34 and 35 inch scales.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by H2ODog, Feb 2, 2008.


  1. H2ODog

    H2ODog

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    I currently use a 4 string jazz bass in 34 inch scale. I would like to get a 5 string but was wondering how much of a difference you notice going from 34 to 35 inch scale. My hands are average size and want to know from you guys that have played both extensively what your thoughts were on the subject.
     
  2. Kobaia

    Kobaia

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    i have big hands, and i prefer 34 or 34.5. i stray away from 35 inch scale basses, but they're playable. i use 6's mostly
     
  3. H2ODog

    H2ODog

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    What is it that you don't like about the 35 inch scale?
     
  4. Kobaia

    Kobaia

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    major third stretches are a bit more difficult espicaly on fretless. small diffrence but noticeable for me
     
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  6. Jazzerbone

    Jazzerbone

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    I play a 35 inch 5 string. Towards the end of the neck the fret spacing does get a little wide. I have average size hands. I can play with all four fingers when I have to down there (alright!) but usually I play 1-2-4 below the 5th or 6th fret and I'm ok.

    It's also different having to reach further/higher to get to the end of the neck. I find myslef playing from the fifth fret up most of the time cause it's a little bit of a pain to stay stretched out there for long periods. Push-ups have helped that though.

    All in all, I would never trade my bass for any four string. The length issues are small for me compared to the benefits of a 5th string.
     
  7. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    One of the main benefits of a five-string, of course, is that things you ordinarily would have to play down near the nut can be played higher on the neck off a B-string root (and using the same fingerings you would use elsewhere as well). And once you get up to the fifth fret and beyond, the frets on a 35" scale are comfortably spaced. So the extra length isn't a problem to the extent that you take advantage of your extra string in this way.
     
  8. HaVIC5

    HaVIC5

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    I really don't like the whole three notes-per-string approach to fingering. Shifting and pivoting at the thumb gets the job done without having to stretch your fingers an undue amount.
     
  9. Kobaia

    Kobaia

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    Shut up a'you face. :bassist:
     
  10. kayakbass

    kayakbass

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    I play 34" scale 4 strings and 35" scale 4 strings. I too have average size hands. There is a minor ( no pun intended ) difference in feel between the two. The 35's do feel a bit longer but are very playable and WORTH playing also! The lower notes are SO much more round, clear and full! The extra scale length makes ALL the difference on a low B. Why do you think piano's are shaped the way they are? LOOOONG bass string, loud clear low B. It works! Enjoy the journey!
     
  11. HogieWan

    HogieWan

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    what the tone difference between a lighter string on a 35" scale and a thicker string on a 34" (assuming the same tension)? Is there any?
     
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass Gnarsty bass tones Supporting Member

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    I have average size hands. I noticed very little difference between 34" and 35".
     
  13. Lelander

    Lelander

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    I play a 35" five string. The other day I was at GC messing around with on of the Squier VM fretless jazzes and I must say I was really surprised how much easier it was to put my fingers where they belonged. Back at home, watching myself play I discoverd that I do tend to place my 4th finger a bit further behind the fret when playing up by the nut than I really should, a problem I wasn't having at all on the 34" bass. Of course, you need to take into account that the neck of my Spector makes a jazz neck look like a toothpick, so the difference may relate more to the difficulty of reaching across the neck rather than up it. That being said, I started on a 35" 5 string (switching from guitar) and haven't ever found the scale length to be much of an issue, though I have semi-large hands.

    Head down to the music store and play some longer scale length basses, you should be able to quickly get an idea of how much you will have to adapt your technique.
     
  14. McHack

    McHack

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    My 4-string is 34". My 5-string is 35".

    The biggest annoyance to me, is the increased string tension is takes to keep 35" strings in tune... In fact, this is growing to annoy me more & more. In fact, I'm looking at replacing my 5-stringer w/ a 34" scale bass.
     
  15. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Understandable, though I've had a few different sets of flats on my 34" P-bass that had much higher tension than the rounds on my 35" fiver.

    Have you tried different brands of strings, or a lighter-gauge set of whatever you've been using?
     
  16. BuffaloBass

    BuffaloBass Supporting Member

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    Since I use the 5th string alot, not jsut a thumb rest, I like the 35" scale. I am entirely "normal",a dn I have no fitment issues at all. Sonically, I can hear the low C on the 35", on the 34" it was muddy. THeoretically better pups in the 34" as well.
     
  17. McHack

    McHack

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    I've tried going lighter, & initially it was ok... but ultimately missed the heavier tone. So, I went back to mediums. I'll try a few more diff sets before I write it off.

    Tried out an SR5 over the weekend, that's making a strong case for helping me w/ my decisions.. :smug:
     
  18. CrazyArcher

    CrazyArcher

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    I have a 35" 5-stringer, and I gotta admit that playing in the lower position is trickier. At the other hand, as it was said before, utilizing the B-string to shift higher up the neck solves the problem in most cases. Not to mention that 35" scale produces sound with a more prominent fundamental, which is cool for the B-string. Sub-E stuff sounds rather shattering.
     
  19. H2ODog

    H2ODog

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    Yes, i need to get to a place were i can drive both to see, i'm torn between a Lakland 55-02 and (probably most have not heard of it) Human Bass BassX.0c5. I saw a demo on youtube of this bass and the quality really looks good, sounds good (to me) and it's a 34' scale. I'm in the process of selling my DJ4 so i know what Lakland quality is like (very good) but not been able to see the HB bass.
     
  20. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass Gnarsty bass tones Supporting Member

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    Keep in mind that strings make a HUGE difference. F'r instance, the first 35" scale bass I ever played was a Modulus Q5. At first I thought "holy crap, there's a huge increase in tension", but then I realized that the OEM D'Addario strings were really really stiff. When using DR strings, especially HiBeams, 35" felt just fine.
     
  21. chaosMK

    chaosMK Supporting Member

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    I dont have big hands and use a 35 scale 5-string. The difference is most apparent on the lower frets (0-5). I didnt take long to get used to. I tend to play on higher frets anyway.

    I love the slight bit of extra tension (and use DR Lo-Riders for even more tension... nice 130 B string), wouldnt go back to 34.

    The B string does sound awesome and clear.
     

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