Basses for Woman

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kalo, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. kalo


    Jul 29, 2003
    Hi all,

    I was just wondering if there are any smaller type basses that have a good sound made for a petite woman with small hands...

    I have been playing bass for about a year and currently own a Ibanez SG....While I lick the slim neck, I don't like the fret spacings....

    What do you all think of medium scale length basses?

    Thanks Kalo!
  2. You lick the slim neck??!!

    Surely not!! :eek: :eek: :eek:

    On a more serious note, 3 words:

    Warwick Streamer Standard

    Would be ideal IMHO.

    :) :)
  3. Rowka

    Rowka Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2002
    Jacksonville, FL
    Chicks dig Rics.
  4. kalo


    Jul 29, 2003
    heheh...No, I don't lick the slim neck :) I did a typo..I meant to say "I like the slim neck on my bass".....

    Thanks, I will check into the Warwick Streamer Standard...Thanks!
  5. +1
  6. sheepdog


    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    something to consider:

    try out a 5 string bass. when you want to play EADG, instead of playing in 1st position where the fret spacing is wider. Play in 2nd position (starting at the E on fret 5 of the B string). That is what I do because I sometimes have trouble stretching from frets 1-4. Easier to stretch across the neck to the B than down the neck.
  7. kalo


    Jul 29, 2003
    hmmm? A five string huh? that might be something to consider, however, if only the frets were a little bit closer...LOL!!!!

    I guess a short length neck is a no, no, on this forum...LOL!!! I have only seen a Fender Mustang that makes a shorter length neck....I have never tried it, but I heard there are pro's and cons with short lenght scale basses....

  8. I play a short-scale neck. Yeah, there are some compromises in doing that, but I like the spacing. I'm a guy, but have pretty stubby fingers. I play a cheapy - an epiphone by gibson (bought for around $100 a decade or so ago).

    Another thing to consider is the....ahem....chest area. Most of the ladies I know who pick up the bass want one that provides some room without having a bass body that causes discomfort (aka - a body style that causes it to hit that particular area).

    I think you're on the right track. Check out an epiphone thunderbird for another cheaper, lighter bass.
  9. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    That's the primary reason I went with a 5-string right from the start. Glad I did.
  10. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    How about a Steinberger? I hear they're very easy to play and feel like their scale lengths are shorter than normal even though they aren't.
  11. bass555


    Mar 16, 2005
    I may be remiss here, but didn't Tina from Talking Heads use a Hofner copy for just the same reasons?

    I'm a gangly 6'2" and my SR5 feels perfect...

    how about a Steinberger 5?

    and the person who recommended the 5 string is right on..the frets get closer as you go up the neck, so if you start on the 5th fret of the B string (for an "E")and play up, things should be easier, you get the added benefit of the low B!!!
  12. sheepdog


    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL

    I have found that I don't necessarilly need a low B, but there are many times when I need to detune to at least a D to get the notes I want. Those extra couple on the low end added to the easier fret stretch are a great combination
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    OK, everybody, let's lay off of the rude comments.

    Kalo, you might check out a Fender P bass Junior, they have a
    28.59" scale.

    Also, check out the Fender Stuart Hamm Urge bass. It is discontinued, so you would have to find a used one. A nice compromise with a 32" scale. Similar tone to a 34" scale, with a shorter reach. Dual Jazz pickups, with a Precision pickup between them.

    Here is a pic of each one. P Bass Junior on the left.

  14. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    Hey Kalo,

    Bunnybass has some information on basses for women/girls at this page. I first saw this a few years ago so some of the specific bass information might be a bit dated, but it's still a good read.

    Although I am a large person with big hands my hands & wrists don't like a lot of stretching. With 34" scale basses the only type that is 100% comfortable for me all the time are G&L basses with skinny necks (1.5" wide at the nut). These just work for me perfectly (and may not for you, but you might want to try one if you can find one).

    I have considered trying a 32" scale bass (compromise between the 34" standard scale and 30" short scale). A couple that I have considered looking for are:

    Aria IGB40M - I've never seen one in person but it's made of decent woods (alder, maple, rosewood) and probably not too expensive. I've considered getting a local Aria dealer to order one for me but as long as the G&Ls work, I'll stick with them.

    Ibanez GAXB-150 - current specs on the Ibanez site say mahogany body. I just worry about the short upper horn making it hang a bunch to the left (on a right-hander) making it a longer reach to the nut.

    One of my main goals if I look for a shorter scale bass is to make sure it's still a more "normal" body style so it doesn't shift the neck too far out (like a Gibson EB might do) and make it neck heavy.
  15. kalo


    Jul 29, 2003
    Wow, thanks everyone for your awesome replies....

    I will look into a five string bass...That maybe the right way to go or as someone suggested an ARIA-IGB40M....

    As for the Fender Junior P Bass...I have never played one but I have read some reviews on Musician's Friend website and most of the bassist who bought it didn't give it a good review.....

    THANK YOU ALL!!! I really appreciate the input...Kalo!
  16. I saw a nice one in "Bass Guitar" It was the Slammer SB4F. It's a short scale and in the review they said "...or players with small hands..." The neck is thin and fast and the the string spacing is tighter making it easier to get around. They say it sounds awesome too. I think you should try one out. (It looks pretty sexy IMO)

    Here's the specs and a picture...
  17. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Though it's not a short scale bass, something like a Spector Legend or higher might work. It has a fairly compact body with a concave back so even the barrel-chested can wear one at reasonable height without it crushing the ribs the way a slab body might. Also, the upper horn does not extend out to the 12th fret or beyond, so the upper horn won't poke you in the nipple area when slung high. The strap buttons are set so that the bass naturally hangs with the neck at an angle so there's minimal neck dive.

    I think the ergonomics are very sound on Spector basses.

    If you look at the Spector website ( there are quite a few females who use Spector, such as Alyson Palmer, Meredith Webster, Teri Avela, the late Rana Ross and others.

    As much as a shorter, thinner neck may seem to help ergonomics, there are a lot more factors to consider, such as whether the neck dives or not since you'll be fatiguing yourself by holding the neck up all night. If the bass is heavy, it'll hurt your shoulder after an hour or two. If the bass is slung low, it can fatigue your fretting wrist. But some basses push against the sternum when slung high so the concave body on Spectors helps.

    I dunno...I have relatively small hands for a guy my size (I've met women smaller than me who have larger hands) and I find Ibanez' proverbial pencil-thin necks a tad uncomfy.
  18. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    From a Woman Bass Player:

    You might want to check out the Ibanez SR500 series. I have a 5-string SR505. Very very light weight mahogany body and it is also in a 4-string model, the SR500. My main bass is the 4-string Ibanez SRX700 which has a wonderful, clear tone, just a little heavier, but still consider it light. I don't think you could go wrong with either or these. Quality basses at reasonable prices. Last year, I checked out many basses, especially for their weight and I am happy with both of my purchases. You can check out pictures of them at
  19. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK

    No seriously, they are short scale guitars and basses designed by women for women.