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Bass for small hands?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Larry Grenier, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. Thinking of jumping back in. I remember back in the days we had 3 guitarists and alternated who played bass. We had one 34" scale Aria and a cheapo small, I'm thinking short-scale junky bass. I have to admit that the cheapo small bass was more fun and easier to play for me. Wish I still had it, it cost all of $50 :)

    Can you make suggestions on something I should be looking at? So far it's Ibanez TMB30, Gibson, Epiphone or knockoff EB#, Fender Mustang... Keeping the price low for an old newbie would be nice.

    Mid-scale size like 32" is a thought as-well but dunno

  2. ejaggers

    ejaggers Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, tx
    Get a Squier VM SS Jaguar strung with half rounds, and you can thank me later.

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
    jackn1202, basscapes, MWKurt and 9 others like this.
  3. Gibson SG, never tried one but got an EB-3 which sounds and plays good and would be great for small hands.
    basscapes likes this.
  4. ejaggers

    ejaggers Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, tx
    SG is nice, but the OP wants to keep the price low.
    I'm not sure what he means by that, but the SG is not low to me.

    Larry Grenier likes this.
  5. B-Mac

    B-Mac Sorting Things Out Supporting Member

    How long ago was ‘back in the day’ ? Only asking as there’s quite a few small scale and micro scale basses around that were not around depending on when ‘back in the day’ was for you.
    saabfender likes this.
  6. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Unless you have child-sized hands, your hands are probably plenty big enough for standard 34" bass.

    Every few years we have a discussion on hand size and finger length. Here's an interesting poll: Average Finger Length (index finger)?

    My index finger is 3.5" which would be considered on the small side. Yet I play not only 34" bass but also upright bass, no problem at all. At the end of the day, it is all about technique, not hand size.

    All of that being said: Short scale basses are yummy, and you are right to want to play one. :) I have a 30" and a 32" in my collection, in addition to my 34".
  7. Yeah I almost added that after I reread his post.
  8. mrmxyzptlk


    Jul 16, 2008
    I have an Ibanez TMB30, one of the basses you name in your post, and recommend it highly. I've strung it with D'Addario Chromes, replaced the P pickup with a Fender Pure Vintage '63, and replaced the flimsy stock string tree with a more robust Fender string guide. The neck is slightly chunkier than I'd prefer, but that's not a deal-breaker for me, even though my hands are not large. One of these days, if I'm ever feeling particularly impulsive, I might try sanding down the neck a bit, but for now I'm inclined to leave well enough alone.
    wintremute and Larry Grenier like this.
  9. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    the earlier-mentioned squier jaguar ss (short scale) is a nice one available in 3 colors and only costs $199.99 brand new - i enjoyed mine quite a bit. there's also the ultimate budget bass, the squier bronco, comes in black and red, is shaped like a mustang and costs $149.99 brand new. and don't forget the ibanez mikro available in multiple colors- i have had four of them, currently have two, and they cost $179.00. the epiphone EB0 is nice if you like SG shaped basses; i like this one but haven't owned one, but it was close - this one is now $269.

    btw, i am a 5' 3" female and my hands (just measured my index finger - it's 2.9 inches) have no problem with long scale. in fact, i prefer long scale, although i have shoulder issues so that can be challenging. perhaps a long scale with a slender neck? if you want to consider that, i highly recommend the ibanez SR100EX (it's also available in black) at $179.99. it's light - my oil finish one weighs 6 pounds 2 ounces - it's the cheapest 34" scale bass by a major brand, and i've been enjoying my oil finish one so much i ordered a black one.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
    ERIC31, design, JIO and 7 others like this.
  10. Nebula24


    Nov 23, 2017
    Norman, OK
    Love my epi eb0 (w tapes). Neck just feels right. Got me back into playing after long time of bass just staying in storage. Now i play all the time.

    Gretsch g2220 looks nice too. Probably would have gone with it but wasnt around locally when got my eb0. At the time only option was eb0 or mikro and i preferred eb0. Never seen a squier shortie in person.

    Go to local store and try all the shorties to see which feels best to you.

    I still try all the bass i havent played before when going to store but havent found another i have to have (shorty and full).
    Larry Grenier likes this.
  11. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    Used MIJ Fender Mustang. The Made In Japan ones have a narrower neck than the Mustang PJs, and going used helps keep down the price
    Bassist30, lermgalieu and saabfender like this.
  12. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    As mentioned above, the Ibanez TMB30 is a very nice bass, I love these Ibanez Talman basses but it does have a chunky neck. A Mustang or a Squier VM SS Jaguar (short scale) might be a better choice.
    Larry Grenier likes this.
  13. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    gepettus likes this.
  14. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    Setup can be a big factor too — a poorly set up short scale (like my SG bass when I first got it) can be more fatiguing to play than a well set up P, for example
    pcake and Larry Grenier like this.
  15. Not only is hand and finger size a consideration but so is hand shape, which I never heard anyone talk about. For example, I cannot make a four fret stretch on a 34” to save myself and can reach across the fretboard easiestly by holding in a more upright angle like Bill Wyman. My fingers also will not arch enough to make chords (hence: bass player not guitar). The most comfortable necks for my limited playing ability are the Ibanez Micro and Squire VM Jag SS, both the least expensive in my collection.
  16. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Sage advice....and interesting poll. Yes, it's very true, technique will make any bass playable, but given a choice, your hands will likely gravitate towards something that's comfortable for extended playing. In terms of short scale vs 34" scale, sometimes it's not about the hands but more about the shoulders and extending them. I messed up my rotator cuff a while back and found playing 34" basses a little painful playing for extended periods - I ended up playing with my headless bass (34 scale but with small body so I didn't have to stretch too much) for a while until I healed sufficiently.
    dmt and Larry Grenier like this.
  17. Depends on who is talking. Back in the day for kindergartners was last week. For some of us old guys it was fifty years ago.
    ejaggers likes this.
  18. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
  19. REV


    Jun 18, 2006
    If you can find one, a Danelectro longhorn would be a good choice.
    Dabndug likes this.
  20. sowilson


    Jul 5, 2013
    Build yourself a Fender clone from Warmoth parts. Better yet, find an old Alembic Spoiler (32")

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