Short and/or Long Scale??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by theonemanband, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. theonemanband


    Apr 9, 2012
    Just wondering how many successfully play both long & short scale basses.
    I played a short scale Gibson SG for some time, but recently moved to a Yamaha BB1024 (34") which I do prefer.
    However, I love my little Gibson and took it for a "run out" the other day but it felt really strange and cramped after the long scale; so much so that I am reluctantly considering selling it and putting the funds towards a five string long scale.
    So........ does anyone successfully play both, or is it a match made in hell?

  2. I own and play 30", 30.75", and 34" often! Takes a little practice for me but nothing too tough, not a bad problem to have :)
  3. 34.5"
    (and also a 34" P bass, and a 30.5" EB2D, those fit nice in between the two)
    I play equally sloppy on both. But at least I'm successful at the domain of consistency!

    As for your problem: "if you don't use it, sell it". It ain't no use to keep a bass if you're uncomfortable playing it. I can only speak for myself, and I find no problems at all switching between different scales, but maybe that's just me. If it doesn't work out for you, so be it, and sell it for a longscale 5-er.
  4. moonliner


    Jan 22, 2009
    I play bass full time.... I grew up on upright bass and short scale electric bass, now THERE'S a scale difference! Anyway, I switch back and forth from my standard and short scale basses all the time. Each one has it's strengths and I'm really glad I have the option for different tones. Plus I find each type of bass makes me play in a different way and that makes for a fuller and more satisfying musical life!
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  6. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    I've had three short scale basses. They were nice, but I ended up selling them for other gear. I have 7 or 8 long scale basses, but only play three of them on a regular basis. This is like a snapshot in time though. If I answer this question next year, it will probably have changed some,

  7. I have the SG bass also and yes, I agree about the feeling of being cramped when switching from a 34 inch bass. My approach is to use the SG for its tone, especially with a pick. For nearly all my pick-playing I will use the SG. The right hand moves down towards the bridge and the cramped feeling goes away. This little bass has so much bottom end that even with a pick it remains smooth and warm - there's nothing else quite like it.
  8. I have long and short, they each have useful natures.

    Some positives of short scale:
    Short scale has much less string tension, that enables easy string bending, even with thicker strings.
    Because the neck is shorter, you have more room on a cramped stage.
    Lower string action without buzz.
    The Gibson short scale SG, EB3 and EB0 are very light, and that saves you a lot of shoulder pain, plus the lower string tension reduces finger and hand soreness.

    As for changing bass' from long to short and back again, how can you have a problem with that? You should be transposing your favorite tunes up and down the neck in all possible positions, trying to find new sounds.

    Funny, I say this because I have the same question for myself. :meh:
  9. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I play 18" to 42" scale basses
  10. SneakyT


    Dec 5, 2005
    Play both as well as short and long scale guitars.
  11. Amen!

    After playing long scale for 30 years, I just recently picked up a shorter scale.

    The stuff I "discover" blows my mind.
  12. ejaggers


    Aug 18, 2009
    Ft Worth, tx
    I have 8 basses, 3 are shorties. I play them both equally well. I started on SS, and owned two back to back before I got a long scale. I originally had problems with the LG (jazz) at first. It took a long time to get comfortable with the jazz, so I believe it's
    harder to go from short to long, than the other way around. My favorite bass to play will always be my Coronado II which is short scale.

  13. I do. But l have grown to dislike short scales. I get too crammed up on the neck when I am trying to jam freely. I have to catch myself sometimes when im not paying attention when playing the shorty. My common mistake is that I find myself on the 7th fret when I should be on 5. If I was on a long scale I would have been on the 5th like I should have been! :D My muscle memory is doing one thing while my brain is doing another. So I leave the shorty at home for most occasions now.
  14. affprod

    affprod Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2012
    I have 23 basses, three short scale (2 Mustangs, 1 Musicmaster). I frequently take a Mustang along with me because I really like to play them. For Leo's last hurrah, he did good. But it is more than the scale length - all short scale basses are not created equal. Perhaps personal preference, but I enjoy my Mustangs, whereas I only pull my Musicmaster out when it is time for it to exercise. I don't seem to have any issues switching from short to long, I can butcher them both equally.
  15. basscase42


    Jul 12, 2012
    I have one short scale and two (well, three if you count both necks on my doubleneck) long scale basses, I don't find switching between the two to be that hard. I love my short scale, I love my long scales, I've found short scale basses have a deeper sound and more bottom end growl imo.
  16. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    I have 30.5", 33.5", 34" & 34.5" scale basses and switch between them frequently. sometimes it takes me a few minutes to adjust to the differnet scales and sometimes it doesn't. the biggest adjustment for me is when I pick up my tenor uke but even that isn't too bad. fwiw, if you put a capo on the 2nd fret of a 34" scale bass it will be very close to a 30.5" scale bass.
  17. Monster Truck

    Monster Truck Groovologist Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    I have 2 long scales and 2 short scales. I can switch between them pretty easily but I prefer the shorties.
  18. theonemanband


    Apr 9, 2012
    Thanks all for your input; some interesting and useful comments and opinions; thanks for taking the time.
    Truth is, I love the feel of the (new to me) long scale option and I can't see me going back to a short scale, despite the Gibson SG being a very fine instrument.
    Onwards and upwards!!

    PS. Gibson SG bass for sale...:D
  19. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I have both and use both LS and SS at allot of gigs depending on my mood and stage room.