Does short scale guitar make a difference in case of bad wrists?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by THany, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. THany


    Jul 24, 2019
    Hi again guys,
    Jyst started practicing and old pains starting to show signs. I had problems in both my wrists and fingers after a triplet pregnancy, 12 years ago, and from time to time it comes back, not as bad though.
    Im aware I have to take it real slow, as my hands are weak ( have fibromyalgia as well) but I still want to play.
    Your advices for making my wrists/fingers stronger, and the most suitable bass for my condition.
    Thanks and sorry for the not fun thread :))
  2. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    I don't have wrist problems but do have basal thumb joint arthritis in both hands.

    After decades of playing guitar, I started finding holding a flat pick or playing lots of barre chords to be quite painful. Found myself playing guitar less and less. About 6 years ago I decided to give bass playing a shot and bought a short-scale, MIJ, Fender Mustang Bass. The pleasant surprise was that if I stuck with finger-style (no flat-picking or slap) my hands didn't bother me when I played this bass.

    I rarely play guitar anymore, but do play bass every day. I've found that basses with short scale length, fretboard radii no flatter than 12" and narrow necks are most comfortable for me to play. Guild Starfires and the Mustang are my comfort zone.

    Only other suggestion would be to increase amp volume and play with a lighter touch if you are in the habit of "digging in" and playing with a heavy right hand.

    Hang in there and find a way to make it work. Best of luck!

    BTW: I helped raise two daughters who were born 2 years apart. With triplets, how in the world do you ever find time to play anything? ;)
  3. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    Do you currently own a bass, and if so, what is the scale length?

    Assuming you currently own a standard 34" scale bass, here is a fun and easy experiment you can try:

    Tune your strings down a whole step, to D-G-C-F. Now put a capo on the 2nd fret. Congratulations! Now you "kind of sort of" have a 30" short scale bass. You can practice your favorite riffs, licks, and grooves to see if you like it. If you enjoy playing like this, and find that it is more comfortable, then you are good candidate for a 30" short scale bass. :)
    Linnin likes this.
  4. THany


    Jul 24, 2019
    Thank you both for your comments, Im new at playing bass. As a child played the piano and in my 20's I sang and played the percussion, but bass was always my dreams, so as for your my habbits/likes etc questions... I cant answer them :)
    As I posted in a different thread, I bought a jazz special 85, and taking it for reparing, as it hasnt been touched for 20 years, and was defretted un professionally. I can only say Im very picky at sound. I love a warm round sound with a spike, or spice.. (dont know how to describe it) in general, I dont like highs, and can hardly stand trebble... I love "clean, clear" music like reggae, soul, infact, any music that is not too overloaded... lets say I like the space in music as much as music itself. Why am I telling you all that? Some of the bass sounds can really annoy me, those are slaps, when doe only for technic, with no soul, or fast solos, that makes the bass lose its real sound/essence... And Some of the short scales I have listened to, sounded like a bad joke about a bass sound is supposed to ring (no offend anyone, just trying to make a point...) of course, I dont know many and havent listened to every model (played by the right player)
    I will read again yiur comments and try to act upon them.
    P.s. answer, that was 12 years ago, and I havent played until now, that Ive decided to act upon my dream. :)
  5. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    I would say that neck width; neck profile; and proper fretting hand position, are much more important than scale length. There are short scale basses with wide, thick necks; and long scale basses with pencil-thin necks. I know; I own some of each. Unless you just can't reach up to the first fret on a 34" bass, scale length is, IMO, a moot issue...:cool:
  6. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Yes, I think switching to the shorter scale of a guitar would help.
    THany likes this.
  7. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    ^^^That's Brilliant!^^^