Short and/or Long Scale??

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


  1. theonemanband

    theonemanband

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Hi,
    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?

    Cheers.......Brian
     
  2. KeithPoker

    KeithPoker Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Monica Beach, CA
    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. Mr.Fingers

    Mr.Fingers

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Location:
    Kalmthout, Belgium (Europe)
    34.5"
    and
    24"
    (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

    moonliner

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    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

    tabdog

    Joined:
    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,

    Tabdog
     
  7. Misterwogan

    Misterwogan

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom
    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. BuffaloBill

    BuffaloBill

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    New Buffalo, Michigan, 49117
    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

    mongo2

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Downdashaw
    I play 18" to 42" scale basses
     
  10. SneakyT

    SneakyT

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Location:
    Austin
    Play both as well as short and long scale guitars.
     
  11. SolarMan

    SolarMan Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Location:
    Marlborough, MA
    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

    ejaggers

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Location:
    dallas, 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.

    057912
     
  13. Diesel Kilgore

    Diesel Kilgore

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    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

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Florida
    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

    basscase42

    Joined:
    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

    aquateen

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Location:
    maryland
    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 groove student Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Location:
    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

    theonemanband

    Joined:
    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!!
    Cheers..........Brian

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

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

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

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