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New Bass + First Time Bass Player Thoughts

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RedHotFuzz, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. RedHotFuzz


    Mar 16, 2014
    My Gretsch Junior Jet II finally arrived today from Sweetwater (great service!). I had them restrung with Rotosound nylon flatwounds before shipping. A few observations about the bass itself, about the short scale, and about my first time bass experience.

    The Gretsch is quite a nice little unit. Much better than what I expected for $300. As to the short scale, frankly I can't imagine any longer scale (or heavier instrument hanging around my neck) to be desirable for me personally. The short scale still presents some pretty good finger stretches at the low end. Fret 2 to 5 is a pretty good hop. A pretty big difference from guitar of course. But I don't think I'd want any more length there than the 30" scale. It feels quite comfortable, if still physically challenging, at that scale.

    As for some people saying a short scale bass "feels like a toy," I can only assume that means compared to the full scale basses they are used to. Because this does not feel like a toy to me. It's larger (and heavier) than my Strat, which certainly does not feel toy-like in any way.

    If anything makes it feel like a toy, it's the nylon flatwounds. I've never played anything like that before. It's a strange feeling at first. They sorta feel like those thick fake plastic guitar strings you see on toy guitars as a kid. I didn't realize they'd be smooth plastic. I don't know what I was expecting, but they were a surprise to me. That said, after a few hours of playing today I've come to enjoy and appreciate them. Very easy on the fingers.

    I'm finding bass to be a pretty easy natural from guitar, at least at the beginner level. I'm able to blow through many of the Rocksmith songs I've tried at a 90%+ success rate. That said, I realize the complexity of bass playing is in no way represented by the typical rock/pop songs I've tried so far. But it is nice to jump in and not feel like a complete fumble-fingered fool. I'm looking forward to many years of progression!

    My only complaint thus far is the non-contoured body of the Gretsch. I already miss the comfy contours of my Strat. I guess a slab-style instrument just isn't for me (or my ribs, or my thighs, or my forearms...). I'm going to keep a hopeful lookout for a G&L Fallout short scale bass as my next instrument. If that fails to materialize, I guess it's a Warmoth (can I find someone to build it for me?) or the Lakland Hollowbody 30 (but in a different color please!). Are there any other good quality contour-bodies models worth consideration?

    I'm looking forward to learning much from these forums in the years to come. This is quite a fascinating (and helpful) community. Next step: a proper bass combo amp. :bassist:
  2. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Have you looked at Rondo Music's SX series basses? There are Precision, Jazz and Jaguar body-styles to choose from. Basically, anything with "JR" in it's model designation is a short-scale. And in light of overwhelming acclaim, don't let the prices fool you. There's a whole lotta love for them 'round these parts.


    If you want more info, do a search for "essex" since "SX" is too short to work in the search function.
  3. Register_To_Disable

  4. RedHotFuzz


    Mar 16, 2014
    Yeah, I've checked out all the lower dollar stuff. I'd like something around the same level of quality (or slightly higher) as my AmStd Strat. Something I can happily and proudly play for many years to come.
  5. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
  6. RedHotFuzz


    Mar 16, 2014

    Yep, I looked at the Jaguar. And the Mikey Way. The Gretsch Junior Jet won that round. Now I need to find something in the $1-1.5k range for my wish list. Again, something at a higher level of quality that I can play for a long long time without worrying about constant tweaks and upgrades. Preferably something that doesn't say China or Indonesia on the headstock.

    It's sad there's not much to choose from in short scales at that price range/level of quality.
  7. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I've heard about these... price is a little above, but perhaps you might be able to find one a bit cheaper. Never played one, but I do know someone who did and reviews seem very favorable.


    There's someone here on TB who plays nothing but short scale basses, He should be able to give you some good tips and options.
  8. lowfreqgeek

    lowfreqgeek Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    Endorsing Artist: Regenerate Guitar Works, Honey Badger Pickups

    Or a USA Lakland.

    You're best bet as far as cost would probably be a Warmoth short scale, though.
  9. RedHotFuzz


    Mar 16, 2014
    Yep, I've looked at the Birdsongs. Visually not my style. I prefer a painted body in a classic rock shape.

    What might one pay (labor alone) for a professional Warmoth build?
  10. RedHotFuzz


    Mar 16, 2014
    Oh, and the USA Lakland isn't on my radar due to 1) high cost and 2) heavy weight (I read a review of the Skyline Decade that said it was 10 lbs).
  11. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    I can see where you're coming from. However, if your goal is to find something that works for you ergonomically, wouldn't it be prudent to try a less-expensive, small-bodied bass before committing to one with a four-digit price tag? Y'know, dip one toe in the water before plunging in headlong?

    As far as "country of origin" goes, I'll refrain from the philosophical debate for the time being. This is your thread and not the place for it.
  12. I looked at a lot of low end stuff in my search and was dissatisfied with most of it. If it's me, I would go with a Mustang RI. Preferably used. I did play a Gibson SG satin at Rudy's that was among some of the better ones I've played.
  13. RedHotFuzz


    Mar 16, 2014

    Yep, which is why I just bought a Junior Jet. ;)