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Good 'short' bass for 11 year old? Advice please!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JetToughlove, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. JetToughlove


    Aug 23, 2012
    I play a Yamaha BBN4 and I love it (cheap I know but is good enough for me) and my son (11) has just started taking an interest.

    Problem is his arms are too short for the double octave +34" neck and I am thinking of buying him a plank for his birthday.

    I don't want a kids bass as that would be too uncool but I don't want to spend much as he might fade.

    Before I hit the Bass.com sales pages can you guys provide a little advice?

    Local music shop pushing me towards
    Epiphone EB0 £149
    Epiphone LE 60's EB3 £249
    Gretsch G2214 £219
    Gretsch G2220 £249

    Don't want to spend more than £200'ish and would consider 2nd's.

    Thanks all!
  2. Might sound funny, but have you considered one of the many violin shaped electrics? My first bass was a Rogue violin bass much like the Hofner that Paul McCartney played.At 31 inches it is a short scaled 22 fret bass and is also hollow bodied (less weight for the younger players). Great tone, and easy playability. I always got compliments on the way it sounded.

    Hope this helps some!



    Attached Files:

  3. BrentD

    BrentD Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    Ibanez Mikro?
  4. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
  5. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I would just go 30-32"... not a bass made specifically for kids.

    Maybe a Squier Bronco or Epi SG/EB-style bass?
  6. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    +1 to the Squier VM Jaguar SS.
  7. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
  8. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    Ibanez Mikro is a crazy good highly playable bass for the money. Nothing "cheap" about it.
  9. Bisounourse


    Jun 21, 2012
    Gent, Belgium
    MMM, not a big fan of them... I've played one once in a store, and they looked and felt cheap (IMHO), also playability wasn't that great (but fair enough, it wasn't set up like it should be).

    I've also played on a Gretsch G2220 but they sound a bit too boomy to my taste.
  10. My kids are in an after-school, music performance program with kids from 9-16 years old.They have also gone through the middle school band thing. This is what I see all the time with the kids in that age group.

    - They are fiddlers. They constantly twiddle the knobs before, during and after playing. usually with no clue what they are actually doing. Sometimes they hit something on stage and either the bass drops out of the mix or it sounds so off that they get distracted which leads to panic, then silence. Because of that, I recommend a simple, 1 pickup, passive bass.

    - Kids are brand conscious (especially the gui****s) and they only have heard of Fender and Gibson, because that's what they play. Unless it's something really cool looking. So that may eventually play into how he feels about playing with other kids. Dumb, I know, but a reality.

    - Kids look really silly with big, 34" Jazz basses hanging off of them. I agree with other posters that a short scale is likely the ticket.

    I bought my daughter (who actually plays keys) a Gretsch G2202 Electromatic Junior Jet Short Scale Bass, and it is great. 1 pick-up, a kid-accepted black sparkle finish with cool retro stylings. A bonus is that it also sounds amazing and is built like a tank. The school even has one as one of the basses the kids can use. It is beat to hell, but sets up and plays great. I highly, highly recommend it.

    Good Luck!
  11. OlarteNovilla

    OlarteNovilla Banned

    May 15, 2012
    Etobicoke, Ontario
    get the ibanez mikro or squire bronco. goodluck!

  12. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
  13. The problem with mod budget medium and short scale basses is that the top horn is disproportionately short, which causes neck dive. The neck dive basically encourages folks to play with a death grip on the neck since proper technique* would lead to fretting hand fatigue on a neck divey bass. First position reach will also feel longer than something with a proportional top horn.

    *as defined by previous instructors who forced me to learn "proper" technique for a grade.
  14. haystack55

    haystack55 Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I traded a guy a beat up telecaster years ago for a mid-70's Fender Musicmaster bass, with the intention of having it available to my then-8-year-old daughter when she was ready to start playing. she's now 14 and LOVES that bass. the neck's a little chunky for her hands, but she really digs the aesthetic (think DeeDee Ramone) and the sound is really awesome, especially with a little distortion on it. both of these things encourage her to play and experiment which, to me, is really the point.
  15. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    I have had good luck with Fender or Squier Broncos or Musicmasters. Rondo Music has a boatload of short scale Fender clones in their SX lines, but they may need some new strings and a set up when they arrive.
  16. oerk


    Oct 16, 2009
    I'd go with the Jaguar or the Ibanez personally, maybe the EB-3.

    You're in the UK, right? You should be able to get an old Hofner shorty (solid body) for cheap. They play pretty much like the violin basses, which is nice but not for everyone.
  17. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    Not a problem the Ibanez Mikro has.
  18. cronker


    Feb 13, 2007
    It's a bit hard, really, because although your littely is only 11 now, will you be financially able to buy him a good, full scale bass in a couple of years? I may have looked dorky with my 34" bass when I was just starting, but it taught me good technique and lasted me until I was working enough to buy my first nice bass.

  19. Very true.
  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.

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