How Did Going from Short Scale to Long Work Out for You?
I'd be interested in hearing the experiences, comments, thoughts, etc., from any TBers who started out on a short scale bass, then moved on to a regular 34" scale bass.
I'm getting along fine studying on a shortie, but at some point I'm going to want to upgrade to another instrument, and I'm just wondering if I should stick with the short scale or go on to one of them long guys. I mean, I see YouTube videos all the time of nine-year-old kids and young ladies with hands a lot smaller than mine, and they're all whacking the bejeezus out of their regular scale basses. So I'm wondering if I'm just being a big wuss by being concerned about whether I could hack it at that scale. Your thoughts? Thanks!
I play both. I'll go a while on one, then the other. I have found I like long scales with a narrow neck. I do have small hands. At the moment, I'm playing longies. Just play what works. You'll hear a lot of propaganda putting down short scales, but do what works for you. Stanley Clarke who has huge hands, has been know for playing a short scale bass. I don't think he's worried about people thinking he's a wuss.
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Well-Figured Myrtle Top/Back Wood, 1.5" nut, 2.15" @24th, Small Body, Short Scale, Walnut Core, Continuous Wood Backplates, "Brown Bass" neck construction, Abalone ovals, BLUE Side LED's with AMBER At The 12th and 24th Frets! Deluxe , Case. Quote #9116 SN# BB14329 8.5 LBS
I switch back and forth all the time.
Don't even notice it anymore.
The scale length has less to do with the sound (or being a wuss) than most people think. 34" was really something Fender just kinda arbitrarily "decided" all those years ago and it stuck. Actually, it is my understanding that they tried out a few different lengths and thought 34" was the best. - not entirely sure why? Could've been sound, look, easier transition from DB, etc... who knows?
Anyway, for me the difference is more apparent to my eyes than my hands.
A few months ago I borrowed someones 36" for a few songs and I didn't even realize it until he told me later.
After lots of testing Leo Fender thought the 34" scale was the best length for tone and playability...and interestingly it falls almost exactly in the middle between an electric guitar and a double bass scale length.
I played 32" basses for several years, then went to 34 and 35 when I started playing 5 strings. I now find my 32s a bit cramped and don't like the heavier strings they require for the tension I like.
I must be a superwuss because I play frequently on a 19" scale kala u-bass! Then I put it down and pick up my T-bird with a 34" scale and have no problems. Also played a 30" Danelectro Longhorn for a long time no issues until my 13 year old Grandaughter decided she wanted to play bass. So the Dano has a new home! Play any or all scales it don't matter. Use what works for you!
I play medium scale basses exclusively, except for my Rob Allen Mouse, which is short scale. I use standard long scale strings of all types and varieties on all of them - with no problems. Tension and string gauge are simply not a problem for me, and I don't have dead spots on any of them.
Basses are just like shirts, they come in small, medium, large, extra large - you need to play what fits you properly. If you like to bounce around between scales, that is a plus. I am locked in to mine - medium scales just fit me perfectly - no need to look any further.
My first bass was a cheap, 1960's Japanese violin bass and it was a short scale. My second was a homemade 34 inch. Back in the day I could play them both equally well or to be more honest, poorly. Didn't have any trouble switching between them. Many years without any bass playing at all passed and then I picked it up again to play in a church band. Today I play a collection of 34 inch basses. I have tried playing that old violin bass a few times recently and while it feels odd I don't think I would have any trouble switching between it and the others if I wanted to. It just is not a good enough bass to make me want to do that.
I started playing on a 30" scale, then got another 30" scale within that first year, then spent the next ~4 years alternating between a 34" scale and a 30" scale before finally settling on 34" scale
...at least for the following ~8 or 9 years; then I got a 35" and a 32".
To be honest, it never made a difference as far as my playing was concerned.
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