35" scale adjustment

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by geoffzilla, Feb 4, 2002.

  1. geoffzilla


    Oct 30, 2001
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification
    Hey all. Is there anyone out there that plays both 35" and 34" scale basses? I'm curious to know if it causes a lot of problems as far as muscle memory and location of frets? I'd like to look into a 35" 5 string, but really don't want to worry about "throwing off my game" so to speak. Am I making a big deal out of something fairly painless? Just curious.
  2. I would not worry about it. My bass has Novax frets, so it has 34, 34.75, 35.5, 36.25 and 37 inch scale lengths. I find that it makes no difference, the fret positions change by such a small amount that is nearly unnoticable on a fret to fret basis (though over a large gap, say 12 frets, it adds up). I would definitely suggest trying one, some people seem to think that the extra inch makes it difficult to play in the lower register, I can't see this as the 1 to 5 fret distance only changes by 0.19", but maybe it does to some people.

  3. it's all in the technique..

    the force, Luke.. use the force !
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I own and play both 34" and 35". For me there's always a bit of an adjustment necessary when changing from a familiar instrument to an unfamiliar one, even when scale is the same. So, unless all other factors are identical, I can't believe the extra inch will throw off your game, position-wise.

    OTOH: my 35" basses seem to have a bit more string tension, which was noticeable by the end of a gig: more fatigue than usual. But I've adjusted.
  5. i play 5's

    My main bass is a 36" overwater progress 5, some may not familiar with them, but have a look at the link at the bottom of my post. And my second bass is a TRB 5 fretless at 34".

    For me the change between the two should be hard because i'm changing both scale length and frettage :)

    However i have found it to be a good dicipline, which has only added to my technigue and abillity.

    There should be no big difference playing a 34 and then moving to 35. Obviously you will notice the difference in arm posistion and spacing over the first 5 frets, but this can be negotiated and will become second nature.

    Think of it as toilet paper, you don't always wipe with the same brand, but your 'butt' gets by :)

  6. Almost all of my primary ones are 35", but I do have a 34" (Ritter) and a 34 5/8" (Brubaker). Switching between those is not a big deal, except when I play my 35" scale unlined fretless, I get a little confused because I'm not immediately sure of where the notes are located. I think if I were playing fretless a lot, I'd probably want to be playing an equivalently-scaled fretted most of the time.
  7. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I was not conscious of any changes when I went from 34's to a 35', except I really needed my reading glasses! I don't believe the spacing is that noticeable. The B sure does sound good though.
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I play mostly 34's, including my main fretless. I have one 35, my Cirrus 6 string. The adjustment isn't a problem. The scale length is noticeable though. If I play a lot in the first position, my hand starts hurting after a while, which doesn't happen on any of my other basses. And it's not the neck profile. The Cirrus has the 2nd most comfortable neck I have ever played. Only my Zon feels better to my hand.
  9. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    As long as you have frets, I doubt you'll notice any difference.
    Without frets, you'll probably need one song to get into the new distances. That's my experiance from changing between unfretted EBG and contrabasso, anyway.
  10. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I switched from a 34" (G&L L2500) to a 35" (Modulus Q5) just two weeks ago. It took me about an hour to get used to it. I have to do a great deal of sight reading, so I can't look at the board very often. I found that I actually over compensated for the additional space at first, rather than falling short on the stretches. I play mostly with a 1,2 and 4 fingering technigue. (I rarely use my ringer finger at all) so the stress on my hands wasn't noticed. In fact, after a couple of hours of rehearsal, I found the bass to be much less tiring on my hands. It actually seems better-suited to my technique.

    I did pick up my fretless four the other night (34" scale) and didn't really notice any inability to play it (other than the normal inability of course).

    And was mentioned, it is only small difference. But it does make a world of difference in tension. (IMHO) I am very glad I move over to 35".