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Bass for daughter with small hands?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Alexander, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    My 7 year old daughter has been wanting me to give her bass lessons and comes around every time I get my rig out to practice. I came in the room one evening and she had picked up my L-2500 Tribute I had laying out. I showed her some stuff on it, but then gave her my MIA Jazz to play around on since the 5 was clearly overkill. Makes me nervous to have her play with my basses though - I presented my wife with the idea that I could buy myself a Sadowsky Jazz and then give her my Fender. That idea didn't go over well... :rolleyes:

    So... I'm thinking of whether or not to buy her a bass of her own. I have a MIM Precision she could use, but think it is too big as well - she couldn't reach down past about the 7th fret comfortably. I'm wondering what options may be out there. Do I stick with a full size bass, so she does not have to transfer over later, or do I go with one that is smaller? I looked at a Samick that was almost like a toy, but had a full-size P pickup, but I am thinking there may be other options out there. Any ideas? I am looking for a plain old 4 string under $300 - used as fine as I imagine my daughter may give it some wear and tear of her own.

  2. Jiro


    Mar 15, 2004
    I tried some pretty small bass before it was called an Epiphone EB-0 the neck is pretty small and its not that expensive either and it comes in a nice cherry red. It looks like an SG but four strings cause its a bass, I think it would be a good bass to start off with. I tried some Ibanez ones they are pretty small as well you should give them a shot. I dont know much but i hope that might help some. Goodluck to you and your daughter haha.
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I question whether a 7 year old would be able to comfortably manage a normal 34" scale instrument. There are a lot of budget 3/4 sized instruments out there, but quality leaves a little to be desired. Daisy Rock makes short scale (30") basses for girls - you can see some at www.elderly.com

    If you want to go up a notch in quality, Epiphone's EB-0 and Allen Woody basses are short scale, small bodied instruments. Epiphone, Rogue and others also make knockoffs of the short-scale, hollowbodied Hofner beatle bass.

    Something else to consider: a headless Steinberger Spirit. It's a full 34" scale, but at least the body size and weight aren't intimidating. They're $300 or thereabouts and readily available from www.musicyo.com.
  4. Jiro


    Mar 15, 2004
    Those Dasey Rock stuff hahahahah that stuff looks kind of funny.
  5. Nick Wagner

    Nick Wagner

    Feb 24, 2003
    WA, USA
    Well, theres lotsa small stuff, just not all of it is quality.

    Squier Bronco
    D'Armond (or something.. the one with no headstock and a small body, with nylon strings)
    Daisy Rock (i actually think theyre cool haha)
  6. lenorules1950


    Aug 20, 2004
    Meriden, CT
    I love my EB-0 - the only problem I see is it would be kind of heavy for a small child. And it's extremely neck-heavy, too. But if she's going to be playing it sitting down, then go for it.
  7. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for all of the suggestions - I particularly like the Bronco. Looks like a great choice for the money and the reviews seem quite favorable. I started on a Squier a while back and liked it overall. Funny, the Samick I looked at was almost as much - this seems like much more bass for the money.

    Now if I can just keep her from plugging into my SWR\Bergie stack, I'll be in business. :p

    Of course, seeing her play Smoke on the Water through 500W would be cool too... :bassist:
  8. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I own a Steinberger Spirit that I use as a camping/travel bass. I've got to say that I find it harder to play than my 10.5 lb P bass. Something about the way that bass hangs, it is not very comfortable to play.

    I'd look at 30" scale basses if I were you. How about an old Fender Mustang?
  9. Blademaster Dez

    Blademaster Dez

    May 12, 2004
    And if the idea of a short-scale bass makes you think "toy" then think about this: Carrie Smith, bassist for the band Von Bondies (who've had some radio and MTV airplay), uses a short scale bass.

    Ibanez basses tend to have thin necks. But given the age of the kid (I do some work in a kindergarten classroom with 5-6 year olds) I would recommend a shorter scale bass for your daughter to start out on and move her up to a standard scale bass once she physically grows up some, so her hands aren't straining with a standard size bass neck. Believe me, if she feels uncomfortable fretting stuff, handling the bass, and all that good stuff it will just discourage her from further playing. And we want to encourage young people to pick up a bass. (I've played my bass on various occasions in my classroom and if even one kid's inspired by me to pick up a bass, I will have done my job.)

    I know most folks recommend that budding bassists start on one with a full-scale neck so their hands get used to it, but given the young age of your li'l prodigy, I'd say start with a shorter scale bass.

    I use a Samick bass myself (Fairlane 6) so I like their instruments. But others hate them, so your mileage may vary.
  10. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Good advice. I do want her to play a shorter scale bass, I think just didn't know what options might be out there. The Samick I tried literally played like a toy. I have a friend with a shorter scale Fender (an old one of some kind) that would be perfect, but not cheap. The choices people mention all seem worth considering.
  11. lenorules1950


    Aug 20, 2004
    Meriden, CT

    Don't forget about Bill Wyman and Jack Bruce, either.
  12. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    This is what i got for my daughter
    30 1/2" scale
    under $200
    i play it myself - it's awesome

    hamer "slammer special"

  13. Jiro


    Mar 15, 2004
  14. FooBass


    Aug 25, 2004
    I think the Daisy rock bass is cute but it prolly plays like a hunk of ****. :rollno:
  15. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Fender makes and sells a little P-bass with (as I recall) a 28 1/2" scale. I've played one and darned if they don't play well. Ask your local Fender dealer.
  16. GreaserMatt


    Sep 4, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    How about a Dan Electro or an old Fender Mustang bass? :eyebrow:
  17. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    update - note the "cheap" practice amp