Koeller Year ago +20

    When tightening the truss rod, always loosen string tension first, by loosening the strings.

    • photag216
      photag216 8 months ago

      I was totally thinking that

  • Bryan Avery
    Bryan Avery Year ago

    This helped me out a ton! Thank you for making such an easy to follow video

  • Erik Harker
    Erik Harker Year ago

    I just adjusted my bass’s truss rod for the first time because of this. Thank you so much. It’s like a different bass now.

  • Bruce Weight
    Bruce Weight 3 years ago

    I love your videos! Could you comment on the direction of the neck bend direction with tightening vs loosening. Your video seems to show that the neck arches arches back with tightening thus making the strings closer in the middle of the fret board.

  • Adam Rivera
    Adam Rivera 4 years ago

    You always blow me away with your playing

  • 4 Deuce
    4 Deuce 4 years ago

    I'm not a fan of glossy necks at all but I just picked up a p bass that has binding and unfortunately the polyurethane or whatever they put on it is so damn thick I decided to just leave it for once. But Normally I hit my necks with sandpaper.
    And thanks for sharing your setup. That's a cool bass. I thought I was an odd ball setting my strings this way. I didn't know it was a "thing". So thanks Scott.

  • Paweł Glita
    Paweł Glita 4 years ago +23

    Might be worth mentioning that the bass will need to ''settle'' over time and might need some slight adjustments again. Great video.

  • dialect64
    dialect64 4 years ago

    Perfect timing that I switched my pbass to a lighter gauge of strings and thus needed to do some adjustments and you post this vid! I know the basics and have done setups, but the idea of using the string itself as a straight edge somehow never occurred to me! 😣😃👌👍 time to dial my baby in!

  • Alek
    Alek 9 months ago

    Great setup, beautiful dream sound.

  • Michael David Roth
    Michael David Roth 4 years ago

    A satin neck is sweet but I actually like a glossy neck. My Fender Prophecy II with a super slick neck was so dang fast and it was amazing.

  • Dr. Jeffrey Nelson

    Love your vids Scott. You mention that with the right setup you can get the 'rasp' sound but also play the note cleanly but you don't say how you get one or the other. Can you explain the playing technique as to how you get one or the other sound with the same setup? thanks!

  • Shaheed Asriel
    Shaheed Asriel 4 years ago

    I have a Peavy millennium acBxp and would really love to follow your steps Scott but with the hardware layout of the instrument and peavy's vague manual it makes it very hard to do so .. love your vids btw

  • Oilid
    Oilid 4 years ago +9

    Your channel is so precious bro!
    Just, THANK YOU for sharing!
    I learned so much. 🤓👍

  • Petey Grizz
    Petey Grizz 3 years ago +1

    Feeler guages are best for string height. Also keep in mind that your basses tuning will change slightly when adjusting the truss rod, so recheck tuning after each adjustment as this difference in tension affects the tension of the rod.

    • moustachio334
      moustachio334 8 months ago

      If you don’t have feeler gauges then picks will get you there ;)

  • handidrummed
    handidrummed 3 years ago +1

    When I check the relief, I usually will fret at the first, as you do, but then I put my pinky on the 17th fret or so or right where the neck neck and body first meet, and then stretch my thumb over to the 9th fret or so. Never thought about using my arm to press the strings down lol

  • Metallibass covers
    Metallibass covers 9 months ago

    Thanks for the tips man! It would be cool if you made a video talking about what you should do if you have an unusable truss rod and what to do if it happens.

    • gdale0777
      gdale0777 5 months ago +1

      In an 11 year stint I worked for a manufacturer we will just call G. Scrap necks became my test victims for trust rod mayhem. If you go crazy tight enough you can pop the spline. Never did snap one, I mean I did prolly 50 necks and tighten the living shit out of them. Just to see what would happen. They take a hell of abuse before the fretboard pops up. You can bend that les Paul backwards like the legs of a storch. Then I get serious, and go mega tight. That truss rod goes until it busts out. I really tried to strip or snap the rods and could not. It was brutal I promise.

  • Bob Bork
    Bob Bork Year ago

    Scott, as far as your method of checking the neck, instead of using your elbow or forearm to depress the strings try using a capo to depress the first fret strings and that will leave you a hand to press the strings at the pickup area.
    Bob Bork

  • Bruce Jacobs
    Bruce Jacobs 4 years ago

    Satin neck is the thing for me. I have a Rickenbacker with a glossy neck and friends are trying to dissuade me from roughing it up with the ScotchBrite, but to me, until it is more satin, it's unlikely to get much play.

  • Carl Wilson
    Carl Wilson 4 years ago +5

    I also bought a set of radius gauges for $11.00. The gages fit under the strings.

  • George Springer
    George Springer 4 years ago

    It kind of sounds like slap a little bit. I never thought about the sound of the strings when they hit the frets making that raspy sound. Thanks Scott!

  • We are tomorrows past.

    That was a fun vid Scott. Enjoyed.
    I never use measurements to set up my bass. I get the neck pretty much straight and then adjust the bridge saddles to bring the strings down to where they buzz and then take the saddles back up to where they don't buzz.
    If my way of setting up my bass is stupid wrong please tell me, I'm not an expert. I just do what I do.
    The way I set up my bass gives me plenty of different sound options with how my fingers control the sound though.
    Maybe it is all in the fingers?

  • Mike Gibson
    Mike Gibson 3 years ago

    dont forget about the first fret action with the nut. it is equally as important as everything else.

  • R Littlefield
    R Littlefield 11 months ago

    Good video, if I could add a little to it.
    I took the church bass home to adjust it. The raspy noise was made popular I believe by guys playing in Black Churches, Which is exactly were this bass came from. The problem is they like to play songs in oddball keys like D flat.
    To make this easier they started tuning down their basses by 1/2 to a full step lower. This is why there is that disco pop sound comes from, or so I believe. Because that is where the raspy sound came from, and that is what they were doing at the time disco emerged. Now more of us buy 5 string basses instead. You also get deeper warmer tones.
    Actually what is happening, in Black churches we do not have a list of songs we are going to sing, like most churches. What happens is someone will stand up and start singing a song, and the band first figures out what key they are singing in, then we play the song.
    The thing is there are so many songs you can not remember them all, so what you do is learn music theory and play the song using that.
    Anyway, that is why you end up playing in oddball keys.
    Also the point I wanted to make if you want to be able to lower the action the most, you need to realize that the curve in the neck is required. That is because the string needs room to vibrate back and forth.
    So first make sure there is a curve when you adjust the truss rod, then lower adjustments for each string as low as you can at the bottom of the string until it buzzes then raise it a bit, tune it, repeat until you get it where you want.
    So the church bass I tuned down one full step. It is a 4 string Fender and by doing this, not only does it deliver more funky tones, it also has deeper fuller nicer tones.
    As you adjust the bass, tune it as you go. The reason is that when you tighten or loosen the string, it changes the action and or the tuning. I recommend changing the action then tuning, then change the action again, what you want to do is go down the string to make sure it has room to move. When you change one string it will change all of the other strings. So you will need to repeat the process until all the strings are in tune and have the action you were wanting.
    Because we are playing by ear, it really does not matter that it is tuned down one full step. So D,G,E, F instead of E,A,D, G. My regular bass I usually play is a five string with normal tuning.
    The five string fender bass by the way was purchased from a pawn for $80 and was not playable. I was able to adjust it, and now plays very well, similar new basses that sell from $500-900.

  • Big G
    Big G 3 years ago +1

    Look down a string from the top of the bass and see if the fret board follows the string. That’s the best way to check if it’s straight

  • greg goso
    greg goso 4 years ago +128

    glossy necks are nice to watch
    satin necks are nice to play
    btw nice video, actually didnt even think about that trick with the action before

    • John Behan
      John Behan 2 years ago

      If you look up "Tanglewood Overwater" in here (I did, because bought one: lovely, still cheap basses if you can ever find them) you'll find a video where, about halfway in, Chris May sets up some basses. He holds down the 1 and 12, checks there's some clearance about 6/7th fret and aims to get the 12+ range virtually flat, describing the ideal as a "ski", rather than a bow-shape. He then sets bridge height and length etc. Interesting way to think about it, certainly made me think more carefully about what I wanted to achieve with the ol' truss rod.

    • Matt Seymour
      Matt Seymour 3 years ago

      @candle_eatist I love maple necks and fret boards too :)

    • Bora
      Bora 3 years ago

      @hiramkhackenbacker Just replying so that I can come back later

    • candle_eatist
      candle_eatist 3 years ago +1

      Is there a fetish for satin maple necks with maple fretboards?
      I love them they look so good.

  • Samo Cholewa Cizl
    Samo Cholewa Cizl 4 years ago

    I do the same rasp thing but I make it raspier, I play a lot of Thrash Metal and just get so many questions about it by the community here. Now I can give them your video :D

  • ChiefRW Linder
    ChiefRW Linder 2 years ago

    wow, thanks for the reassurance man. did this myself before hand and I did a decent job with it but now I know for sure. thanks again bro ✌

  • The Vile Irish
    The Vile Irish 3 years ago

    If I'm not mistaken, an Orange brand capacitor is an actual paper and oil capacitor like you would use in vintage instruments. The advantage being that it has better mid dynamics at lower volumes

  • bigoldnoob
    bigoldnoob 4 years ago +2

    There's one thing I also to to any new bass I get: LOWER THE NUT. Not mentioned in the video. Nuts usually come way too high. This affects playability of the lower register a lot. A nut shouldn't be any higher than a fret, but reality is they do come way higher, even on 1000€+ basses.

  • Chris Liddiard
    Chris Liddiard 3 years ago

    Would you play medium gauge strings, or do you need the extra tension from the heavier gauge strings?

  • Andy J. Walsh
    Andy J. Walsh 3 years ago +4

    'Smidge' Scott, short for smidgeon. 1' 26" I love these videos and will be signing up for the academy as soon as I have built myself a Bass.

  • georgetheonlyporge
    georgetheonlyporge 2 years ago

    Excellent. Hope I'll get to learn how to lower my action properly.

  • KLI
    KLI 4 years ago

    Great informative video! Suggestion: do a video on light strings vs heavy strings

  • Malcolm Palin
    Malcolm Palin 3 years ago

    Followed the process and landed pretty much where you did on yours Scott. I prefer it - thanks!

  • Adolfo E. Reyna Orta
    Adolfo E. Reyna Orta 4 years ago

    How much time do you wait between turns on the relief? Can you make that sound in a fretless bass? Thanks for the video.

  • buckbumble
    buckbumble Year ago

    Such a helpful vid Scott. Thanks so much.

  • Tim Payne
    Tim Payne 4 years ago +9

    Sprague Orangedrops are a brand of capacitor used for tone controls in a lot of high-end guitars. The name comes from the sweet believe it or not!

    • Coby Gaurin
      Coby Gaurin 3 years ago

      @JunkMailBoxStuff Lexus' are just toyotas with leather and chrome, bad example.

    • JunkMailBoxStuff
      JunkMailBoxStuff 3 years ago +1

      @Tim7of7 ... And other companies make cars. Do you want the Lexus (Sprague) or the *other company's* car (Daewoo, Fiat, ...) just because they both have 4 wheels & an engine that runs. *Quality* does make a difference or the those who like quality wouldn't care.

    • Tim7of7
      Tim7of7 3 years ago

      Other companies make orangedrops also.

  • Andrew Mitchell
    Andrew Mitchell 3 years ago

    I notice that sometimes you get a vibrato effect by bending the note in a side to side motion as one does with guitar, but at other times you do what looks like a violoncello vibrato up and down the neck. What is the difference between the two and why do you choose one over the other at different times?

  • Andrew Santopietro
    Andrew Santopietro 4 years ago +2

    Hey Scotty just wondering have you ever thought of doing a series involving going through the process of designing a bass and/or making a bass from scratch? I know that is something scary to see asked in the comments, but even just the shedding of some knowledge like you did in this video about the real technical stuff could be very interesting.
    If you already have courses involving this area, I am not aware of it because I don't go on the website but love watching your videos, so that may clear up any misconceptions on either side. Thank you for your videos and these awesome tips!! Always love learning more about how deep the rabbit hole can get!

    • Eric Morrell
      Eric Morrell 4 years ago

      @Nae V. No problem! Good luck with your future projects!

    • Nae V.
      Nae V. 4 years ago

      @Eric Morrell whoa, thanks for sharing! Definitely will check these out!

    • Eric Morrell
      Eric Morrell 4 years ago +1

      @Nae V. In school we used "Guitar repair guide 3rd Edition" by Dan Erlewine. That covers almost everything you need to get started. It doesn't have a lot about building or designing a guitar, but it'll teach you how to set it up and how everything works which is essential to the whole process. If you're into some more advanced work involving archtop instruments, get "Making an Archtop Guitar " by Robert Benedetto. That is also an amazing book, and Rob Benedetto is maybe the best archtop guitar builder in history! Some of the info will translate to flat top acoustics and electric guitars (like how to measure for bridge placement and scale length, etc.). For repairs and setups, though, go with the Guitar Player Repair Guide. It's an excellent resource at any skill level. Hope that helps! :)

    • Nae V.
      Nae V. 4 years ago

      @Eric Morrell any good books for this that you recommend?

    • Eric Morrell
      Eric Morrell 4 years ago +1

      If you have any specific questions, I would be happy to help you out, though. I have a degree from Minnesota State College Southeast, which is a pretty well known luthier program in th US. Just send me a message if you have any questions.

    JAVIROVSKY 2 years ago

    Hey Scott, big fan, nice content keep the good work. Blessings man.
    I'd like to ask if you could review and play and set up a Strinberg CLB 44A bass. I have one and seem to be having some issues with the intonation and the string height, strings are pretty tense.
    I'm usually accustomed to playing a Fender 5 String Jazz Bass. It's string feel like butter compared to the other bass and has a more mellow sound. I do like how the Steindberg sounds but it's pretty funky feeling in the hands and fingers. Tried a million things and taking it to maintenance but it's still tense.
    I'd like you to give the bass a try if you can and give some thoughts.

  • refractorymercury
    refractorymercury 2 years ago

    I personally prefer, and observed indeed, some bow (1mm) is good for lowering action while a straight neck obliges in rising a lot the bridge saddles to avoid fret buzz.

  • Detlev Gebers #bass
    Detlev Gebers #bass 4 years ago

    A very good tutorial. Thank you!

  • Eric Morrell
    Eric Morrell 4 years ago +3

    Proper way to measure your neck relief is to fret the 1st and 15th fret and measure from the top of the 7th fret to the bottom of the high and low E strings (G for bass). Average neck relief there should measure .005" to .008" (5 to 8 thousandths). The easiest way to do this is to capo fret 1 and finger fret 12 (with your off hand), then use a feeler gauge to measure at the 7th fret. I went to college for lutherie, and this is how my teachers taught us, and this is how I do it at work.
    *make sure to take all measurements while holding the instrument as if it were being played. If it's sitting flat on its back, gravity can affect the measurements.

    • paulanderson79
      paulanderson79 4 years ago

      @Eric Morrell I'm a keyboards player for the post part, though I do cover bass occasionally. I have nothing more exotic than a Jackson Charvel 4 string and a modest but very nice Korean built active Shine 5 string. I adjust them myself for intonation etc. but the odd occasion I've gone near the truss rod it's never more than 1/4 turn either way for me. Beyond that I hand 'em to Andy Viccars, a luthier based in Milton Keynes.

    • Eric Morrell
      Eric Morrell 4 years ago +1

      @paulanderson79 I'm by no means a master luthier or anything, but I had really good teachers and lots of training. Everything I know is what they taught me, but after doing it for several years now, I'm getting to understand how my teachers could do entire setups pretty much by feel. They only really measured to double check their work. It's incredible to watch those guys eyeball the action, turn the truss rod one time, and get it just right almost every time on the 1st try even with a guitar they've only held once. Those guys have been pros for 30+ years, though!

    • Eric Morrell
      Eric Morrell 4 years ago +1

      @paulanderson79 Pretty much. To a beginner guitarist .003" may be nearly undetectable, but to an experienced or, more so, a master musician, even .001" is a noticeable change in feel for action and/or neck relief. I've been playing 21 years, and I can tell when my action is off by more than .001". Being a trained luthier I'm probably pickier about my setup than some players, but I set up my main guitars about every 3 months as the seasons in MN change. I can tell that the instrument has moved. That .003" range is not as narrow as you may think. It all comes down to the player. Good guitar techs are ones who know how to set up a guitar to a player and their play style, and can duplicate that feel when needed. It takes lots of practice and detailed notes to keep picky players coming back. After hundreds of setups the feel becomes second nature and measurements become more guidelines than anything....if that makes sense.

    • paulanderson79
      paulanderson79 4 years ago

      @Eric Morrell Thank you for very interesting information. Basically you're saying is that there is a fairly narrow range of what is correct and player and player style dictates where you 'park' things within that range.

    • Eric Morrell
      Eric Morrell 4 years ago +2

      @paulanderson79 Yes, that works for all guitars and basses. It's a little different for instruments like mandolin and banjo, though. Also, neck relief for classical guitars is usually a little higher, though I set my classical to .008". The .005"-.008" measurements are just averages. Some players may want it higher or lower. It really all depends on what the player wants. Less than .005" is likely to cause buzzing, though. When I do a setup for a customer I usually have them play for me to watch their technique and ask some questions to get their preferences, then adjust it according to that. Someone with a light touch who plays fast I will usually set closer to .005", and a heavy handed guitarist who plays rough I would go closer to .008". Then, after the setup, I have them play again and fine tune the action if they think it feels too high/low. I take notes for each customer after every setup so that I can duplicate the results the next time they come back.
      It is much, much easier to show than to type an explanation. If you want some good info on this process, look up videos by Dan Erlewine on setting neck relief and action height. He is a luthier legend, and a master at setups. He's maybe the most famous guitar repair tech in the world, and he has great instructional videos all over Clip-Share.

  • chessdude67
    chessdude67 4 years ago +1

    New bass player here. I think I better let a pro do this setup for me. Thanks Bro.

  • Simen Andreas Knudsen
    Simen Andreas Knudsen 8 months ago

    I love the rasp sound but I have noticed you can't get it with all basses. Some necks or fingerboards are absolutely more suited for the sound

  • Mitsch76
    Mitsch76 2 years ago

    Great video! I'm new to playing bass and I wondered if lowering the strings too lowers the distance between strings and PICKUPS. So, is that of any matter? How much distance should there be and do I have to adjust the pickups when I lower the action??? An answer is pretty much appreciated ;-) Have an awesome day!

    • Klapsigaar en Basgitaar
      Klapsigaar en Basgitaar 2 years ago

      Yes it does and it could be necessary to change the pickup height. It's no problem to experiment with that, not much can go wrong but you might want to ask a teacher to help with that or a guitar shop you trust preferably with someone dedicated to bass. It will not cost much although they will probably make you buy a set of strings. As a beginner I would not put string height too low, it's a great way to train your hands and fingers.