Am I playing with too heavy a picking hand?

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Am I playing with too heavy a picking hand?

Postby ULTRAGHOST » Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:15 pm

Hello all,

I'm new to the world of G&L, very new--so new that I just received my very first G&L L-2000 "Tribby" three days ago. These instruments are truly incredible; I've quickly fallen into an irreversible love affair with my three tone burst, maple necked baby. Good thing I'm not yet married, otherwise my wife would be pissed. Sappy enough? Probably.

Anyway, I've been playing guitar for nearly nine years and until recently (within the last year) have plunked and fooled around with bass. About a year ago I began devoting a few hours each day to my bass chops and these days I'm obsessed with low-end grooves and tight rhythms. An update in gear was in order--my Squier P-Bass was no longer cutting the mustard. I know Geoff Farina liked G&L's so I started to look into their instruments. Played a few L-2000's at a crooked GC and decided to buy direct. Well, as direct as I could online (Musician'sFriend). Tone is wonderful, action is beautiful (very, very low), but buzzes on nearly every one of E's frets. Problem is highly noticeable when playing unplugged, less so when amplified, sometimes hidden or unnoticeable.

HOWEVER! the buzz is only present when I play with the same style as I'd learned on the Squier. If I play gently (not super wimpy, but comparably wimpy) the buzz disappears. I fooled around a bit with the truss rod (gently), and tweaked the saddle in tiny increments (carefully) with no overall improvement. SIDE NOTE: this thing came with one of those ZEOLITE-GEL packets exploded within the case, scuffing the hell out of the back of the bass's finish (cosmetic, so whatever). Musician's Friend offered a direct exchange at no cost to me but I was worried that I would be sent an inferior playing bass.

So here are my two questions:

1. Is my hand too heavy? Must I spend some serious time (not that I wouldn't enjoy it) with my new baby in order to re-hone my chops?
2. If I do go the route of exchanging the bass (strictly based [no pun] playability over cosmetics) am I running the risk of receiving a new G&L Tribute with things such as poorly cut nut, undressed frets, etc.?

P.S. - as silly as this sounds, I've never played a bass with brand new strings. I know they sound extra bright and twangy, but how much of that twang is the cause of new strings and how much can be chalked up to a poorly set up instrument?

P.P.S. – all music gear I’ve ever used has been “vintage,” second hand, etc. (figures, first thing I buy new arrives with damaged finish! :roll: ) Is this buzzing something that will disappear with natural fret wear/breaking in over time?

Thanks for reading this far!

-Justin
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Re: Am I playing with too heavy a picking hand?

Postby Ken Baker » Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:41 pm

ULTRAGHOST wrote:Hello all,


Welcome!

1. Is my hand too heavy? Must I spend some serious time (not that I wouldn't enjoy it) with my new baby in order to re-hone my chops?


Coming from a Squire P bass, you'll have some re-learning to do. Probably a little lighter touch and don't dime the controls. Volume no higher than 80% or so. Have a good setup done by a pro to get you a nice baseline to what should be going on with the bass. Beyond that, dive in and enjoy the bass.

2. If I do go the route of exchanging the bass (strictly based [no pun] playability over cosmetics) am I running the risk of receiving a new G&L Tribute with things such as poorly cut nut, undressed frets, etc.?


Tributes are amazingly consistent in their quality, fit, & finish. If you exchange, expect a very good playing bass.

P.S. - as silly as this sounds, I've never played a bass with brand new strings. I know they sound extra bright and twangy, but how much of that twang is the cause of new strings and how much can be chalked up to a poorly set up instrument?


They'll break in and lose some of the twang in time. Depends on how much you play it. This is also dependent on your EQ and switch settings on the bass. Play and learn. There are an incredible number of good sounds in there, you just have to discover them. However, start by setting the active switch to either passive or active (middle) and avoid the treble boost for now.

P.P.S. – all music gear I’ve ever used has been “vintage,” second hand, etc. (figures, first thing I buy new arrives with damaged finish! :roll: ) Is this buzzing something that will disappear with natural fret wear/breaking in over time?


No. The buzzing indicates a need for a good setup as I mentioned above. Please note that this (the need for an initial setup) is very common with new basses of any brand purchased via mailorder.

As to the finish: If it's messed up, don't be bashful about using Musician Friend's return policy. It's not your fault that the desiccant gel blew up and damaged the finish. I'd return it for exchange if it were mine.

Again; welcome aboard, Justin. And welcome to G&L.

Ken...
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Re: Am I playing with too heavy a picking hand?

Postby BluesBassPlayer » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:02 am

As usual, Ken's advice is spot on.

The only reason to buy from GC is their return policy and the fact they usually stock everything one might want. So we can satisify our GAS pain overnight.

I would return the damaged one and order a new bass. If the new bass doesn't live up to your expectations, return it.

( I have dealers, that I buy high end items from and get 40% or better discount, no tax and minimal shipping. I do not return items to them as I would if purchased from MF. But if something came dmaged or totally wrong, i woukd not hesitate returning the item. )

Jimi
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Re: Am I playing with too heavy a picking hand?

Postby glbass » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:20 pm

I haven't had my SB-2 for very long, but like it so much better than the Fenders I had. The G&L is different than the Fender brand basses, a little bit of getting use to. Like the other players advised, if your bass isn't to your satisfaction, return it for an exchange. I'm glad I was able to purchase my G&L from a local music shop. True they don't have the massive stock, but they are there and I chose the bass I liked. Good luck with your G&L, excellent choice.
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