make sure to protect the headstock from the
clamp’s pad. Put the clamp on the headstock
and play, listening for your usual dead spot. You
can move the clamp to different places on the
headstock, too. Groove Tubes makes the Fat
Finger designed just for this purpose, so that
you don’t have to look dorky playing a bass
with a C-clamp stuck on it.
This is for the Bass guitar reviewer. I have a 1991
American Standard Jazz Bass, and a 2008 Squier
precision with the tele neck (maple). I also own
26 other basses. My problem is both these basses have a dead spot on the fifth fret G string. I
have heard from Fender and from a bass guitar
forum that this is a “harmonic” dead spot, however, seriously addressing ways to attempt to
cure this was somewhat lacking. Would you consider writing about this issue in your magazine?
Some people change strings as another solution – the idea is to alter the tension that
strings place on the neck. Other players just
decide to get used to the quirks that come with
an instrument made of wood, while some ultimately choose to sell off the bass or guitar and
try another one that doesn’t have a dead spot
problem to the same degree.
Jerry, we asked one of our bass experts, Dan
Berkowitz, to respond to your question directly:
Dead spots are not uncommon on Fender style
basses using a conventional neck design. And
yes, around the 5th fret on the G string is the
most common place for dead spots. More contemporary necks with graphite bars sometimes
get around it, as do multiple piece necks.
Tuning Up April ‘09
I too was completely taken by Boston’s first
album; I used to play along with it from front
to back with my bolt-neck Bradley Japanese
Les Paul copy ($185 shipped from Music
Emporium in 1976) and Peavey Pacer solid-state amp. Ah, the good ol’ days... I was a
new enough player that I didn’t understand
the concept of harmonized solos, so I just
couldn’t figure out how he got those sounds!
Great magazine, by the way.
PG fan at Musikmesse
facilitated a few good moments of gear nostalgia for you. I have some fond memories of
a Japanese Tele I bought from my big brother
and my adolescent discovery of… distortion…
but that’s a story for another day. One of our
goals is to be your best gear-buddy; one that
comes over and hangs out with you to talk gear
and turn you on to cool stuff; one that doesn’t
track mud on your carpet or drink all your beer.
If we can help you with your goals as a player
while we’re at it, so much the better.
Corrections & Clarifications
Rick Nielsen’s last name was misspelled in
Modern Builder Vault [May 2009]. We apologize to Mr. Nielsen, and are grateful for his
strong appreciation for the ironic.
One dead-spot solution for a bass you already
own is to increase mass on the headstock. You
can test this with a
small C-clamp, but
Thanks Dave! We always love it when the wacky
stuff we think about strikes a chord with our
readers, and we’re especially pleased that we
The schematics in the Mod Garage column,
“The Anatomy of the Stratocaster 5-Way
Switch” [April 2009] were mislabeled. This has
been corrected in the digital edition; please
visit us on-line for the corrected schematics.
Keep those comments coming! Please send your suggestions, gripes, comments and
good words directly to
firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send snail mail to
Premier Guitar PO Box 127, Mt. Vernon, IA 52314. Please remember
to include your full name. Selected letters may be edited for clarity.
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