Fret spacing in 35 inch bass, 35" scale bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Art1606, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. Art1606


    Oct 6, 2019
    Is fret spacing much different in 35" basses comparing to 34"? Is this easier to play 34" basses than 35"? I do have 35" bass. It is great in all aspects. I also have an avg hand size. It is a bit hard for my hand to play this bass. Will 34" inch bass make much of difference?
    Asking more experienced players to share their knowledge and opinions. Of course i go to stores and try other basses. But it would be very interesting to learn from others also.
    Thank you all.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I don't find it makes much of a difference unless a particular tune has me down on the first and second frets a lot - it's like having "one extra fret down" kind of. I never found it too tough of an adjustment personally but I know others have.
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  3. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
    It makes a very small difference in my opinion, but yes by a tiny bit perhaps.
    There are other factors, set up, string spacing, neck profile, location of the strap button, and how it all works for your technique. String spacing makes more of a difference for me.
    There’s a 33” narrow spacing version of the bass in your profile picture, BTB 846V. Might be interesting to try if you can find one.
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  4. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Each fret is only a tiny bit further apart, so it's not very noticeable in that regard. What's more important is how far you have to extend your arm/hand to reach frets 1-3. This has to do with the overall design of the bass, not just the scale length. Some basses hang on a strap such that the neck is pushed out to the left more than most.
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  5. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I own a Mike Lull 5-string 35"-scale Jazz-style bass and a MM Stingray 5-string 34"-scale bass. And I have pretty small hands and short fingers.

    I play the Mike Lull 35" about 90% of the time, but I simply don't notice the difference in scale length when I go between the two. I notice the difference in the body contours a lot more. To the point of having to get used to the contour of the Stingray. Doesn't take long.

    But again, I go back and forth between the two quite easily.

    That's just me, YMMV, of course.
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  6. Leo Thunder

    Leo Thunder

    Sep 27, 2018
    It depends a lot on your size and how you play. Those who say it's not much are absolutely right, yet I find this little more is just beyond comfortable to me. It might just be that I got used to 34" and 35" is merely annoyingly different or maybe it really is that little too much and passing the limit. I haven't tried hard enough to find out.
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  7. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
    Spot on. A little bit is all the difference you need sometimes.
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  8. B-Mac

    B-Mac Happiness is a warm puppy and a great bass Supporting Member

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  9. Only found out I was playing a 35" scale bass when somebody told me :D

    Easy 2 years of blissful ignorance :thumbsup:
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  10. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    An easy test: On your 35" scale bass, pretend that the 1st fret is the nut. That is, play it for a while, never going to the 1st position; only use the 2nd position and up. That's about what a 34" scale bass will feel like, in fret spacing and arm reach. Do you feel the difference? As the others have said, it's a small difference, but it may matter to you if you are stretching a bit right now.

    Personally, I can barely tell the difference between 35" and 34" basses, and I routinely switch back and forth between them. But then, I'm a big guy with long arms. I like the 35" scale better because of the extra tension of the strings.
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  11. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    It's a little different, but the neck placement is the biggest difference. Spector puts their bridge quite a ways away from the edge of the body which in turn pushes the first fret very far out. compare to say an MTD bridge is closer to the body edge which brings the end of neck closer to you.....way different. I loved the Spector but couldn't hang with that first position.
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