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Extreeemely short scale

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by SciFiGuy, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. SciFiGuy


    Dec 27, 2003
    Madison, IN
    So I have this Lyle "bass" with a 25" or so scale. Seriously. (http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=122140) I've figured out that regular strings won't work, so after searching this forum (amazing concept!) I thought maybe piccolo strings would be the thing to use. But it sounds like their scale length isn't any longer, they are just smaller for higher pitch.

    In another thread someone asked about putting guitar strings on a bass, but the consensus was they would be too short. Is that what I need? Just the lowest four guitar strings?

    I'd love to play around with it, but if I can't, I'll strip off what few parts I can use. I thought about swapping out the neck, but the bridge would have to move to a point off the body.

    Any knowledge, thoughts or even opinions would be appreciated. (Lame off-topic jokes and comments will be depreciated)
  2. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Hmm your nearly 10" short of a standard bass, that must be a very wee instrument. :D I think guitar strings would be close squeeze, but even if they were long enough, you'd be one octave off, and be playing a piccolo bass, as you mentioned. Down south they call that a 4 string guitar. ;) I supposed you could just get some short-scale strings and chop off the ends to a proper length, unless teh ends didn't fit in the tuners.
  3. in Bassist the resident tech described using standard longscale strings on a Fender Musicmaster bass and using brass sleeves with grub screws at the bridge end to shorten them.

    you could try the same with short-scale bass strings.

    another idea is to drill string-thru-the-body holes and fit ferrules so the strings anchor on the back, so short-scale strings will fit.
  4. hieronymous


    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    Or try a six-string bass set - Ernie Ball sells a set called "6 string Bass Guitar" - the guages are 20, 30, 42, 54, 74, 90. The scale length on my 6-string bass (Fender Japan Jaguar Bottom Master) is about 28".

    One problem you might have, though, is fitting the strings on the post at the tuning peg end. They are tapered, but are really made for an instrument with a 30" scale length. The Bottom Master has tuning pegs like a regular Fender Jazz or P-bass, where the end goes down into the peg. But they're more guitar sized, so if I clip off too much of the string, it's too wide for the hole!!! But only clipping off where it begins to taper, I end up with a whole bunch of string wrapped around the post...

    Anyway, good luck!

    BTW, I just looked at your original post with the pictures - looks like a cool little axe! I bet the tuners would be fine with the Ernie Ball set, might be worth giving it a try. I ordered mine from www.juststrings.com
  5. I'm not sure how possible this is, or how it would effect the strings, but has anybody considered unwinded part of the string. If they are round wound could you just unwind part of the part to make it fit better into the tuners? I sure theres some way to customize your strings to fit your bass.
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Now that nobody makes basses like this any more (Carvin also sold 25" scale basses in the 1960s) noone makes super short scale strings.

    I use regular short scale (30") GHS Boomers on my Supro Pocket Bass which also has a 25" scale. Yes, the strings are quite loose, touchy to tune and you have to play with a light touch.
  7. SciFiGuy


    Dec 27, 2003
    Madison, IN
    I like the idea of converting to string-through, except for the part about drilling the holes. Maybe later after I've tried some other things.

    I think from just a money standpoint, I'll try a set of guitar strings first. Then maybe some short scale strings. The fit at the nut won't be perfect, but I'll wait until I find a string I like before I do any mods.

    I guess I need to compare the guages of guitar, piccolo and short scale strings. Are there any rules of thumb about how much leeway you have in guage for each string position? If there were, it probably would only apply to standard scale lengths.