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35 inches and wee tiny hands

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Toe-mas, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. Toe-mas


    Apr 24, 2004
    St Louis, MO
    I'm mildly worried about getting a bass with a 35 inch scale neck, because I have stubby little fingers, and I have to do a bit of stretching already on my 34 inch scale bass. I'm going to go to a decent music store and see if I can try a few out, when I get the chance (i'm in the boonies now), but I'm curious if anybody has any trouble playing on a longer scale.

    At the same time, i'm mildly worried about getting a 5-stringer that's less than 35 inches because I'm worried about having too floppy of a B. Bah on conundrums!

  2. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I have two comments (is that four cents, or one cent per comment??)

    First: the most important factor to a good B string is not scale length.

    Second: some people with tiny hands play upright bass (40" scale or greater).
  3. Dan Molina

    Dan Molina TalkBass Secular Progressive

    Jul 17, 2002
    Murr Town, California
    You could get a thicker guage string for you B. maybe like a .140 it should be tight enough like that.

    I have what many consider smalls and I play a 6 :)
  4. fatbassjazzer


    Feb 27, 2004
    Small hands really shouldn't affect your playing on a 35" neck. I switch from my fender jazz to my bass teachers ibanez 6 string and I have wee little nubs for fingers. If you work on it, it will become just as easy to play.
  5. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I don't have the largest hands in the world either. It was never the scale length that made it a jump from 4 to 5 & 6. It was more of the width of the neck the diameter of the fretboard etc that made it interesting. Now I can't play on 4's anymore. I need wide spacing 5's (all 35" scale) or 6's to feel right playing bass. That just goes to show you, give it some time and you'll become acustomed to anything. :smug:
  6. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    I have a 34" scale 5 string, and I never had much of a problem with the feel of the B string. The stock strings were Elixirs with a .130 gauge B string. I do have to admit, however, that the B string felt better and tighter when I went to D'addario Chromes flatwounds with a .136 (i think) gauge B string; although I couldn't guess if it feels tighter because of my perceptions, the different tension of the flatwounds, or the larger gauge, or any combination thereof. I know I like it, though.
  7. natebass


    Sep 6, 2001
    Bremerton, WA
    as someone with small hands, i had my concern as well - but I picked up one of the Yamaha rbx's from mf, and I realised that it wasn't that bad. Currently I switch between my Kubicki (which has a 32" scale) and the Yamaha, and I have no problems.
  8. pistoleroace


    Sep 13, 2002
    I have small hands and a 35" scale does not bother me at all and plus, I prefer 19mm string spacing too which means a wider neck. In case you don't know, 19mm is the standard spacing on a four string. String spacing is something you would also want to consider in your thinking before buying a 5-string, it is very important.

    As for the scale length on the B string? I had a Tobias classic which was a 34" scale and it sounded as good as it could get.
  9. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    35 inches... tiny hands?

    Perhaps a PVC pipe and lots of lube?

    Oh. Basses. my bad.
  10. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    As was mentioned....the scale does not make the B-string. However, if you're really worried, I'd recommend a 34.5" scale as a potential compromise. ;)
  11. Mongeaux


    Apr 14, 2004
    I to am a short fingered person. At first I was trying to play bass using guitar fingerings. IE. 4 fingers = 4 frets. Well unless you have large hands this kind of playing causes your left hand to be in a constant state of stress. Given enough years you stand a good chance of developing hand problems. After taking lessons one year on the upright bass I switched over to using a 1-2-4 fingering system. The fingering I use on electric bass are not the exact same as the upright but close. Also! if you don't already use pivot fingerings check those out. My first bass teachers was a really short Mexican man, his fingers made mine look long heh. He had no problem at all playing anything within a 5 fret reach, no effort whatsoever. Go to Carol Kaye's web site and look in the playing tips. She has a good explanation of pivot fingerings if your not already familiar.

    I still hope to find a kick arse short scale one day so I can use my guitar fingerings again. But until then I am quite happy with the fingering I use now.
  12. Well that makes things PERFECTLY clear for the poster. You agree with others that scale means nothing to a B (I disagree however) and then you recommend a 34.5"!! :scowl:

    If you really want to be helpful - try explaining to the poster why you don't thing scale has "anything" to do with B string feel.
  13. pistoleroace


    Sep 13, 2002
    Ah, didn't you just do the same thing? I guess you don't follow your own examples huh?

    Your post wasn't helpful at all so it could have just been left off this thread! :spit:
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    The B-string on a 35-inch scale will have greater tension than on the 34-inch scale, all other things being equal. I have three basses with the 35-inch scale and six with the 34-inch scale. The single greatest variable in the sound/"floppiness" of the B string is the type and brand of string. Then perhaps scale length after that. My RB5 has Rotos on its 34-inch scale, and they feel like they were machined out of high-strength re-bar. Not floppy at all. You want floppy? Try Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats or Rounds.

    WRT to your concern over stubby fingers and a 35-inch scale, I too have stubbies, and I can't really tell the difference when I play. The distance between even the most widely-spaced frets down by the headstock is about one thirty-second of an inch. Since the tendency on the five-string is to play further up the neck where the frets are closer together, the difference is even less. Don't sweat it.
    I mean you shouldnt really get so mad at something so minor.
  16. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    The scale length is a very important factor when it comes to the B string. Will a well made 32" with the right strings and setup be tighter than a 35"? Yes, but that 35" with the same strings and setup will be a lot tighter. I found a noticable difference when I went up to the 35" scale, and even more so when I switched from DR High Beams with a .125 B to Low Riders with a .130 B. Hexagonal core strings are going to give you a tighter B. I like my 35" so much that I want to go bigger... 38" would be awesome, but I'll probably end up settling for a 36". I have big hands and don't need to do too many huge stretches, so I could -probably- handle even a 40"... it'd just be extremely ungainly and tough on my shoulder.
  17. What exactly does? I've been wondering.
  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Quality construction of the bass (nice stiff neck and neck joint if applicable) is #1. Next would be the strings.

    Both of my 34" basses (Fender Roscoe Beck 5 and Warwick Streamer Stage I 5) have excellent B strings.
  19. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    If you find a 35" scale is too much, I'd recommend 34" scale 5's from Pedulla, Ken Smith, Alembic, etc. I've also tried a Modulus Flea-5, which was a 34" that I really liked. I'm agree with the posts that say a 34" scale 5 can be as good.

    FWIW, it took me some time to get used to the 35" scale with my Modulus Q-4, but with practice I'm now comfortable with it. My hands are medium sized. IMO with practice you'll find a way and you'll end up comfortable with the 35" scale if you don't find a 34" 5 that works for you.
  20. One thing I found...is that tiny hands arent a problem i had an accident when i was 13 and may hands were smashed to bits...so0o they never really grew much more and I now have artherist in them....

    but...one things you always remember is make sure thumb in in the center of the neck when playing not hooked over the top of the ur fingerboard (this bugs me no end) and is u shift postions just use ur thumb as anchor to get there wthiout moving ur whole hand ....should have no problems

    my new 5 string shuker custom is 34 scale but the b string is 35 scale...meain u get the tension on the b string..but Roscoes have the best b strings i know and they are 34 :)