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Kids Bass?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by count_funkula, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. What is the shortest functional scale for a bass? In other words how small can I make it and it still be usable?

    I'm going to make a bass for my 4 year old. It's going to be a little three stringer. I'm also in need of some of those individual bridge saddles like are used on some Ibanez basses. Any idea where I can get some?
  2. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    Fender makes a 28.59" scale P-Bass. Maybe that will work. I played one at a guitar store once, and I actually really liked how it felt. And as for those saddles, I probably shouldn't do this, but customshopparts.com and AllParts have them. Go for customshopparts.com first, as it's cheaper than AllParts. Hipshot makes them, but they're expensive and heavy (this will be for a four-year-old child, so weight matters). What pup were you thinking of using?
  3. teej


    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    the "Indie" bridges from Custom ARE pretty cheap, but good quality. I think they're only $7 for each independent bridge. As for the pup, what about a soapbar?
  4. I built a fretless 5 string for my 5 yr old son- 25 1/2" scale, neck-through, sem-hollow, purpleheart, maple & mahogany w/Fender bass VI-style (I think) strings: .90-.70-.50-.30-.18 or something like that. The fairly big surprise was that it actually plays, & plays pretty well. The short scale+standard EADGC tuning makes the string tension very low(good for kid's hands), yet not floppy. I have yet to install a pickup, but acoustically, although quiet, the tone is nice. If I can get my computer guru/wife to help me, I might be able to post pics. To get back the original subject- smallest functional size- I basically figured that since a more or less 'standard' 34" scale is roughly half the average man's height- 6', the same proportions would work for a child (I also added an inch or two to allow for growth- I'm a pretty slow builder!).
  5. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    Are the Custom indies able to do a through-the-body setup?
  6. teej


    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Not from Custom, and if anyone else makes a string-thru single-string bridge, I haven't seen any. However, from the pictures, it looks like you could just drill a hole through the bottom and make it string thru. At $7.50 a bridge, you're not losing much if you screw it up. :smug:
  7. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    bassteban, you built a 25.5" scale bass? Reason I ask is my daughter is 10 and she is really small for her age and she wants to learn to play bass. Unfortunately, with my bass/string setup she isn't strong enough to learn on mine.

    Did you build a neck from the ground up or did you convert a guitar neck over? Any other info would very much appreciated! Thanks.
  8. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    There are a few companies that make very small scale basses (in the 24-30 inch range). I've seen some Samics at a local music store that were around $150 brand new, and there are a few others. If you search in the basses forum for short scale you should find some of the previous discussions on them. Many that are talked about are no longer made tho :mad:
  9. Hipshot are now doing individual bridge pieces called Triple Lock-Downs, very similar in design to the Indies but look real nice with drop-in or through body loading.

  10. I know the pride of building a little jewel of a bass is in the front of everyones mind but does a bass for a 4 year old have to be so perfect? What I mean is, why wouldn't it be perfectly acceptable to have a simple metal bar bridge and string the bass thru the body? You could make your own piece, you wouldn't have to worry about the size and fit of it on the small body, and it would functionally provide everything a 4 year old could want for his instrument. You could even do an Alembic style thing with a bridge and tailpiece for a little different look.
  11. I just picked up some poplar from Home Depot to get started on my son's bass. I got a 1x8 piece that I will glue together to make it 1.5" thick. I also got some red oak that I'll use for the neck. I plan on getting some cheap hardware off ebay.

    It'll be a simple neck through. I am going to get those individual bridge pieces.
  12. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    We expect pics, Funkula! Progress pics are ALWAYS highly requested...