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Basses with shorter necks....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Skreeeboy, May 31, 2001.

  1. Skreeeboy


    May 31, 2001
    Hey everyone,

    I play bass, but my hands are super small. I have an Ibanez that I originally bought because it has a super narrow neck. But I have recently seen a used Gretsch Electromatic bass for sale pretty cheap, and I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this insturment, good or bad. I am particularily interested in trying it out because it has that shorter neck, and I think I would have an easier time playing it because of the size of my hands. But I am no expert when it comes to the tech end of things. So any advice about this bass, other shorter neck basses, or this subject in general would be greatly appreciated...
  2. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Ok dude...you posted this same thread like 5 times in different forms. So here you go...now hush up and go delete the rest of them!:mad:

    Short scale basses are usually shorter by anwhere from two to four inches (regular being aprox. 34", and short scale are 32" and 30"). They have ok sound for the ADG strings, but when you get the thicker E string, you lose a lot of definition and clarity. Sound, tonal and tension sacrifices are made for the 30" scale. Many people abhore short scale for this reason (and seek out 35", or even 36" scale basses)...however, it's always ultimatly up to you. You like the short scale feel and sound? Go for it. Don't like the sound, but it's smaller, so more comfortable? Your call. You could always just play a regular scale bass, and really practice hard, and strengthen the fingers, so the pain is lessened (though this is not reccomended, don't need extra stess on the fingers)

    Danelectro Longhorns are 30" scale, as are Epiphone EB-0 (the SG clone) and Squire Bronco are also 30" scale basses. I do believe that the Steve Baily model of Alemblic (I think...might be someone else...though I think the company name starts with A) is also short scale. if you want a small neck, go DeArmond Pilot Standard, smallest neck I have ever played. I swear it's like 1" wide at the nut (it's not but I have big hands, so it felt that way)

    Or you can string it very light (super light strung basses are refered to as Piccolo, though I'm not sure what the gauges are), so it's easier to press down the strings.

  3. Skreeeboy


    May 31, 2001
    Sorry about the identical posts, I was just trying to maximize my coverage, you know. I am still not so sure how this message board works being that I just registered today.

    Can someone tell me more about the "piccolo" string set up? Like, what gague strings are we talking about? What does it sound like?

    Thanks again!

  4. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Ok...Skree...I'll give you the ropes right here right now:

    1- Handy little Search feature we have here. Type in your search, and you can get most any question answered. So you don't end up posting the same question 30 people have already asked.

    2- Don't make blanket statements (i.e. "So and so" basses all suck) this will lead to no good. Hurt feelings, flames, and general ill will towards the perp.

    3- Don't re-post the same post. It makes a lot of us mad. You're question will get answered, so you don't need to spread it around like you did. Jsut be patient.

    4- Be nice. It's common courtesy here. Be respectful, and people won't get on your case.

    5- Follow 1-4

    6- ask John Turner (in PM) about his Conklin Collection. It'll blow your mind:D

    This may seem sorta obvious, but it's amazing how many people fail to follow these basic kinds of etiquette.
  5. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Brendan, the ARIA Steve Bailey model is 34".
  6. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Eh...it's still and A name! I was ...close, close, yeah, that's the ticket...

    Oh...I could have sworn I read some dicussion of the bass, and it being short scale. Guess I was wrong again. Whoops...
  7. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    st A nley clark
  8. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    Youse guys that wanna know about shortscale basses.
    i play ONLY short scale.
    1960 Danelectro Dolphin
    2001 Gretsch Electromatic
    1966 Epiphone Rivoli
    If you use Rotosound RS66S strings and intonate your bridge correctly then the low "E" string rings out true and clean.
    It (Short scale) is loaded with harmonics and if you have one of those little 60 watt combo amps you will hear distortion and will drive the amp right out of headroom before you reach any useable volumne.
    You need at least 200 watts and a couple of 15's or an 18 to handle the harmonics
    I like JBL's the best but try out what ever you like. A properly tuned cabinet is also a must.
    Allen Woody (deceased) of the Allman Bros and Gov't Mule loved the shortscale and Epiphone makes an Allen Woody signature model in shortscale only.
    Woody used a full sized SVT with multiple heads and cabinets.
    Go Shortscale!!

  9. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I've had a short scale bass for over 20 years. It's an Alembic spoiler, 32" scale. Cool bass. Generally, the tone from the shorter scale basses is inferior to a 34" scale bass, IMO. I no longer use it, it's retired. I prefer a 34" scale. Sounds better live and recorded, IMO. My hands are average, also. Just keep playing and get used to it. Its mind over matter. Really not the big a deal it you discipline yourself. Way better tone


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