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Is it "cheating" to play shortscale?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I made the mistake of picking up my shortscale SX p-bass. Man, that neck is so easy to play. Also the action is the best I have ever played.

    I was previously thinking of selling this bass. I am not one to keep alot of gear. I really only need 2 basses and my rig and thats it. If I get too used of shortscale I feel my playing with regular basses will suffer. I'd say I'm an intermediate level player. I play solid in the pocket, but nothing fancy.

    I try not to play this bass because for some reason I feel like I am cheating my development by playing shortscale. I am not a small guy ( 6'1 and 210LBS) and I have large hands so there is really no excuse for playing shortscale, except that I find my playing is much better and more accurate.

  2. Yeah, that Stanley Clarke is a huge cheater! Yeah! That's it! :bag:

    Honestly, play what feels/sounds/fits best to you!
  3. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Cheating? No.... Different maybe.

    Short scale is a bit easier to play, and the tone is different - not as defined in the low end.

    McCartney did alright with a short scale Hofner....
  4. steve4765630


    Feb 27, 2006
    It's not cheater. In fact you can get some really cool sounds out of a short scale bass. Whatever fits your hands the best.
  5. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    its not a contest, there are no rules. no rules mean that there is nothing 'illegal'. cheating is doing something against the rules, and is therefore illegal. since there are no rules, there is no such thing as 'cheating'.
  6. dominic


    Aug 7, 2005
    ive just found myself in a similar position, recently aquired an abg and i'm in love with the shorter scale (I'm 6'2"), now i'm aftera short scale electric to add to the harem.
  7. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Enjoy your new bass. :D
  8. jsbach1982


    Feb 11, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Playing shortscale will make you better on shortscale basses, playing regular basses will make you better at playing regular basses. Some stuff -- like your plucking/picking/slapping technique -- will transfer between the two instruments, some stuff won't.

    Compared to my upright (40" scale), my electric is a shortscale bass. But that fact doesn't keep me from playing electric (which certain stodgy URB players would no doubt consider "cheating", at least in some situations). If I abandoned my upright and played nothing but electric for 6 months, I'd lose a lot of my chops on URB. But I wouldn't blame that on the electric being "easier", I'd blame it on not practicing URB. See what I mean?

  9. if it makes the music sound beter go for it . i feel the same about a lined fretless!
  10. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    You might as well be asking if playing the BG is cheating from playing the DB.

    Personally, I could care less; although you can do faster stuff with short scale (IMO) playing up higher would be more annoying to not hit the wrong frets...but thats just me.

    Although, in school people always want to seem to try playing my bass, this would probably help to get them started, on a short scale...
  11. I don't think it's cheating at all. No one ever said the scale of an electric bass HAD to be 34 inches. Choosing to play a short scale bass in my eyes is just the same as choosing to play say a five string, or a fretless. Scale length is just one of the many components that exist in order to make our playing experience as good as it possibly can be. If you dig the shorties, go ahead!
  12. Yes. And every time you play a short scale bass, God kills a kitten.
  13. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Don't sweat it. If it feels right and sounds right then go with it.

    Your mind and body have amazing powers of adaptation...so if'n you need to play longscale at sometime, you'll take a few days to get used to it and then be fine.

    If short scale is cheating, then I must be the one workin' for extra credit and breakin' the curve.
  14. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Thanks guys. This isnt making it easier to sell it though! Not one person says its a negative thing to play shortscale so that has meaning.
  15. Play what your comfortable with. NO its not cheating
  16. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    I have both... Play both... and love both. If you play them enough, you'll have no problem swithching back and forh. I only have one short scale, and wouldn't mind having another one. Played my Jerry Jones Longhorn 4 on a small club gig a while back, and it was a lot of fun. The bass player from the opening band accused me of cheating though ;) hahaha
  17. RSchuster


    Jan 27, 2006
    Alexandria, VA
    I thought that was every time you . . . never mind.
  18. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Ex-factors are some of the best playing, best sounding basses I've had my hands on. They are 32" scale.
  19. lola99


    Jan 28, 2006
    It sounds like you really like your short scale bass. Why even consider selling it?
  20. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    That's actually advanced, not intermediate ;)
    If it works for you it's the right scale. You could consider it a real long guitar if it helps.

    Some math fun for the geeks...
    If you're 5'8" you're 68 inches tall, exactly double a 34" scale. So at 6'1" you should play a 36.5" scale to keep the same ratio. Or of course just pick what feels good.

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