determining the scale of a bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by mans0n, Oct 14, 2002.

1. mans0n

Jun 15, 2002
hello! I know I have seen this posted before and read it, but I dont remember how its done and didnt have luck in the search feature...

how do i determine the scale of my bass, something has to be measured im sure.... but what?

2. rockandroller

Aug 21, 2002
MOSCOW, Russia
measure from the nut to the twelfth fret, and double it : that is the scale length!

3. mans0n

Jun 15, 2002
mmm ok!

it says its 34" ! so i guess i have a 34" scale bass

it was a fraction under 17" 17+17=34!

math rules

thanks for the help

4. RAM

May 10, 2000
Chicago, IL
You can also use a more conventional approach by measuring the distance from the nut to the bridge saddles.

Sep 26, 2000
Wisconsin

6. embellisherHoly Ghost filled Bass PlayerSupporting Member

Depends on how precise you want the measurement to be.

7. Hambone

Mar 18, 2000
Atlanta/Loganville
This is a good example of a question that was asked and answered and didn't need a thing added to it. Then, I'm sure well-meaning, posters simply muddied up the issue with their contribution. The fact is that there is only one way to be sure of a basses scale length and that's to do what rockandroller suggested and measure to the 12th fret and double it.

Ram, to do it your way could yield a scale length of 34-1/8" or 34-1/16" or any number of other figures, each different for each string, but none of them would be the true scale length. And if you think about it, there isn't a bass manufactured on this planet that has a scale length of 34 - x/x".

The actual measurement of a scale length has little to no bearing for the player except as maybe a guideline to purchase strings for the instrument. Sure, you may have a preference for longer scales - 35" or 36" or maybe you like shorter scales of 32" or 30" but once you know your preferences and have a bass that fits, the actual number doesn't affect anything a player would do. You can't change it so your stuck with it.

I really wish that folks posting here would take just a moment to read the thread and really consider if they have anything to ADD to the discussion. There is a lot of mis-information disseminated here and it could lead to disaster in the right circumstances. In this case, mans0n wouldn't be hurt by using Ram's method but he would've looked like a complete fool when he discussed his bass saying that it had a 34-1/16" scale - especially if he said that in a knowing crowd.

8. mans0n

Jun 15, 2002
3 mod's posting! in one of my lame threads hah

well I totally aggree with Hambone! (and his handle really suits him well in this thread!) again! thanks for the replies its tobad the thread starter cant lock their own threads... would be helpfull for things like this

9. merlin

Make that 4 mods..

I'll measure my bass later lol

Merls