Are mikro basses frowned upon?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TotteryManx, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. TotteryManx


    Jan 15, 2013
    Hello all! I've been playing guitar for 13+ years now, but the last year or so I've really got into bass playing. I find it kind of uncomfortable and if I play for long periods of time my wrist/hands begin to ache. I started searching around for a solution and I keep hearing about mikro basses. I watched videos of them on youtube and the tone is pretty solid, even out of the box. With that said, they are so tiny and has me wondering if bassists frown upon mikros because of their size. Would it make you less of a bass player to play on a smaller neck and such? I probably shouldn't give a damn, but even I'm having a hard time getting past how tiny they are lol.
  2. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
  3. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    Well, plenty of people here play a Kala U-Bass at least on occasion so I don't think you have anything to worry about. There are also plenty of people who play other short scale basses, bass VIs, and baritone guitars which you might also consider. Play what you want and you will be in good company.

  4. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Any idea why your hands are hurting? is it an age/medical thing or could your playing technique do with work?
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  6. abemo


    Feb 27, 2012
    Arvada, co
    Play what feels good, as stated there are a lot of options. If I'm not mistaken, most gibson basses (and epis) are short scale, specifically the sg style.
  7. TotteryManx


    Jan 15, 2013
    I don't believe it's a medical issue, I'm only 28 years old. It possibly could have something to do with me switching between guitar and bass. The stretching involved is noticeable. It's why I'm looking into mikros as well, I figure there closer to a guitar size.
  8. TotteryManx


    Jan 15, 2013
  9. If you go to a 5 string, you don't have to play so far down the neck and you still get a full scale string.
  10. I'm a 35 year guitarist who switched to Bass last October. Yes, the effort required to become comfortable with a 34 inch scale bass is not trivial. But, unless you are very small physically then the effort will bring results. It took three months for me to stop complaining about the stretching. Having said that - I did buy a Gibson SG bass at Christmas and it is the most comfortable instrument I have ever played.
  11. Why are you stretching. Are you using 1-2-4 fingering?
  12. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Mikros are great.

    A whole lot of people play basses the size of trees, and it's not necessary for good tone.

    Mikros deliver, and they are a great choice for guitarists picking up the bass.
  13. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    You shouldn't have to stretch very much at all for most lines. Reasons you might be stretching too much are

    - inappropriate fingering technique (e.g. if you're playing it like you play your guitar, which would hurt!)
    - a bass that balances / hangs in a bad position (a lot of basses hang with the headstock uncomfortably far away to the left, for my money!)
    - trying to play a lot of low notes on a 4-string tuned EADG. As carl h. says, a 5-string or a 4 string tuned BEAD gets those low notes within easier reach.

    Of course a short scale bass solves those problems for you at a stroke. I'm sure you don't really care about 'frowners', but there are some drawbacks to choosing to play short scale - less choice of basses, and you won't be as easliy able to pick up a 'standard' bass if you don't have your mikro. I also don't know about the quality of 'B' strings on short scales, if you want one of those.

    But you might consider those relatively minor drawbacks. The only thing you might want to consider is that there are lots of other short-scale basses only slightly longer than the mikro - it's not your only choice.
  14. punisher911


    Jan 20, 2005
    Warren, MI
    I'm digging my Mikro and I have large hands for my height. I'm 5'7" and can palm a basketball. I can even barre chord 8 string guitars. The short scale of the Mikro is super easy for me to play though. I prefer it over my 34" Warwick $$. I'm thinking about adding a Mikey Way Squier 30" when I can afford it too.
  15. tmdazed


    Sep 29, 2012
    truthfully, there will be a million opinions on here and the only one that matters is your own, ignore cork sniffers and go with what feels and sounds best to you
  16. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    1. Going from guitar to bass shouldn't give you pain. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one around here who plays both comfortably.

    2. Don't worry what anyone else says. If a Mikro works best for you, go for it.
  17. Adam Harzuf

    Adam Harzuf

    Nov 16, 2004
    I used to suffer from pains as well when I had my beasty Ibanez BTB675.

    I now have a Mikro with upgraded active electronics, Monorail bridges loaded with Graphtech piezo pickups, chambered body and very importantly: Thomaskit infeld Jazz Rounds (.93 for E strings!), by far the smoothest roundwounds I know of.
    It's the best sounding bass I ever had, and I do live and studio engineering for a living, so I'm saying this mixing-wise as well.

    In my opinion, it's a great bass to upgrade when you can afford it. If you go with this bass you must upgrade or move the bridge, as intonation is impossible with the wrongly positioned stock one.

    I will never go back to long scale. The Mikro is so easy to play, fast, light on my hands, the smooth strings asks for bending and sliding. When you play soft, you have an increased sustain. Playing in a more linear way along the neck (usuful for tonal consistancy) is much more inviting when the scale is shorter.
    It's also super light in general, you won't find yourself saying: "I don't know if I want to carry around my bass today".

    Basses just don't have to be as big as they are, especially for 4 strings.
  18. world is a strange place: I started playing guitar when I was 15/16 (now 57). But I did not feel comfortable on the instrument at all, so after a couple of years of fruitless attempts, by a chance one day I tried a friend's bass and just saw the light on the spot!!!

    I bought my first bass in 74 and from that moment, even always having a guitar around at home for sentimental reasons and nothing more, I play exclusively this "long neck instrument", either in the 34" or 35" scales version.

    Now, if I try to play guitar, once every one or two years (!) I realize how unable still I am and that fretboard looks/feels so tiny that my fingers just are not at home!!! And I am 165 cm tall, so I have small hands mind you!!!!

    Strange place... ;) V.
  19. Yep, and this also applies to the 5-string Mikro. Moved the stock bridge 7 mm further away from the neck and now all is well, especially with a .110 E and a .145 B.
  20. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
    just picked up the 5string & love it. may i ask what strings are you using ? i had jason order me a custom set of labella tapewound strings but may take a couple of months to get the short B string in :rollno:
  21. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

    I play an Ibanez Mikro on a regular basis. It one of my best sounding and playing basses.