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A lesson learned about short scale strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by handofdumb, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. handofdumb


    Sep 7, 2017
    Recently, I picked up a new Squier Mustang in Surf Green. It's a great bass but the stock roundwound E string lacks the same punch as all of the other strings.

    I thought I could remedy this (and make the bass feel even better) by replacing them with flats - I think the E string shortcoming (that I've also noticed on an EB-0 before) is due to the relatively low string tension on short scales with lighter gauge strings.

    So, I ordered a set of D'Addario Chromes for short scale basses. They came in today and they had dark blue silk - kinda clashes with the new bass, so I spent an hour or so shaving them off.


    Finally slapped 'em on the bass aaaannnnddddd they're too short.


    The E and A taper right before the nut. The D is right on the line. G fits fine!

    A $35 lesson learned. I do think that Mustangs should come with a warning label - people recommend medium scale strings due to the string-through body.
  2. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Inactive Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    This is why when ever someone asks me for string recommendations I ask what it is going on and the specific model. If I dont know I make them measure.
  3. handofdumb


    Sep 7, 2017
    Lol I get it - measure twice cut once, right?

    But these actually weren't recommended by anyone, so I don't have a scapegoat, lol. I just found 'em after looking for reasonably priced short scale flatwound strings. They appeared to fit the bill - I just assumed short scale meant it would fit a pretty standard short scale bass. Boy, was I wrong!
    PeaveyPlayer likes this.
  4. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Inactive Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    In general "Scale Length" doesn't translate to the length of strings you need.
    DaveAceofBass and Jon Moody like this.
  5. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    I have nothing of value to add to the conversation at this time, but I just had to say that you’ve got a great username:bassist:
  6. I thought I was the one with OCD... ;):D
    handofdumb and howlin like this.
  7. unbridled


    May 26, 2005
    Endorsing Artist-Compton Compensated Custom Bridges (for Gretsch 6ers)
    Ida used a black marker.

    Sorry about the strings.
    semiprohooker likes this.
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    well, your experience answers the question: "how long is a piece of string?" answer: not long enough!


    tune the E and A string up an octave. :D

    per the OP: sorry that happened. like you, i would have assumed. good luck next time! :thumbsup:
  9. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
    Looks like they should still work.. think of them like they’re tapered strings, just at the wrong end of the string :D:D and play happily ever after
  10. handofdumb


    Sep 7, 2017
    Lol thanks for the replies, everyone!

    Loving the creative suggestions, JRA and Turxile - you're both glass half full sorta people, eh?

    Those words of wisdom aren't gonna leave my head anytime soon, SLaPiNFuNK - can you tell that to string companies? Lol.

    But shoot - it is what it is. I've paid $35 for less! At least I have almost usable bass strings.

    (If anyone needs used short scale flatwound bass strings, please hit me up!)

    As for the silk, you're definitely not alone, michael_t! I found some inspiration for how to remove the silks by doing a quick Google search that brought me right back to the forums!

    A black marker might not be a bad idea, unbridled! It's an easy thing to try and I can just shave the silk off in the end if it still doesn't look great. Definitely keeping this in my back pocket for next time I have silk struggles.

    But hey! I'm a cautionary tale now! I'm basically immortalized.
  11. handofdumb


    Sep 7, 2017
    By the way, saving this forever. Thanks dude :)
    Monterey Bay-ss likes this.
  12. MynameisMe

    MynameisMe Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat...... Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2018
    Jax Florida
    Just shorten the whole neck a few inches and you won’t need to buy new strings!
    mikewalker and handofdumb like this.
  13. Skillet

    Skillet Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    So how's the Squier Mustang? That's the new model eh. I mean... how would it be, if it had strings on it... I guess is the question.
    semiprohooker likes this.
  14. edencab


    Aug 14, 2013
    Toronto, On
    what colour is the bass?...
  15. c10


    Apr 10, 2005
    Naperville, IL
    Tune to Eb and capo at the 1st fret.
    Tescot, handofdumb and Infidelity like this.
  16. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Did you see that La Bella has a specific Mustang set for the through-body bridge?
  17. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Don't feel bad...I did the exact same thing with my first bass (ahem) years ago. A shortie that took mediums. Only wish it was a Mustang!

    Anyway, I got to try a few sets of strings out on my band's frontman's American Performer Mustang over the past few days, and the low E string output can be compensated for by experimenting with pickup height. I had no problem with low E string output on any of them, including the one set of rounds I tried, and I use nothing but light strings 40-100 on everything. You'll have to do it for every set of strings you try, too.

    Anyway, if you end up getting another set, I'd recommend LaBella or Dunlop flats in medium scale. The Dunlops were what I thought worked best on it by far. More mid content than the LaBellas with a nice slinky feel. Very ringy at first but mellow out into a great thump when dead. And the silks are black. Matches anything :D
    handofdumb likes this.
  18. Marky83dam


    Feb 2, 2020
    What gauge do you suggest I’m new to bass got a 69 mustang the strings I have at moment are L.A. Bella flats I was told and the low E does sound flat at first fret is that normal
  19. A La Bella flatwound E string sounding flat is normal. And punctuation marks do matter and would be appreciated. ;)
  20. Marky83dam


    Feb 2, 2020
    Haha thanks for reply and lesson in English writing I am English after all, I should take more care in spellings & punctuation. What gauge do you recommend or is that more buy & try see what works better for yourself
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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