Bass size and first bought bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Catch, Nov 23, 2001.

  1. Catch


    Nov 23, 2001
    I learned to play bass on a rental bass, and now that I'm getting into it more seriously I think I'm going to buy one, but I'm not sure what kind is best. I've only been playing for about three months, and I'm kinda small so I need a smaller bass. Any suggestions on what kind of bass would be best?

  2. EString


    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    In terms of lower price models, you may want to look into the Fender MIM Deluxe Zone Bass or (I don't like 'em, but they are small) an Ibanez. I think Carvins are kind of small, too.
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Catch, welcome to Talkbass.:)

    By small bass, do you mean small bodied and lightweight, or short scale? Also, what is your budget?

    If you can give us this information, you should get plenty of recommendations.
  4. Yo catch... what's your height? And how are your fingers?

    I ask 'coz a local ska group here had a girl who was not much taller than, say, 5' 3". She had an Ibanez. Oh, she played awesome and was stretching her fingers so "gymnastically" which in ska is very hard stuff. She was all over the place. Real cool.

    Also, embellisher is right in asking about money. If you have the money there are small basses out there. Fender has one... but the name...forgot.

    You could also try this BUT be warned: in the 80s many small players used Steinberger basses. Problem is the good ones are not produced anymore and the used ones are very expensive. The only ones on the market are the low-budget replicas, but these are made in Indonesia or somewhere close by and their quality may be questionable.

    I CAN'T FORGET: Just cause you are small doesn't mean you can't play a regular-sized bass. Look at Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls!! A small guy with a Precision! Try as many basses as you can at the store just in case.
  5. Catch


    Nov 23, 2001
    I'm 5 0' and my fingers are okay but they aren't real gymnastic. I'm looking for something that's small bodied. I'm worried about this because when I attempted to play my friend's bass, I could barely reach some of the frets. My price range is up to about 500 dollars.

  6. I recently got a Spector NS2-A. They were made in the late 80's in Asia and they have a small body. The original pup's really s*** but with EMG's it sounds great. The body shape is like the one's "Made in the USA" and I think very similar to a Warwick Streamer (theses are not in your price range, but that gives you an idea).

    I got mine for $200 in a Pawn Shop and with pup's and the EMG BTS system I paid around $350.
  7. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    If size is a major consideration, I agree - go with Ibanez. I tried some out recently and found them very easy to move around on. They sound pretty decent and should also be in your price range. I saw some of their mid-upper end models close to that range and they seem to cut it IRL. Tobias is another one I think for people with small hands - I was surprised the first time I tried one. It was almost like a guitar. Of course, that was a while back - pre-Gibson. Those will set you back some dough if you can find one, though. I'm not sure about the quality of the newer ones you can get through MusicYo, but you could easily get one of them within your price range.
  8. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Carlsbad, NM
    Ibanez Soundgears or Ergodynes I'd have to echo what others say, they have thinner necks. Also Crate's California Classic Bass, is supposed to have a really thin neck as well (and it has classic P styling). Also you might wanna look into maybe getting a short scale bass. I don't know many... except for the Squier Bronco or Ephiphone's Viola and EB-0 (I've heard the EB-0 has bad problems with fretbuzz). Overall I'd suggest the Ibanez GSR 100 or 200, its their beginner line, but they are inexpensive and work fine. Also they have standard pickup routs and the control cavity has lots of room if you wanted to upgrade the pickups and electronics later.
  9. I'm not much of an authority as some of these other guys but I would also recommend Ibenez. I love the feel of Ibenez. I have pretty small hands and nothing felt as good aznd they sound pretty good too. They tend to have thinner necks which will allow you to reach further. You can also grow with an Ibenez, it should last you awhile.
  10. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    If you have problems reaching the far-most frets, you stay away from Ibanez!:D
    They are infamous for having a longer distance between the body and the head, so the arm stretch to reach the first few frets may become an effort.

    My recommendation will be Danelectro Longhorn. Small body, light weight, short scale, big sound. Fairly cheap. Or, if you want a 34" scale, Steinberger Spirit (but then you may find a problem to try before you buy - which is imperative...).
  11. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Suburban Wrote:
    Not sure I get this statement. Unless the scale length is longer, like 35", 36" or higher (which isn't the case on any Ibanez that I'm aware of), why would the distance between the head and body be further then any other 34" scale bass?

    Ibanez necks are infamous for being "pencil" thin, which better suits players with small hands. In the case of a player with short arms (or small frame), I would think a bass with a shorter scale length of 32" or even 30" would be the best choice.

    - Frank
  12. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett Commercial User

    Nov 25, 2001
    Cane Ridge, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer, Builder
    I deal really only in highend basses, but for beginners I think that Ibanez is a wonderful bass for the price. They are alot more comportable then the old fender, and generally have an eq system to allow you to sharpe your tone.

    Best of luck
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Ibanez Soundgears are not the longest, but they are one of the longest. The reason is that they have a smaller body, so 1) the neck has more frets free of the body, and 2) the bridge is closer to the end of the body. Same scale length as a P bass, but longer neck, which means a longer reach to the first position. The worst that I have seen as far as difficulty reaching the first fret is the Warwick Thumb.
  14. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Thanks, Jeff.

    Just adding a monster in that respect: Gibson Ripper.
    Somehow, that particular huge and far reach bass is one of the most popular among bass playing girls in Sweden:confused:
  15. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Thanks for that explanation Jeff, that does make a lot of sense. I have an SR400 fretless, and never really noticed that the neck was longer than any of the other 34" scale basses I've ever owned. The thing that stood out to me when I bought it was how thin the neck was. At first I really liked it, but now that I'm so used to my Cirrus 5, it just doesn't feel right anymore.


    - Frank