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Biggest difference going from shortscale fretted to long scale fretless

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by zontar, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    Long title.

    I have had my fretless (Ibanez SR500F) for just under two months, and what was the biggest difference for me in going from a shortscale fretted to a long scale fretless?

    It wasn't going fretless. There's still some adjustment there, but I got the hang of it fairly quickly. Still want to get better.

    It wasn't the ability to slide and go Mwah--that was the fun part.

    It wasn't the longer scale requiring longer reaches with my fingers. I've played various scales on guitars and adapted easily--same thing with bass.

    For me the biggest difference has been the string tension difference between the short scale and the long scale.
    It's not a big deal, I've adapted to it, but it does require a bit of adjustment for me.

    I'm just a bit surprised.
    I thought the fretless part would be the biggest adjustment for me.

    Anyone else make that change from fretted to fretless at the same time as a scale length change?
  2. cleary


    Apr 19, 2013
    NSW, Australia
    Pretty much exact opposite story here :p

    I bought a fretless Kala u-Bass after playing electric 34" fretted for a few years.
    For me, the change in scale of the (imaginary) frets got me more than the string tension (and the strings on the ubass are rubber and slack as).

    I play both regularly, the ubass is still a fairly big challenge so generally usage still falls in heavy favour of the electric.
  3. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I can see that--I've played the U-Bass--I know someone who bought one as well.

    It is an adjustment to scale--especially the fretless version (Which I've also tried)
    With the very short scale--that works against you.
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    There is no string tension difference inherent to different scale lengths. Thicker strings at shorter lengths can have exactly the same pull as thinner strings at longer lengths when tuned to the same notes.
  5. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    Who said I used thicker strings on the short scale?

    I'm actually using the same gauge on both.
    And I like the gauge on both.

    But with the same gauge the tension is greater on the long scale bass.

    So my point still applies.

    That point was what was the biggest difference for me.
    That is all--if you want to add what made a bigger difference to you (As cleary did) please feel free to do so.
  6. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Put on some TI Jazz Flats and get back to us.
  7. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    My short scale came with flatwounds--and the pickups just didn't work well with them.
    But maybe I'll try them on my fretless.
  8. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    So you're saying there's no difference, you just like slacker strings.
  9. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    Not at all--I said the biggest adjustment for me was the string tension.
    I also said that I have adjusted to it, but it was a bigger adjustment than the longer scale or the lack of frets.

    Nothing you have posted has changed that.
    I don't have a preference either way for slacker strings.