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ever played a short scale and decided to never go back?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by thehangingmist, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. so when i had the opportunity i got my bass to be made with a 33" scale length and i think it has changed me forever. I realize 34" is just not for me, i want my next bass to be even shorter.. 32" or 30" depending on if i keep a low B or not. anyone ever feel that? what do you do then?

    i like my basses to be super light like at or under 8 pounds if i can choose and i think i like my basses headless too now (mostly) thanks to carvin for making the vader bass i think that might be my next move (maybe) but what other options do i even look at now? it is kind of sad that i was excited about getting a sire bass earlier but i think i won't dig it anymore. What do you even do, with the shortage of shorter scale basses in this world? I can't even think of anyone else except Maurizio Uber Basses (who built my current bass) or hand made basses in general who are known for making really high quality short scale basses, but planning a hand made bass always needs another level of $$ saved up which takes the fun out of the idea of getting cheaper fun instruments once in a while..

    the scott whitley standard is another cool short scale bass that sounds nice. any other ideas? am spoilt i think! But if you decided to play basses with under 34" scale lengths, what would you be looking at?
    mikewalker and El Pelusa like this.
  2. BassmentPlayer


    Aug 28, 2012
    I had a Jazz Select and Special when I got my first Gretsch short scale bass. (Billy Bo). I loved the new bass and figured out it was because it was a short scale. So I bought another one, my hollow body Gretsch SS. After that I was hooked.

    I tried to hang on to the Jazzes, they were really nice basses in my mind, but when I picked them up I felt the extra strain in the left hand. (I played double bass as a kid so I know it 'can' be done) So traded them in and picked up a couple of more SS. (SG Faded and Vintage Mustang)

    The issue to me is Fender is limited in their short scale offerings (even more so now the Fender Japan is gone) so. Fender do not make a high end SS that I know of. They top out in the mid-price range and this is only relatively recently (I own a vintage mustang and can say it is more of a collectors item than a player), so the general opinion (fostered by Fender) is that SS are less expensive and not as good.

    So be it. If it was good enough for the Rolling Stones I think can live with it.

    I supported Fender SSs by purchasing a Rascal. (Very interesting bass but not what you would want as your only bass)

    I would have bought a Starcaster (HB) but Fender refused to ship it to my local mom and pop shop. After 6 months of trying I lost interest.

    Look at these two sites and you will get an idea of the number and types of SS on the market. There are others but this covers most of them.

    Short Scale Basses - Thomann UK

    4-string Bass Guitars | Sweetwater.com

    At 58 years old I can't see myself going back. I just ordered a JB62SS from Japan and am thinking of cashing in my Bill Bo and Mustang to pick up a new (Revelation RLRB) and having a SS P Bass made.

    As someone else has already said: Play the bass that fits you.

    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
  3. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Nope. Never
    lz4005 likes this.
  4. Yes.....I haven't played a longscale in weeks now. They just sit there. I can play them...but one day I woke up and argued with myself thusly :>

    "Let's be brutally honest...do you like longscales?"

    " I like the tone of many of them....but I do not like playing them really....although I can....."

    " So why are you only ever playing your shortscales?"

    "Because I like them better...and I'm keeping the longscales around...because...well...everybody should have longscales....and if I only have shorties around then I've admitted I'm a failure
    and can't make it in the big leagues...."

    " You realize that deduction is rubbish..."

    " Yes.....everything I can do on the longscale I can do better on the shortscale.....and the tone issue so often brought up on forums is a myth..."

    " So other than the fact you need a longscale around for your ego, you're never going to play them any more?"

    "That's right....they're just around in case I decide to gig.....I don't dare show up on stage with a modded Bronco or anything......even though I don't care what people say or think and they can kiss my butt, I hate being ridiculed..."

    " Aren't you overthinking it?'

    "You kidding me??!!......guys get ridiculed for showing up at gigs with certain brands of longscales..never mind shortscales!!.....and I don't respond to negative input very well...I could end up
    doing something I might regret later...even though I don't care what anyone says..."

    "So does this mean if you get rid of your longscales, you're never going to gig?"

    "No.....I'm saving up for a Spector Shorty......nobody around here spends that kind of money even on a longscale....so when I'm on stage with that bass they will bow down in admiration before me..not that I care what they do one way or the other....."
    Bodeanly and El Pelusa like this.
  5. All my basses right now are 34 scale. I loved my Mikro with a 28.5 inch scale length. Annoying neighbor kid knocked it off its stand and messed up some frets; it was never the same after that. Currently gassing for a bass VI type instrument. I play guitar some and I enjoy fingerstyle acoustic, so I figure a bass VI is the logical progression for me.
  6. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Nope. One day I tried a short-scale, really liked it, and added it to my collection.

    Why pick one or the other when you can have both?
    lz4005 likes this.
  7. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    I tried very hard to get the sounds I wanted out of short scale instruments and realized that unless I could afford an expensive small-maker bass I wasn't getting it. Every few years I get interested again, so who knows. As is a short scale will always be a secondary or even tertiary bass in my stable, when I have that many lol.
  8. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    No, I never have. I do have several short scale basses, but I don't particularly prefer them over long scale ones (other way 'round, actually). I wanted a Gretsch bass, for example; since I'm a lefty, and because finding a lefty Gretsch bass is like finding hen's teeth - I bought the only one that I've ever seen; a short scale Broadkaster. And, if you want a Beatle Bass - they're short scale, too. The only short scale bass I've ever deliberately bought was a Warmoth Mini-P Bass. I needed a short scale solid body bass for my herd, and my (limited) choices were either A) cheap; or B) Custom/Boutique expensive. The Warmoth is C) Just right...;) But, if short scale basses are for you, then by all means, play on...
  9. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    Almost, but not quite. I will say that my Jag SS is still my main player.

    Try a Jag SS, the bridge pup can be weak, but the otherwise it'll keep up with it's "big brothers". Check the link in my sig and browse the club thread. Tons of info.
  10. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I started on short scale and I had no idea it was different until I bought my second bass. I remember struggling with my Squier for the evening, what a great evening though since it was my first NBD.

    So I suppose I am the opposite, I never went back.
  11. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    All my basses are 30" scale. Easier on my arthritic old thumbs. I also prefer narrow, 7-1/4 to 9-1/2" fretboard radii to flatter, wider boards, but that part isn't a deal breaker if the bass has other things to offer in compensation.
  12. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    I have 30 and 34 in basses , I also play upright . Enjoy all of them .
  13. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I teetered on the brink for a while. But I like tuning low and playing hard. Maybe I could develop a softer touch, maybe not. My short scale is a Squier VI and the whole layout of that thing forces you to use a soft touch so the lower tension when tuned down to a C is not an issue. When I hop back to a long scale four or five I naturally go back to pounding away on the strings. So I am not certain that a short scale would work for me with four or five strings and a traditional bass guitar layout. I have also found that while there are things I can learn to do much quicker on a short scale, once I do that I have always been able to transfer them over to a long scale so far. So to date the short scale is just an occasional interest for me. If there were short scale versions of the basses I really love that might make a difference but there are not. The SS Jag is nice, and the Rascal is nicer but I just don't have enough interest to go for the Jag or enough money to go for the Rascal. I have thought about pulling a string or two off the Squier VI as an experiment though....
  14. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I have 19", 28", 30", 34", 35" and 42" scale basses.
    Each has their place.
  15. Donnix82


    Nov 26, 2016
    I recently decided to add a short scale to my lineup and I am enjoying it. The vm Squier jaguar SS in candy apple red which I liked more than the transparent red of the past. It is a very common entry level production model but it is great for the cash, the pj setup is cool and I like the bottom end you get from less string tension. That said, I played 34 in since I got my first bass back in 1999/2000 so that is my most ccomfortble feel. I do like having one just for variety, the 30 inch.
  16. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    Im going to be exploring my recent passive interest in short-scales very soon...more aptly: I'm going to be building one (actually two: one will be just a 'whiteboard' to experiment with different pickups and locations with a large swimming pool route----- this will dictate how I build the actual)...it will be my first build....wish me luck
  17. chicoLow


    Aug 3, 2018
    I recently needed to be in a different city for 2 weeks and didn't want to not practice for that long. Found a used Bronco cheap on CL and used it, intending to resell when I left or leave at my son's house for the next time I visited. Ended up liking it so much I took it home. At some point I'll probably replace the pickup but right now I'm happy with it. Fun to play.
  18. AboutSweetSue


    Sep 29, 2018
    Lebanon, TN
    No way. The short scale is a unique instrument. The Gibson SG, with 1954s tuned a step down and the poles raised is just about the coolest electric bass I’ve ever played. But, it just isn’t as versatile for the sound everyone wants and expects, and that is its overall downfall.
  19. solderfumes


    Mar 16, 2016
    I think I prefer to have a 34" bass around for most things, but I'll also definitely say that I don't want to be without a 30" bass ever again! Horses for courses.

    Although, if I were to add another one I would probably go the route of dedicating a 34" scale bass to be tuned down a whole step.
  20. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    Nope. Not even after I had Warwick's Custom Shop make a short scale Corvette Proline to my specs.

    I have two uses for a short scale instrument: higher tunings and travel. That's it. I'm considering building up a cheaper short scale for travel, but I bought my Warwick to play in higher tunings, ADGC or CGDA, and that bass is too valuable in today's money to take on non-gigging trips.

    I need something like a Fender Mustang J-J For travel.

    For standard tuning, a 34" scale is fine down to E, but longer is better for anything lower. Low B is marginal at 34" scale, but I really only ever played 5-string because the neck width felt comfortable for me, not because I was dying for lower notes.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018

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