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harmonics, tone, and choosing a scale length

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by vicenzajay, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. All,

    Could use some advice, and I'll cut to the chase. I have smaller hands, and I'm making a decision on whether or not to make my 5-string a 34 or 35" scale. Playing on instruments in town, I am tempted to just stay at 34 inches (given the stretch and my hand size)...my question is simple. How much will this affect my tone, harmonics, etc. etc.? What will I be sacrificing without the extra inch of scale length?

    Thanks for any help,
  2. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Longer is better, but 35 isn't significantly better than 34.

    You owe it to yourself to check out 36" and longer instruments - I have small hands too and am pleased with my bass. It is an adjustment certainly, but one worth making if you are truly concerned about tonality.

    For what it's worth the distance from the nut to the first fret on a 36" scale length is only 1/8" longer than the distance from nut to first fret on a 34" scaled bass.
  3. I appreciate the advice...I'm still thinking hard.